House Speaker John Boehner has dinner at Savona's Trattoria in Kingston
KINGSTON, N.Y. — The speaker was in the house — Stephen Savona’s restaurant.
John Boehner, an Ohio Republican who presides over the U.S. House of Representatives, hobnobbed with diners and ate a $26 New Zealand rack of lamb at Savona’s Trattoria in Kingston’s Rondout district Saturday night.
Savona said the Washington, D.C., bigwig sparked quite a stir, taking about 40 photographs with people and smoking a cigarette outside.
“I think it was cool for Kingston and the waterfront,” Savona said. “There was a bit of a buzz.”
Savona said the Secret Service contacted him a few days before, explaining what they needed and how many guests planned to show up.
Savona said they didn’t say who the 6:30 p.m. reservation was for, but he suspected it was Boehner because there were rumors he would be hosting a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook.
Gibson is running against Julian Schreibman, a Democrat from Stone Ridge, for the 19th Congressional District seat.
Stephanie Valle, a Gibson spokeswoman, confirmed Monday Boehner did host a 6 p.m. fundraiser for the congressman at a private residence in Glenford.
Valle said she was uncertain much was raised, but about 100 people attended the event.
Savona said Boehner arrived at his restaurant, with seven or so Secret Service agents it tow around 8:15 p.m. Boehner and three members of his staff sat at a table near a side door, Savona said. Continued...
Savona said he spoke to Boehner before and after his meal, which included Little Neck clams as an appetizer, costing $12.
“He said he knew what was going on in the kitchen because ‘I had been in the restaurant business myself,’” Savona said.
Savona added Boehner joked that maybe he should have stayed in that occupation “‘instead of getting into this crazy business.’”
Savona said that was the only reference Boehner made to politics.
Boehner queried Savona’s wife, Mayte Arguello Savona, on her pregnancy.
“He wanted to know when she was due,” said Savona, who added his wife is seven months pregnant.
Once his finished eating, Boehner greeted many of the 75 or so diners eating in the restaurant at time, Savona said. Most everybody, Savona said, knew who he was.
“He was really genuinely friendly,” Savona said.
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