22, 7:00 P.M.
Members $85, guests $110
It is an open
secret that VIP guests at even the fanciest restaurants are allowed
to order items not on the menu. Even when the other tables are covered
with succulent dishes of tender organ meats dripping with butter
and cream, a starlet can come in and order steamed vegetables and
a dressing-free salad with Cheez-Its on the side, and have it all
served under a silver dome. You might think that such treatment
only comes with celebrity, power, or obscene wealth, but at the
18th-century Federal manor Morrison House in Alexandria, Virginia,
every guest at the Elysium restaurant receives star treatment from
executive chef Gian Piero Mazzi and his team. The menu, in fact,
reads: "As it is our mission to personally assure each guest's
happiness, our chefs will come to your table and create an individualized
collaborative culinary adventure based upon our freshest and most
unique groceries and your distinct desire."
we'd be content with the "rarefied cassoulet" or "beautifully
roasted squab" with baby vegetables and red-onion tart that
Cynthia Hacinli described in her Washingtonian review. Elysium,
she wrote, is "Old Town's most elegant restaurant." Situated
in the AAA Four-Diamond, Mobil Four-Star Morrison House, the restaurant
is a recipient of both the DiRoNA and the Wine Spectator
Award of Excellence, while the hotel has been described by Condé
Nast Traveler as among the "world's best."
Only 27 years
old, Mazzi already has the credentials to match his luxurious setting.
Born in La Spezia, Italy, he worked at a number of regional hotels
and restaurants, including Hotel Fiascherino in Liguria. After cooking
school in Florence, Mazzi moved to Paris for an externship at Chez
des Amis, which soon became a full-time job. Five years ago, he
moved to the United States, working for Roberto Donna at Galileo
and then serving as executive sous-chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons
Corner, where he assisted visiting chefs Dante Boccuzzi, Charlie
Palmer, and Jean-Louis Palladin with seminars at the hotel.
Don't you deserve
VIP treatment? Indulge yourself with Mazzi's perfectly attuned cuisine.