Skip the tricks this year and go straight for the treats. At these restaurants, you’ll find Halloween specials that bring out your inner kid. Try a monstrous selection of tongues, brains, and eyeballs, go for a poisonous-sounding cocktail—or, for the faint-hearted, dig into a sweet jack-o’-lantern dessert.
Like a Cole Porter song, this Falls Church dining room has its eyes on you—in the form of a frozen, fruit-drizzled dessert. Pastry chef Anthony Chavez’s Eye Scream ($10) features two scoops of pistachio mousse blanketed in Valrhona white chocolate with raspberry-lychee coulis in the form of bloodshot veins. It’s available through the end of October.
• Buzz Bakery
Even the most nightmarish night of the year can’t escape the cupcake craze. At this Slaters Lane bakery/cafe, indulge in autumnal flavors ($2.75 each) such as pumpkin, garnished with candied pepitas; caramel apple; and Guinness. This week, pastry chef Josh Short introduces his Ghouls and Goblin cupcakes ($4.25) along with house-made marshmallow ghosts ($1.95 a bag). There are also Halloween cookie kits with cookies, frosting, and sprinkles included ($7.95 each). On October 29 from 3 to 6, kids can decorate cookies and take part in the annual Boo-Fest party, and adults get a free hot cider.
On Halloween night, swing by this Clarendon gastropub for some grown-up trick-or-treating. Specialty cocktails include the Poisoned Apple ($9), a blend of Svedka vodka and Apple Pucker in a glass garnished with Pop Rocks and gummy worms. Zombie Punch ($9) features two rums, Triple Sec, and raspberry syrup, while the Bloody Orange Margarita ($10) has Sauza tequila, Triple Sec, lime, and a blood-orange purée. If you’re feeling peckish, try the roundup of Halloween dishes ($5 each) from chef Barry Koslow: deviled eggs, blood sausage over sauerkraut, and tacos with tongue.
• The Majestic
This sedate Old Town dining room has a few teeth-rotting goodies up its sleeve this season, such as chef Shannon Overmiller’s Pumpkin-Bloody bundt cake ($7.50) topped with white marzipan ghosts and dripping with red-cherry/port sauce. On Halloween night, the restaurant’s house-made flavored sodas ($3) will be garnished with gummy eyeballs.
In Latin America, El Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a three-day holiday that celebrates the lives of deceased relatives with food, candles, and flowers. In DC’s Penn Quarter, the Mexican small-plates restaurant Oyamel extends the tradition to a week. From October 26 to November 1, there’ll be special cocktails, a tamale cart on the patio, and decor that reflects Latin traditions, including marigolds, candles, and an altar. Marigolds reappear on the special Day of the Dead menu (small plates $5 to $7.50), too—in dishes such as sopa de calabaza con carnitas, a butternut-squash soup with cinnamon, habañeros, and fried pork. Or try a Mexico City-inspired tamale with Chihuahua cheese, tomatillo sauce, and roasted poblanos. At the bar, a special cocktail, the Sloe Dead Fizz ($5), is made with Plymouth sloe gin, Presidente Mexican brandy, Chartreuse, lemon juice, and egg white.