'Supper Under the Stars' Shines

'Supper Under the Stars' Shines

A change in venue didn’t keep people away from the first “Supper Under the Stars.” The event, which was planned to be held at King Street Gardens, was moved into the Hilton Old Town because of the threat of inclement weather. The bad weather never came, but it was too late to turn back.

“It would have been nice to have it outside,” said Pat Taylor, manager of Imagine Artwear, who attended the event with her husband, Tim.

“Next week it will be outside, and it will be rocking,” said Carol Supplee, owner of Imagine Artwear.

Nevertheless, about 40 people attended the combination concert and dinner, which was co-sponsored by The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Events and the King Street Metro Enterprise Team (KSMET).

“It was one of those ideas that grew,” said Nina Tisara, owner of Photography of Tisara Inc. She said that they had been trying to get a vendor to sell sandwiches at lunch time in the King Street Gardens Park. “The park is looking spiffy. The rec department has done a great job.”

As they were hashing things over, Janet Barnett, Deputy Director of the Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Events, said, “Wouldn’t it be great to have supper under the stars?”

The idea stuck, and members of KSMET said that they would try out the concept. One of the vendors they had been meeting with about providing lunches was the Hilton Old Town. They agreed to provide the food for a series of “Suppers under the Stars.”

Hilton chef Brian Vossler created the menus, each of which has a different theme. The appropriate musical talent was selected to go along with the theme.

THIS PAST MONDAY, the theme was “American Barbecue.” The Colleen Shanley Band provided a mix of rock and blues, while guests enjoyed a menu of potato salad, mixed green salad, rosemary grilled lamb chops, mesquite grilled chicken breast, baked potato and corn “off the cob.” A nice variety of desserts completed the menu, along with coffees and teas.

Next Monday, Aug. 12, the theme will be “Celebrating Virginia.” Federal Blues will play some surf, rock ‘n roll and blues. Menu will be grilled asparagus with roasted peppers, penne pasta salad, crab cakes, grilled gulf shrimp, roasted vegetables, bliss potatoes, pole beans and a chef’s pastry display.

The following Monday, Aug. 19, the final concert in the series will be Orlando Phillips and The Players. This calypso and Caribbean band will play while diners enjoy a “Chef’s Special” menu: field greens with red onions, bell peppers and pineapple; Cajun-seasoned pasta salad; jerk-seasoned mahi mahi; blackened tenderloin tips on a skewer; jambalaya; roasted sweet plantains and a chef’s dessert display.

Ashley and Peter Spencer, who are both active in the Upper King Street Neighborhood Association, came out for the concert. Ashley said that they’ve eaten at Seagar’s before and have enjoyed the food as much as they did at the supper.

Shawn and Cassie McLaughlin brought their 7-week-old baby, Rosemary, to the concert and enjoyed the dinner.

Several people who attended the first event said that they were already registered for the remaining concerts. Pam McConnell, vice president of community banking for Virginia Commerce Bank, was there and said that she had registered for two of the three concerts. Marlin Lord has registered for all three concerts and said, “This is the beginning of wonderful things to come.”

Concerts will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at King Street Gardens Park, 1806 King St. In case of inclement weather, they will be moved across the street to the Hilton Old Town. Admission is $25 per event. Make check payable to KSMET and mail to 107 S. West St., #179, Alexandria, VA 22314. For more information, call 703-838-4844.