MedStar National Rehabilitation Network will host its 5th annual Las Vegas Night benefit on Friday, May 2 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (1250 New York Ave., NW Washington, DC 20005) beginning at 6 p.m. The benefit will feature Texas hold ‘em Poker, Roulette, Black Jack, and Craps tables. Food and beverages will be provided throughout the night for all guests.

Tickets are available and range from $100 to $250. All proceeds from this event will go towards the network’s many programs helping those with disabilities including brain injury, spinal cord injury and stroke recovery.

Those who attend will get the chance to test their gambling skills all in good fun. There will be a raffle featuring fabulous prizes for attendees to bid on with their night’s winnings. A silent auction will also be held for guests to bid on throughout the evening. The goal of this event is to have fun while helping the patients of MedStar NRH and those with disabilities in the community.

To learn more about this event or to purchase tickets call 202-877-1781 or visit

About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network

The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network (MedStar NRH) is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury. Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.

The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.

Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, DC and at more than 40 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region. MedStar NRH is consistently ranked by physicians in U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s “Best Hospitals” for Rehabilitation, and is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.

For more on MedStar NRH and to find a location near you, log on to


About these ads

Sumeria Group DC Capitol Gala

383123_613865761974398_1869154618_nThe Capitol Gala is back again this spring at the Sphinx Club on Friday, April 25th.

Full open bar, light hors d’oeuvres, and music by DJ Esso.

Black tie optional attire.

Photos from last year!

Get your ticket here!

NPO Partners and Sponsors: The Madison, Streetwise, Boys and Girls Club, SquadUp, Uber, Tie Society, Frava, Social DC PR, Roxy J Events, and more to be named!

For more information on upcoming events or partnership opportunities, visit


April Tea Time


Tea Time, LLCWeLoveDC and FAIR Girls are joining together to present April’s Tea Timeevent on Thursday, April 24 at Ulysses Room (52 O Street NW).

This month’s event will feature unlimited cocktails by the incredibly talented Aaron Michael Del Giudice of Firefly, a live musical performance, and vendors with delectable foods and treats (many from Union Kitchen).

Tickets are $30 and a portion of proceeds will be donated to FAIR Girls, a local non-profit dedicated to preventing and ending exploitation through education and empowerment. Their signature economic empowerment program, JewelGirls, will be on display via beautiful and one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets, and rings designed by girl survivors of human trafficking and exploitation. Fifty percent of the proceeds from JewelGrils sales go directly back to the female artist, so you will be supporting her path to becoming Free, Aware, Inspired, Restored (FAIR)!

Dine Out On April 24th And Make A Difference

100 DC-Area Restaurants Donating a Significant Portion of Sales to Support Children and Adults Facing HIV/AIDS and Cancer


On Thursday, April 24th, diners across the Washington metro region will join hundreds of thousands of others from across North America to stand up against HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses by sitting down at restaurants participating in this year’s Dining Out for Life® fundraiser. More than 100 area restaurants have pledged to contribute 25% to 100% of that day’s proceeds to benefit Food & Friends’ clientsliving with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses throughout the National Capital Region.

When:  Thursday, April 24th

Where: Food & Friends is thrilled to have 100 restaurants on board, including those that are donating their entire evening’s proceeds to Food & Friends – Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant, Annie’s Paramount Steak House, and Ristorante Tosca. A complete list of participating restaurants can be found Reservations can be made on or through the restaurants directly.

More Info: Once again this year, Queen Force One, a shuttle bus of Drag Queens, will be visiting different restaurants throughout the evening. Last year, more than 25,000 diners, restaurants and volunteers participated in Dining Out for Life®, raising more than $225,000 to support Food & Friends’ mission.


Food & Friends is the only organization in the Washington Metropolitan area providing home-delivered meals, groceries and nutrition counseling to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses free of charge. Since 1988, Food & Friends has provided more than 17 million life-sustaining meals to more than 25,000 individuals. Our service area encompasses 5,346 square miles including the District of Columbia and 14 counties in Maryland and Virginia. For more information about Food & Friends, please visit or connect with us on FacebookTwitter (@foodandfriends), or Instagram (@foodandfriendsdc).

iCi Urban Bistro at Sofitel Lafayette Square

The cherry blossoms were just at their most beautiful as I sat down with Alexandra Byrne of the Sofitel to hear all about iCi Urban Bistro, the luxury hotel’s beautiful restaurant and bar. We headed to the patio to chat about their signature 30-minute lunch, the upcoming Easter brunch, and an art installation, all signatures of the Sofitel.

Situated at 15th and H, iCi Urban Bistro is located in the heart of power lunch territory. While the menu certainly comes with its fair share of high-end offerings–Peking duck and crab cakes, for example–the menu is unexpectedly creative, and not at all pretentious.

little black blog ici urban bistro

The 30-minute lunch is a go-to for K Streeters who want a square (literally), full meal at a reasonable price. The meal comes with four tastes: a soup, a salad, an entree, and a dessert, and I was impressed with the portion of Alexandra’s butternut squash soup, mesclun salad, salmon, and plum tart as it was set down for her.


I went a more traditional route, enjoying both a starter and an entree. As exaggerated as it may sound, the chicken crepes were the most exquisite thing I’ve had in a long time. It’s the only menu item that’s been around since the restaurant opened, and for good reason: buttery, perfectly executed crepes are wrapped around tender, flavorful chicken, and doused in a delicious tarragon and white wine cream sauce. Add in wild mushrooms, and the complex taste of the unassuming crepe takes the French favorite to an entirely new level.


