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So what's for Obama's inaugural lunch? Ask Abe Lincoln

January 20, 2009 |  6:06 am

Statuary Hall where the new president Barack Obama will dine after his inaugural speech

WASHINGTON -- After Barack Obama takes the inaugural oath of office and delivers his inaugural address today and escorts then-ex-President Bush off for his Texas return, he and Vice President Joe Biden and other members of their team will do lunch.

It's a tradition-laden affair, hosted by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (really, these folks on the Hill could save a lot of trees if they shortened their titles.) Anyway, the lunch for 200 members of Congress, Supreme Court justices and Cabinet officials, held in the gorgeous Statuary Hall of the Capitol, has sparked a lot of interest.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democat who chairs the needs-to-shorten-its-name committee, told me Sunday that more than 1.9 million people have visited the committee's website. And, she said, more than 329,000 have viewed the lunch menu, making it the most popular part of the website.

So, as a public service, The Ticket offers this re-peek at the three-course elite menu, inspired by Abraham Lincoln and designed by Design Cuisine, an Arlington, Va., caterer favored by those who love flavor.

First, a seafood stew. The main course, pheasant and duck served with sour cherry chutney and molasses sweet potatoes. As for dessert, the Obama lunch will end with an apple cinnamon sponge cake topped with sweet cream glace.

Feinstein did use her chairperson's perogative to insure that all the wines will be from California, including the sparkling wine served with dessert.

Some might think the Lincoln comparison is being overdone. Obama, the first African American president in history, came to Washington along the same train route Lincoln took from Illinois. Obama will also take the oath of office on a Bible used by Abraham Lincoln, the man whose Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves. 

But apple pie was apparently a Lincoln favorite (who knew?) and what could be more American than that?

-- Johanna Neuman

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Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol

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