Dîner en Blanc’s D.C. launch brought a swarm of 1,500 people wearing only white to Yards Park for an “exclusive” pop-up dinner, part of an international phenomenon that began in Paris in 1988. The pay-to-play picnic that clogged Metro escalators and Instagram feeds was, at least, something different from the typical D.C. nightlife. Part of the intrigue was the build-up: snagging a membership, reviewing the rules, and finding a statement outfit.
On the night of the event, sweaty diners could be seen bumbling from their muster stations to the “secret location” carrying white picnic tables, chairs, tablecloths, coolers, grub, and materials for a tablescape inspired by Pinterest. Oh, and patience. Only pre-purchased wine and food was available on site, and it was easy to spend $300 on the affair.
Despite the pretension, there was still something awesome about this “cool kids only” schlep and fête. The scene was breathtaking, and the crowd refreshingly diverse. And would-be diners voted with their feet: A 7,000-person wait list is a sign Dîner en Blanc will be back.