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Donald Trump eats dinner with Mitt Romney and Reince Priebus at Jean-Georges restaurant Photo credit: AP/ AP

Agency report

Donald Trump dined Tuesday at an elegant restaurant with Mitt Romney, his erstwhile rival now potential frontrunner in the race to become America’s next secretary of state.

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The dinner came as the president-elect got a shot in the arm by a manufacturing company announcing a deal to keep nearly 1,000 jobs in the Rust Belt.

It also came as the New York billionaire prepares to switch his attention from job interviews to a post-election victory tour.

“We will keep our companies and jobs in the US. Thanks Carrier,” Trump tweeted late Tuesday, referring to the Indiana-based air conditioning company that announced the deal.

The choice of Jean-Georges, a three-starred Michelin restaurant overlooking Central Park run by celebrity French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and popular with New York high society, was the clearest indication yet that Trump may select Romney as his chief diplomat.

Romney praises Trump

After the dinner, Romney offered words of praise for Trump that contrasted sharply with his past criticisms. He said he had been “impressed” by his acceptance speech and subsequent preparations for office, calling it “a wonderful evening.”

“I think you’re going to see America continue to lead the world in this century,” Romney told reporters.

He said he had “increasing hope that president-elect Trump is the very man who can lead us to that better future.”

The brash real estate tycoon and the former Republican nominee who lost the 2012 election to Barack Obama were joined by Trump’s incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus. They dined in full view of other diners, who included CNN’s senior White House correspondent.

In a restaurant where dinner starts at $148 a head, the Trump team said they feasted on garlic soup with thyme. It also included sauteed frog legs and scallops with caramelized cauliflower and a caper raisin emulsion.

For their main course, both the president-elect and Priebus opted for prime sirloin with a citrus glaze and carrots. As for Romney, he went for lamb chops with the mushroom bolognese sauce. All three had chocolate cake.