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Bistro Event Will Benefit Women’s Shelter

All alone, charity is just another dry, good deed. Holding a tray of anemic hors d’oeuvres, it is the dreary host to a less-than- alluring “event.” But when philanthropy joins forces with live tunes, belly dancers, hookahs and true epicurean delight, it becomes a most beneficent entertainer.

Such will be the case on Saturday, when District Trust Charities holds “Anatolia,” a charitable event at Tabaq Bistro on U Street. Founded in 2005, the DTC is a group of young professionals, many of whom have worked on Capitol Hill or in the Bush administration, who proactively raise funds for area needs. Saturday’s benefit is for My Sister’s Place, a shelter for battered women and their children that has provided programs and education for more than 20 years.

The cover charge is $10; VIP passes are $80 and provide an open bar, but must be reserved today. However, everyone can enjoy the spectacular rooftop view from the glass terrace and sample the Aegean small plates.

Tabaq Bistro is located at 1336 U St. NW, near the U Street-Cardozo Metro stop on the Green Line. Doors open at 10 p.m. For directions, VIP reservations and other information, visit anatolia.

City Council Questions Anacostia Corporation

The Washington, D.C., City Council’s Committee on Economic Development held a public roundtable on the Anacostia Waterfront Corp. on Wednesday, two weeks after Councilmen Jack Evans and David Catania introduced legislation to eliminate the quasi-public development agency.

The corporation received high marks from local business owners and residents, who highlighted AWC’s willingness to work with local interests and commitment to three of the city’s goals: creating jobs, building affordable housing and becoming environmentally friendly.

But councilmembers focused more on whether the agency was being cost-efficient as it worked on a 20-year development plan to revitalize the Anacostia Waterfront. Councilman Kwame Brown, who chairs the committee, questioned AWC officials on the agency’s high payroll budget and even higher payout to consultants, while Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells focused his questions on whether the structure of the AWC was suited for its purpose of facilitating development.

AWC officials defended the organization, focusing on its progress on 10 plans, including developing land near the new Nationals baseball stadium and designing Canal Park at Second and M Streets Southeast. So many different projects — all with complex plans and budgets — means a large staff and top-notch consultants, they said.

But Brown said he believes the organization needs to be restructured — perhaps by placing the AWC’s responsibility in the mayor’s office. Hearings on the agency will be held throughout the spring.

The Anacostia Waterfront, Brown said, needs to be a world-class destination.

“It’s the most precious place in the world,” he said. “It’s the nation’s capital. It should look like Rome.”

— Evan Haine-Roberts and Emily Yehle