Nycci Nellis, special to wtop.com
WASHINGTON – The rhythmic thumping and banging of drums and huge, dancing dragons snaking through throngs of celebrants signify the traditional launch of Chinese New Year’s celebrations.
At The Source by Wolfgang Puck, located in the same building as the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C., the cacophony of sound and color also signifies the return of an annual dining event to mark the start of Chinese New Year. This year, the event included a visit by Chef Wolfgang Puck himself.
“We have to celebrate Chinese New Year because it’s a lot of fun, and it’s different. We give people a great reason to go out.” Puck says. “I love Chinese New Years with all the dragon dancers and the drums.”
Six years ago, Puck launched The Source specifically to introduce his signature Asian fusion dining concept to D.C. He topped off the concept by tapping executive chef Scott Drewno, who had worked for him for six years, to lead the restaurant. Since then, both the award-winning Source and Chef Drewno have become synonymous with fine dining in the nation’s capital.
“I really love Chinese food, I really love Japanese food too, but I thought to just open up another steakhouse made no sense,” Puck says.
On Monday evening, Puck and Drewno teamed up to kick off the two-week celebration of “The Year of the Snake” at The Source. Guests were treated to a “Year of the Snake” tasting menu featuring tea-smoked snakehead fish — a lot more appealing than its name, as I can personally attest — plus crispy whole quail, lobster and dumplings, which the Chinese traditionally consider to be a symbol luck, wealth and prosperity.
The Chinese New Year celebration continues at The Source through Saturday, Feb. 23. The six-course Year of the Snake tasting menu is $135 per person or $185 per person with wine pairings.