Monday, December 18, 2017

Française Dinner 2018!

Please join us March 17, 2018, at 6 pm.

We are pleased to return to Gadsby's Tavern, 134 N Royal St, Alexandria, VA 22314, for 2018!

This year's ticket price is $62 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 March 8, 2018, 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 January 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 March 3, 2018, 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 1750-1800; formal wear is optional. This 50 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.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Francaise Dinner 2017

We are pleased to announce the "Save the Date" for the 2017 Francaise Dinner! It will be held on March 18th, 2017 at 6 pm in Annapolis, Maryland at the O'Brien's Oyster Bar & Restaurant. O'Brien's is housed in an building dating back to 1774, the Tavern was originally called the Rose & Crown. It has gone through many name changes over the years, but it's almost always been a place to meet and have dinner. We will be in the upstairs banquet hall that has a fabulous fireplace.

We will start selling tickets in the Fall '16. Mark your calendars now to save the date!

It will be the day after the day where everyone wears green. ;:-)

Friday, March 25, 2016

That's All, Folks!

Thank you to everyone who attended the 5th Annual Francaise Dinner on March 12, 2016. Maggie, Stephanie, and I (Gloria) have had a wonderful time hosting this event these past two years. Unfortunately, we will not be able to host the dinner in 2017, but we expect a capable new group of organizers to take over from us and to make the event their own.

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....)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ticket Availability Update

As of this writing, we have an extremely limited number of tickets that have recently become available. If you are interested in purchasing, we must receive your payment by 10 AM EST on Saturday March 5th. Only PayPal will be accepted at this time. See here for the PayPal contact information.

Edited to add: the sales window is now closed. Thank you!