Sunday, October 28, 2018

Française Dinner 2019!

Please join us Saturday, March 9, 2019, at 6 pm.

We are pleased to return to Gadsby's Tavern, 134 N Royal St, Alexandria, VA 22314, for 2019!

As of December 15, 2018, we are SOLD OUT. Email to be added to the waitlist.

This year's ticket price is $65 and covers a three-course dinner, a champagne toast, and non-alcoholic beverages (soft drinks, iced tea, coffee). A cash bar will be available.

The menu selections:

First Course
Tavern Salad and Sally Lunn Bread – Mixed field greens with red grapes, julienne carrots, red onions, drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette

Entrées (Choice of one)

Prime Rib – A hearty cut of prime beef, cooked to a perfect medium, served with Yorkshire pudding and horseradish sauce, mashed red potatoes, and vegetables du jour

Chicken Fontina – Boneless breast of chicken stuffed with spinach and fontina cheese, served with jasmine rice and vegetables du jour

Grilled Salmon – Fillet of salmon served with mashed red potatoes and vegetables du jour

Butternut Squash, Apple, and Goat Cheese Ravioli (vegetarian) – Tossed in a brown butter sauce

Desserts (Choice of one)

English Trifle

Banana Bread Pudding

Gingerbread with Cinnamon Icing

Your menu selections will be made to the wait staff at the dinner, but please let us know in advance if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies so we can give them a head's up and confer regarding substitutions if necessary.

Ticket sales close at 11:59 pm on February 28, 2019, and no changes or cancellations can be accepted after that time. There will be no refunds after that date, but we can permit an exchange of guests up to the moment of the dinner.


Payment will be accepted starting December 1, 2018. Paypal is preferred: use the “Send money to friends and family option” to send your payment to Jessica at Any charges for not using that option will be your responsibility, and anything received less than the full ticket price will be considered an unpaid reservation. Please comment in the note portion the full names of your party – this will be used to print placecards – and any dietary restrictions. If you prefer to pay by check, please email Jessica at to arrange payment. Checks must arrive by February 28, 2019, in order to allow time for payment to clear prior to the ticketing deadline.


For those coming into town, the DC area has a wide variety of hotels, and Historic Old Town Alexandria has walkable options currently showing rates between $150 and $200 per night for that weekend. A number of hotels for $100-150 are within a short cab ride or Uber/Lyft.


There are several parking facilities serving Old Town Alexandria, and most garage parking is $5 per day on weekends. The most convenient to Gadsby's are the Tavern Square Parking Garage, 418 Cameron Street, which has a pedestrian entrance in the same block of Royal Street as the Tavern, and the Market Square Parking Garage, 108 N. Fairfax Street, which is directly across Royal Street from the Tavern. Complete information on parking is available at


Alexandria is just south of Washington, DC (and was originally part of the deed that created the District of Columbia), easily accessible by car, train, and intercity bus for those coming from out of town. Buses arrive at Washington, DC's historic Union Station, as does Amtrak, and the Metro system is reasonably convenient and easy to navigate to Alexandria. The most convenient stop is King Street, on Metro's Yellow and Blue lines, and a free shuttle runs between the Metro and Old Town. If driving in on I-95, US Route 1 will bring you from the I-495 Capital Beltway into Old Town Alexandria. Email us if you are coming in from out of town and do not wish to rent a car: we will help work out transportation for both air and train arrivals.


All guests must be in appropriate attire for 1740-1800; formal wear is encouraged but optional. This 60 year range should provide a good variety of options, from Outlander to Jane Austen, so please do not think you must be full-on Marie Antoinette. No costume materials or changing space will be provided.


Jessica will be your primary hostess this year. Please direct all questions, dietary concerns, etc. to her at

Welcome, everyone, and I look forward to seeing you in March!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Francaise Dinner 2017!

This year, we ask that you make your dinner selections when you book your ticket.    A full booking includes the names of all people in your party, who is ordering what (Alice – chicken, chocolate cake; Bob – crab cakes, cheesecake), and payment.  Please also let us know any allergens the kitchen should be aware of at the time of the booking.  Knowing names, rather than strictly the numbers of each entrée, helps us help the servers, especially in the case of allergen disclosures.  We will work with you and the kitchen to ensure you get safe and tasty courses.

The ticket price is $65.  This includes bread service, a garden salad, your choice of entrée, your choice of dessert, a champagne toast, and non-alcoholic beverages (soft drinks, iced tea, coffee).  A cash bar will be available.

The menu selections:

Entrée (all served with roasted potatoes, unless otherwise specified, and seasonal vegetables)

Maryland-Style Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes – Lump crabmeat prepared in the traditional Maryland fashion, broiled to a golden brown

Free-Range Roasted Chicken – Roasted chicken served with a mushroom and peas risotto, finished with a morel mushroom sauce

Petit Filet and Shrimp – A petit filet matched with  grilled jumbo gulf shrimp


New York Style Cheesecake – Made with real cream cheese, whole eggs, sour cream, and vanilla in a graham cracker crust

Lovin' Spoonful Chocolate Cake – An intensely decadent double chocolate cake . . . Need we say more?

Ticket sales close on March 11, 2017.  No changes or cancellations can be accepted after 11:59 pm EST on March 14, 2017. All bookings must be sent to Isabella.  Her paypal email address is  Use the send money to friends and family option.  Any charges for not using that option are your responsibility.  Anything less than the full ticket price will be considered an unpaid reservation.


Historic Downtown Annapolis has a number of B&Bs and modern hotels within a short walk of O'Brien's.  Our recommendation is Loews Annapolis, 126 West Street, currently showing $199 per night.  This is a competitive rate for the historic district.  Several of the B&Bs have a two-night minimum stay.

