Just about everyone you’ve ever seen at Cafe Milano, which threw a blow-out 25th birthday party Nov. 10, was there: Georgetowners, Washingtonians and out-of-towners; neighbors, politicians and entertainers; doctors, lawyers and diplomats. (Okay, so neither the Clintons nor the Obamas showed up.)
Hillary Clinton was one of many celebrating their friendship with Cafe Milano owner Franco Nuschese in a special in-house video — a news-show parody with comments from the likes of Newt Gingrich, Dave Chappelle and Robert Johnson over headlines such as “Franco, the Most Interesting Man in the World” and “Pasta Over Politics.” Nice to say hello to a few from the new administration, such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin with his wife, actress Louise Linton, and good to know the party had the blessing of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, former Archbishop of Washington.
As everyone bumped into everyone else — for a time, the bar was truly a “crush bar” — the Italian restaurant expanded into tents in the back and upstairs. With passed food and food stations, along with drinks, the crowd ebbed and flowed from 7 p.m to about 2 a.m. The Gypsy Kings, a Nuschese favorite, got the dance floor going. The half-block was closed in front of the Prospect Street place, D.C.’s best-known spot to see and to be seen, with klieg lights in the parking lot for the occasion. With District Council approval, Mayor Muriel Bowser proclaimed that it was Cafe Milano Day.
For his part, the Italian-born Nuschese greeted all and was all smiles, saying in his remarks that he was living the American Dream.