Supper summit at a D.C. stalwart
February 9th, 2011
05:15 PM ET
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Larry Shaughnessy is CNN's Pentagon Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) - France's reputation for fine cuisine is well established. So when one of France's top government officials came to visit Washington, you'd think he'd be treated to dinner at one of Washington's most trendy, elite restaurants - the kind that get mentioned on food blogs or in glossy magazines.

Instead, Defense Secretary Robert Gates took his counterpart, the French Minister of Defense, Alain Juppe, to Gadsby's, an Arlington, Va tavern that serves down-to-earth fare like meatloaf and pork chops.

When Gates mentioned the dinner to reporters Tuesday, it wasn't Gadsby's food he mentioned; it was the restaurant's more than 225 years of history.

"Last evening, I had the pleasure of hosting Minister Juppé along with other French and U.S. officials for dinner at a tavern where Secretary of State John Quincy Adams played host to General Lafayette in 1824. Two centuries later, France remains our strong and valued partner on the global stage."

General Lafayette was one of the French generals who served in the American Continental Army under George Washington during the Revolutionary war. Being treated to dinner at a tavern that once played host to the French hero seemed to delight Minister Juppe.

"I appreciate very much, Mr. Secretary, our wonderful dinner yesterday evening in a very elegant place. And we served prestigious predecessors; I am here after Lafayette. And for me, it's a very great honor."

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Filed under: Classic • History • President Obama • Restaurants • White House

5@5 - Chef Matt Levin
February 9th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Editors' Note: We are in no way endorsing the usage of the "wacky tobacky."

Just in case you decide to chug a can of Drank or a bottle from Cana Catering, Matt Levin of Adsum Restaurant thinks you need to know how to stave off the munchies.

In fact, his refined comfort food is often dubbed "stoner food" when it has been reviewed by critics. Brian Friedman wrote in his Philadelphia Weekly review that, "Ah, hell, it's 'food for stoners"' and "Adsum takes so-called 'stoner food' to places it has never been before."

Levin is no stranger to making the news with, shall we say, mood-altering substances. You may recognize him as the Philadelphia chef that threw the Four Loko-themed dinner party back in December.

But instead of a nice Loko-vore lady, looks like your dinner date is with Mary Jane.

Five Stoner Foods: Matt Levin

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Filed under: 5@5 • Hot Messes • Think

February 9th, 2011
03:30 PM ET
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Chocolate? Champagne? That's soooooo last century. Our favorite (shhhh!) Top Chef All Stars contestant Richard Blais is working his wizardry on V-Day. In the second installment of his weekly segment on our Senior Junk Food Correspondent Ali Velshi's show - hosted today by the always dapper Don Lemon, he shared his method for maximum romance.

Here's a cheat sheet with the recipes which, in the words of a colleague who shall remain nameless, "Serving that on Valentine's Day would likely get a guy laid."

FYI – this is what he means by iSi.

Beet Champagne

3 cups bottled red beet juice
1 oz grenadine
2 CO2 charges


1. Combine beet juice and grenadine and charge with CO2 in an iSi Twist and Sparkle

Pass the soda to the left hand side
February 9th, 2011
01:30 PM ET
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It's not enough to fizz with carbonation and taste sweet.

For years, drinks have been infused with promises of electrolytes, caffeine and instant energy. But now, some sodas and other concoctions are offering the opposite of Red Bulls and Four Lokos - they slow things down.

As more sedating sodas enter the market, some beverage makers have taken relaxation to another level by producing sodas laced with marijuana or ingredients to mimic that drug.

"Everyone is looking for some effect somewhere," said Dr. Matthew Seamon, assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy at Nova Southeastern University.

Beverages such as Malava Novocaine, Drank, Unwind, Mary Jane's Relaxing Soda and Slow Cow (sold in Canada) are marketed as helping people unwind.

Read the rest of "Anti-energy drinks: Relaxation in a can""on CNN Health.

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Filed under: Bite • Products • Sip • Trends

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