To balance the heaviness of the crepe, I opted for the sea bass, one of the two items Executive Chef Franck Loquet lists as a light option (under 300 calories). It was also fantastic, with salsify and brussel sprouts adding an earthiness to the perfectly-cooked fish. Alexandra’s salmon looked very good as well, with a crisp skin that gave way to firm but tender flesh.


The dessert cart rolled around, and every item looked dainty, delicious, and sinful, just like in Paris. We tried a trio of desserts, including two of my favorites, millefeuille and opera cake. Millefeuille (French for “thousand leaves”) is flaky pastry dough with a crème pâtissière (pastry cream) center. It was buttery, rich, and wonderful. L’opera, which is layers of Joconde, or almond sponge cake, soaked in coffee and layered in with buttercream and ganache, was outstanding.


The third dessert on the tray was not a pasty, but instead a mango and coconut mousse. Light and delicate, its airy consistency and tropical fruit flavor were an excellent contrast to the millefeuille and opera.


As an extra treat, the waiter delivered a religieuse, which are named because they resemble a nun (perhaps after some champagne). They are adorable. The pastry chef Vincent Bitauld, who is in-house and makes every creation by hand, makes one round  chocolate-filled eclair and tops it with a smaller, cream-filled one to give it a human-like shape. The cream in between the two and chocolate glaze are reminiscent of the nun’s habit. A treat to both look at and eat!

So what’s on the horizon for iCi Urban Bistro, DC’s best kept secret for a serene, sumptuous lunch in the middle of a chaotic day in a chaotic part of town? They’ll be hosting their annual Easter brunch, which includes an Easter Egg hunt for the lucky kids of whatever posh parents bring them there for the holiday. They are accepting reservations for this festive event now.

As I departed the Sofitel, two separate groups of visitors speaking a combined four different languages strolled into the lobby. The effortlessly chic atmosphere, worldly clientele, and outstanding cuisine are what make iCi Urban Bistro such a must-visit destination for Washingtonians and visitors alike.

Address: 806 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 730-8700

Tahirih Justice Center Gala

IMG_8719 IMG_9302 IMG_9579 IMG_9628

Photo credit: Michael Colella of Colella Digital

The Washington Hilton hosted the Tahirih Justice Center for its 17th annual gala, and we stopped by to hear about the important causes for which the organization fights and stands.The Tahirih Justice Center is a nonprofit organization that works to protect immigrant women and girls from gender-based violence through legal servicesadvocacy, and public education programs. The large umbrella of services provided by Tahirih attract an expansive group of professionals and volunteers, all of whom came out for the evening to provide additional support and celebrate the successes of TJC.

The VIP reception included a swanky open bar and sumptuous passed hors d’oeuvres, which were enjoyed by patrons as they perused both the silent auction and the Amy Lin pearl sale.Starting three years ago, Tahirih partnered with Amy Lin’s Pearls & Jewelry to raise money to protect women and girls from violence. Each year, Amy Lin travels to the United States from Shanghai, China to sell high-quality discounted pearls at home events and office lobby events organized by Tahirih. The Tahirih Justice Center receives 40% of the entire sale. The TJC Gala pearl sale offered an impressive variety to shoppers, with hundreds of pearls of all sizes, shapes, and colors were on display.

Nearly 450 guests were present, including actress and advocate Debra Winger.The leading event sponsor was PepsiCo. The highlight of the program was a live interview of Courageous Voice Honoree, Mercy Cooper, with longtime NPR journalist and award-winning author, Barbara Bradley Hagerty. Meredith Vieira also declared her support through a specially recorded message for the audience. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard received the Congressional Leadership Award, and spoke to the audience about the critical work of Tahirih and the need for comprehensive immigration reform that gives immigrant women and girls the chance to break free from abusers.

The event raised critical funds for the protection of immigrant women and girls fleeing violence, and also exceeded the fundraising goal thanks to the generosity of the event sponsors, listed at


Of Wine and Words with The Reading Connection


We headed to the impressive Jones Day building downtown to celebrate The Reading Connection’s 10th annual Of Wine and Words, a foodie/philanthropy event benefiting literacy efforts.

The evening began with a VIP reception, which availed guests to champagne or two signature cocktails from one of the evening’s sponsors, Sixth Engine. Following the reception, guests headed to the rooftop, where several area restaurants were serving up fare at tasting stations. Restaurants included Artisan Confections, Circa, Open Road and Trio, Eventide Restaurant, Green Pig Bistro, The Hamilton, Lebanese Taverna, P.F. Chang’s, Rosa Mexicano.

For over 25 years, TRC has touched the lives of 15,000 local at-risk kids and has given out nearly 100,000 new books to those kids. Last year, TRC read with over 1,400 kids and gave them nearly 12,000 new books. TRC’s programs span the metro DC area, from DC to Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax County. The organization plans to expand to Maryland in its 25th anniversary year.

The Reading Connection (TRC), founded in 1989, is celebrating a quarter century of sharing the magic of reading!  TRC’s four literacy programs offer a continuum of services to encourage at-risk kids to spend more time reading and their families to make reading a family tradition. In fiscal year 2013, TRC gave away 11,500 books, reached more than 450 children in Read-Alouds, enrolled more than 650 children in the Book Club and held 67 workshops and trainings. Find out more at