WASHINGTON >> Hawaii ahi tartare is on the menu for tonight’s state dinner for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The tuna tartare with rye crisps features fish from Hawaii. Also on the menu is petite filet with Maryland crab ravioli and salad from the first lady’s garden, dressed in vinaigrette made of White House honey. Grammy Award-winner James Taylor is on tap for the entertainment for the Rose Garden event under the stars.
For dessert, the pastry chef has whipped up apple strudel from a recipe that’s said to be a twist on traditional German strudel. It’s made with farmer’s cheese from Vermont.
It’s the first state dinner that President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, will hold in the garden just steps from the Oval Office.
The garden’s plush lawn has been covered with protective flooring covered in grey and white carpet. Guests will sit at a mix of long and round tables covered with white and silver sequined linens and green-and-yellow floral centerpieces.
The dinner caps a day of all-out diplomatic outreach that was carefully orchestrated to highlight Germany’s growing role in world affairs and its importance as a U.S. partner.
It began with a 19-gun salute on the South Lawn and included meetings with Obama and his advisers, a joint news conference with the president and a State Department lunch.
Merkel is the first European leader to receive such treatment from Obama.
At lunch, she presented Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with a framed copy of a German newspaper photo of the two in pantsuits — showing them only from the waist down. The caption asked: "Which one is Merkel and which one is Clinton?"
On the back of the news page and of the framed picture, was the full photo showing Merkel and Clinton and their similar tastes in clothing.