If you think Michelle's Well-Toned Arms is a tired cliche, you're not in delirious love like The Washington Post. On the front page of Saturday's Style section was a frothy feature from Post food critic Tom Sietsema. The headline was "Dinner with the first lady, at well-sculpted arm's length: When a food critic is seated near Michelle Obama, more than the meal is reviewed."
It's a publicity coup for the new restaurant Barcelona in downtown Washington, now that the Post says "it's already received Obama buzz." But that was nothing compared to how the Postie poured clumps of clotted-creamy praise all over Mrs. Obama's bod. It began:
It’s true what they say about Michelle Obama. She has amazing arms. I saw this up close when she unfurled her bare right limb in front of me Thursday night, while the two of us were doing tapas at the jumping Barcelona on 14th Street NW.
Clearly the first lady works out, clearly she moisturizes and clearly L’Oréal should hire her as its pitchwoman after she leaves 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
“Ma’am, you rock,” I wanted to tell her, even though I was seated a table away from her party of eight, which included White House chef Sam Kass, and was separated by a table occupied by two Secret Service agents. (They ate, too, but didn’t drink anything stronger than soda.)
A food fan who has eaten around the world (Le Diplomate, Cafe Milano, Zentan) around town, the first eater’s better half and I hadn’t exactly planned on seeing each other. She was at Barcelona for what looked like a celebration, seated in the back of the Spanish restaurant’s private room; I was there for the last of three visits in my role as food critic for The Washington Post.
Sietsema explained that the "dinner with the first lady" headline was misleading, since "To be clear, our eyes never met...not once during my 90 minutes in the restaurant did she turn around."
That seems odd, but then, the whole encounter seems more coincidental...if you buy that this was a complete surprise. In any case, the lack of a meeting meant Sietsema wouldn't have to blush as he composed his front-page valentine:
As soon as I sat down, I spotted the reason for the abundant security. Even with her back to the crowd, the FLOTUS’s sleek coif, sleeveless dress (turquoise) and model posture gave away her identity.
My first instinct was to tweet the sighting — #TheSheBearIsLoose. My second impulse was to give the first lady, who enjoyed wine and dessert during dinner, her privacy. As it should, my news sense prevailed.
I had a third thought, too: Draped across a companion’s chair, Michelle Obama’s arm was the best review Solidcore — the workout studio that the first lady reportedly frequents — could ever hope for.