D.C. restauranteurs Ann Cashion and Johnny Fulchino hosted their annual “Last Waltz” Thanksgiving Dinner Wednesday evening at Johnny’s Halfshell in Washington. To celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, a traditional turkey feast was served and the classic Martin Scorsese rock film, The Last Waltz played throughout the evening. For those unfamiliar, The Last Waltz, was a concert by the rock group The Band, held on Thanksgiving Day in 1976. The concert marked the end of the group’s career and the event was later turned into a documentary film by Scorsese.
The seafood restaurant, located on Capitol Hill, typically hosts diplomats and politicians looking for fresh seafood and good conversation. On any given day, you’re likely to overhear political discussions taking place at the majority of the tables in this restaurant.
However, on Wednesday evening, Johnny’s Halfshell was transformed from a white-tablecloth, Hill hangout to a breathtakingly beautiful, chic, and enchanting 70’s soiree.
The outdoor patio, enclosed and surrounded by heaters, was candle-lit and filled with white tables, topped with stunning white rose bouquet centerpieces. Meanwhile, non-stop 70’s rock-music played on, reminding guests that it was okay to let their hair down, after all, they were among friends.
Even with the magnificent ambiance, it was the food that stole the show. Though the menu called for a “traditional” Thanksgiving meal, I can bet that your grandmother never made sweet potatoes like Ann’s. The word phenomenal comes to mind. Every bite was impeccable, from the turkey roasted to perfection, to the melt-in-your mouth poached pears.
As the guests took their seats, Johnny Fulchino, took to the stage. Fulchino greeted guests with a heart-warming toast and a gentle reminder that in a city filled with food trucks and small bites, a traditional meal with friends is a welcome change from the norm. Jumping up on the bar, swaying to 70’s hits, Johnny literally set the stage for an unforgettable evening.