12|30 Restaurant & Champagne Lounge Exclusive Influencer & Press Diner Hosted by Raro Lae​

Yo! I know, I know, it’s been a MINUTE. No real excuses as to why, but just know I’ve been writing a lot for xoNecole.com. The xoNecole team has been so incredibly supportive of me. The positive energy I receive just through email and gchats and responses to my articles really inspire me to keep going. It fills me in a way that I need so much. Thank you!

Additionally, I’ve been mulling over how I want to re-enter my own blogging space: whether it’s a rebuild/rebrand or just to keep pushing through, I am still not sure. They say make your next move your best move, so that’s what I want to do.

However, I want to take this time to highlight the 12|30 Restaurant & Champagne Lounge exclusive influencer and media event that I was so pleased to attend.

12|30 Restaurant & Champagne Lounge Exclusive Influencer & Press Diner Hosted by Raro Lae


I first met Raro Lae out and about at events when I was doing coverage for DCWKLY and CultureFeed. As a TV Personality, CEO of RaroLae.com and influencer in her own right, she has gained a lot of success and respect here in the DMV. Her spirit has always been so warm and welcoming, and though she has way more experience at this whole “media” thing than I, she been willing to share her knowledge and even kiki it up with me whenever we see each other. So when I saw the invitation, I knew I had to be there to support her. 

Raro Lae (right) and blogger  Nichelle J  (middle)

Raro Lae (right) and blogger Nichelle J (middle)

When I arrived, after a cancelled Uber pool and while sweating from the 93 degree heat, the room was already full with influencers and media. 12|30 previously had a French inspired menu. They decided to close down for a period of time and rebrand to a more African infused menu because, in fact, the owners of the establishment are of African decent (smart move).

We were greeted with a list of hand crafted cocktails to choose from. Although I wasn’t drinking that night, I did get word that the Cucumber Cocktail was tasty despite being gin-based (I have intolerances to a lot of things, gin being one of them). 

12|30 Restaurant and Lounge Menu Relaunch

12|30 Restaurant and Lounge Menu Relaunch

Guests were also treated to hand-passed hors d'oeuvres including Chichinga (spicy beef suya), Domedo (pork shoulder) and Kelewele (spicy Ghanaian style plantains), all of which were well seasoned and pleasant to the tastebuds. After mixing and mingling near the bar—which my only “complaint” would be a lack of hooks under the bar for ladies like me to hang their oversized and overstuffed purses—it was time to begin the five-course tasting.


First up was the Summer Salad. I love an arugula salad. This one had strawberries, dehydrated mangos and goat cheese tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. 


Next, we were treated to two additional appetizers, the Ceviche and the Goat Tartare.

12|30 Ceviche

12|30 Ceviche

12|30 Goat Tartare

12|30 Goat Tartare

If anything, I was most impressed with the plating of the dishes. Everything looked gorgeous which only adds to the experience of dining in style.

Unfortunately, my motherly duties were calling. The event ran a little later than I had planned for, so I missed the last three courses. I was eagerly awaiting the Braised Oxytails—as a Jamaican, I love my oxtails and was looking forward to try it’s African cousin. The Goat Meat Raviolli also looked like it would have been an interesting surprise to my palette as well as the the desserts, Kose and Plaintain Sorbet. While I can’t speak to all of the dishes, I can say that everyone seemed to really enjoy the food and the ambiance. 

12|30 has an upsatiars lounge area as well as a super cute outdoor rooftop patio. The space would be perfect for hosting an event while catching some of the lingering summer rays.  

Thank you again to Raro Lae and 12|30 Restaurant & Champagne Lounge for hosting such a fun event. It was great to see some old and new faces alike.  

Check them out at https://www.1230dc.com/ located at 1230 9th Street, NW.