Eating Dinner Next to the Obamas

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One of the things about living in New York City is that you run into celebrities all the time and pay no attention. As it happens, my partner and I were meeting Sidney Mintz and his wife tonight at my neighborhood restaurant, Blue Hill. We wondered why the street was blocked off, a huge crowd gathered at one end, and secret servicemen all over the place.

The Obamas! At the next table! Six feet away! I can't tell you what they ate because Dan Barber cooked for them. But I saw the President pay the bill.

Turns out this was their promised night out, and the Republicans are already complaining that it cost the taxpayers too much. From the applause in the restaurant when they were leaving, the picture-taking mob in front of the restaurant, and the crowds lining 6th Avenue, this is one expense nobody minds. They looked like they were having fun. We did too.

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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