Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 1, 2014

Night at the Museum

“Have you toured ‘Roads of Arabia?’ It’s unbelievable. You have to see it,” one museum lover gushed to a pal during last night’s 25th anniversary gala at Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., had been expected to attend but got stuck babysitting her amendment to the defense bill late into the evening. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., made it, though.

Servers circled endlessly with Asian-themed cocktails (a rummy Shangri-La cooler and citrus-spiked Gangnam gimlet) whipped up by co-sponsor Moët Hennessy, though most folks seemed to fancy a spot of bubbly.

Night at the Museum

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“A little more champagne” was the most common refrain at the various free-flowing bars. (More 10-year-old Glenmorangie for HOH, thanks.)

Traditional dancers burned calories by bounding around the stage while patrons feasted on hors d’oeuvres: The Peking duck rolls (savory fowl, piquant spring onion, plummy sauce) were outstanding, the rosemary-speared lamb were very good and the horseradish-dabbed roast beef magnificently rare, but the steamed dumplings were hijacked by aggressively orange sauce.

“They make it look very easy,” one spectator quipped as the athletic pair pirouetted away.

Partygoers were dressed to the nines (note to self: Look into scoring a velvet tux) — none more so than our new fashion hero, Mr. Dexter Hu.

Night at the Museum

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Hu told HOH he was wearing the official Chinese Scottish tartan, which was created in 2006 to commemorate the strong connection between the two nations, in honor of his lovely U.K.-born bride.

Cultural treasures from kingdoms past called to us from every corner.

Night at the Museum

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Night at the Museum

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Night at the Museum

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Meanwhile, our fellow revelers couldn’t help but put themselves on display.

“I’m the most important Argentinean in Washington,” one rakish gent assured his date.

“She got pregnant … and never married,” one chatty Cathy shared with another about an absentee acquaintance.

“I take up a lot of space,” a guest of generous proportions announced to event staff as everyone was escorted to their seats for a fabulous three-course dinner.

Night at the Museum

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Attendees were sent home with a trio of collectible goodies, including two photo-filled tomes — Roads of Arabia and Chinese Art — as well as Cartier stationary.

The Roads of Arabia collection, which debuted earlier this month, will continue at the Sackler through February.

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