Discount accommodations are available outside the historic district – a good cluster of name-brand hotels for about $89 a night is located at exit 21 off US Route 50, near the Annapolis Mall.  These are about 4 miles from the historic district.

New this year, we have rented a house in the historic district for Friday and Saturday nights, approximately 5 minutes on foot from O'Brien's.  We have 8 available slots for $111.10 each covering both nights.  Parking is NOT included, and we are taking pre-paid reservations for the two-night block ONLY (you may arrive Saturday, but you will pay for both nights).  Please contact Jessica directly ( for more information and to book a slot. 


There are several parking facilities serving Historic Downtown Annapolis.  The most convenient to O'Brien's is the Noah Hillman Parking Garage, 150 Gorman Street, immediately behind the restaurant.  A full map of parking options is available from the City of Annapolis at


Annapolis is located on the Chesapeake Bay, at the end of Interstate 97 heading south from Baltimore and along US Route 50, the major highway heading east toward the Eastern Shore and Atlantic Beaches.  It is about a 50 minute drive from Washington, DC, when traffic cooperates.  The most convenient airport is Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).  If you prefer Amtrak, the east coast line stops at BWI and at New Carrollton, Maryland.  Email us if you are coming in from out of town and do not wish to rent a car: we will help work out transportation for both air and train arrivals.

Driving Directions:

O'Brien's is located at 113 Main Street.  Main Street is one-way heading away from the docks – the opposite direction to how most of you will be arriving.  From US-50, take Exit 24 for Rowe Boulevard/Maryland 70 South.  At the edge of the historic district, Northwest Street will make a slight right off Rowe Boulevard.  This will put you into Church Circle (yes, there's a traffic circle; yes, it will be ok).  Coming out of the circle, you want to take Duke of Gloucester Street (the 4th street coming off the circle).  From there, signs will show you where to turn left for the Noah Hillman Garage or you may make a left on Green Street to access Main Street just below O'Brien's.

Friday, March 25, 2016

BWPW Photography's Pictures Are Ready!

Huzzah! Beth of BWPW Photography has finished editing and uploading photos from the dinner. She took a beautiful selection of pictures that do a wonderful job capturing the fun and finery of the night. Thank you so much Beth!

Photos are available at two links:

1) For those wishing to purchase non-watermarked full-size digital copies and physical prints (with prices starting at just $1.50 for digital files and $1.02 for prints), please use this link:

2) For those wishing to download images with a watermark in the corner free of charge, please use this link:

If you like one of Beth's photos, please consider purchasing a copy, as she was kind enough to volunteer her time to photograph this year's dinner.

If you would like to follow Beth online, here is her info:

Monday, March 14, 2016

Group Photo Preview

Francaise Dinner Group Photo
Photo taken by BWPW Photography (but editing only by me, there will be better edits forthcoming).

Thanks to all who attended the Fifth Annual Francaise Dinner! And for those of you who could not come this year, we missed you! Next time!

(More photos are on the way....)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Raffle Updates

We have a number of exciting prizes in this year's raffle! To keep up with the latest updates, see our prize page here.

And to remind folks, below are the raffle rules and ticket pricing. They are the same as last year.
1) Tickets can be purchased in the following tiers: 1 ticket for $3, 2 tickets for $5, 5 tickets for $10, and 12 tickets for $20. Tickets can only be purchased in cash on the night of the dinner.
2) All tickets will be placed in the same basket, from which we will draw a winner for each prize successively. After a ticket is drawn and its number is called, that ticket will be discarded.
3) The same person can win a maximum of two times, except for the grand prize. If a person's number is drawn a third time, that ticket will be discarded, and another one will be drawn. The grand prize (a $100 gift certificate to American Duchess shoes) will be drawn first and will not be eligible for additional prizes.
4) Please retain your ticket stubs until the prizes are drawn, as proof of your ticket numbers. We will not otherwise record which numbers have been purchased by which guests.
5) The order of prize drawings will be posted at the dinner.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

This Year's Group Photo

As with last year, we are going to take a group photo to commemorate our gathering. The logistics will be the same as last time, but here is a reminder:

We ask that you arrive by 6:15 (the doors open at 5:30) so that we may take the photograph before it gets too dark. If the weather permits, we will take the picture in the outdoor courtyard at Gadsby's Tavern Restaurant. Our photographer, Beth of BWPW Photography, will take shots both with her camera and with Gloria's camera as backup. The photo from Gloria's camera will be made available shortly after the dinner, while the photos from Beth's camera will be professionally edited and available on her website. (Copies with a small watermark will be offered free of charge, while copies without the watermark can be purchased according to the pricing posted here.) Since we have nearly 40 people attending the dinner, we ask that guests do not also attempt to take their own pictures of the whole group during this time, so as to avoid having people stand for an extended period.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Raffle and Goody Bag Donations

Would you like to donate to our raffle and/or to our goody bags? If so, read on!

As in past years, we will be holding a raffle to raise money to support this and future Francaise Dinners. Examples of donations from last year include period-appropriate jewelry and hair accessories, gift certificates to vendors frequented by historical costumers, fabric, and loose leaf tea. The raffle would not be possible without generous donations from attendees and small businesses.

Furthermore, we also are also seeking donations for the goody bags given to each guest. Past donations have included coupons, ribbon, and product samples. This is a great opportunity for folks to promote their businesses to a large audience of historical costumers and reenactors.

If you are interested in making a donation, please email Gloria at quincy134 AT gmail DOT com. A photo and description is required for any raffle donations, so that we may post them on our website. For goody bag donations, we will need to physically receive those by March 8th, so that they can be put in the bags before the dinner. Thank you!