The Sunset Room by Wolfgang Puck: Renovation Creates Modern Space With Water Views

By Adele Chapin May 22, 2012, 4:32 PM EDT

The Sunset Room by Wolfgang Puck opened in April after a three-month renovation that updated the space with a more contemporary look.

Photo: Stephen Elliot/

After a three-month renovation, the Sunset Room by Wolfgang Puck at National Harbor has opened for events. The venue boasts the same sweeping Potomac River views, but with Wolfgang Puck Catering as the exclusive caterer. The revamped Sunset Room includes a new 5,100-square-foot kitchen, updated contemporary decor, and an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced food as overseen by The Source's executive chef, Scott Drewno, and the Sunset Room by Wolfgang Puck’s executive chef, Russell Smith.

The Sunset Room is the first property of its kind for Wolfgang Puck Catering. Usually the company works as a caterer for an internal client, but for this venture, Wolfgang Puck Catering will oversee and manage the venue. Architect Martin Vahtra of Projects Design updated the space by adding dark wood finishes, tiled walls, and sculptural metallic light fixtures for a contemporary look. The venue includes two main spaces, the Plaza View and the Harbor View. Both rooms include separate outdoor terraces, and atria that allow for check-in and breakout space. The Plaza View, with a circular accent on the ceiling and wraparound terrace, accommodates 250 standing guests, 150 seated guests without a dance floor, and 120 guests with a dance floor. The Harbor View accommodates 450 standing guests, 350 seated guests without a dance floor, and 250 sitting guests with a dance floor. The Harbor View and Plaza View rooms are lit with recessed lighting and adjustable pinspot lighting. Audiovisual components include a built-in audio system for CDs and MP3 players.

Event menus are custom for each client, and inspired by the client’s needs and what’s in season at local markets. The 5,100-squre-foot kitchen is stocked with every gadgets chefs might need, from a pizza oven to an ice cream maker. Sample items from the extensive menu include passed hors d’oeuvres such as spicy tuna tartare in a sesame miso cone with pickled ginger and bonito flakes, Maryland crab cakes with tomato relish and basil mayo, and a demitasse of asparagus soup with opal basil and mint. Entrees include pan-roasted Maryland rockfish with Maryland jumbo lump crab, bay oysters, vine ripened tomato and fennel, and pan-roasted filet mignon au poivre with potato puree, Maitake mushroom and bordelaise sauce. For dessert, The Source’s pastry chef Duane Copeland can whip up sweets such as caramelized Meyer lemon tart with blackberry merlot sauce or mango upside down cake with pineapple sauce.

The Sunset Room by Wolfgang Puck will cater events with passed hors d’oeuvres, tasting dinners with custom wine pairings, themed buffets, and chef action stations, and will also cater to offices in National Harbor.

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