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Plus crawfish boils return to Bayou Bakery. By Anna Spiegel
Want to eat like the animals at the National Zoo? Head to Zoofari on Thursday. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Beers and bowling: Pinstripes celebrates American Craft Beer WeekMonday through Friday brings a beery happy hour from 3 to 7, and again from 9 to close, with $3 brews from Victory Brewing Company, Port City, DC Brau, and more in the bar, bowling and bocce areas, and outdoor patios. On Thursday the focus turns to local 3 Stars Brewing with a social from 5 to 7 featuring samples of the beers, snacks, and a chance to meet the brewery’s team. No reservations are required.

Free ice cream: Mark your calendars: Local Häagen-Dazs locations offer free ice cream cones on Tuesday. Stop in from 4 to 8 for a single scoop of any flavor, including two new gelatos: caramelized banana chip and tiramisu.

Wine dinner: If Sancerre is your region of choice, head to Bastille on Tuesday for a dinner devoted to the Loire Valley wines. A five-course menu pairs dishes with whites, reds, and rosés from different producers ($119 per person).

Wine tasting and/or dinner: Alba Osteria plans two events around Manincor Wine Estate on Wednesday, a producer from the Alto Adige region of Northern Italy. First you can attend a tasting from 6 to 7 with three wines paired with small plates for $22. Then at 7:30 guests can opt for a five-course pairing dinner for $100 per person.

Taste of the embassies: Sample a global range of cooking at the Embassy Chef Challenge on Thursday, hosted at the Ronald Reagan Building. Over a dozen embassy chefs from Italy, Norway, Thailand, Botswana, and more come together to prepare their native cuisines alongside a range of beers, wines, and spirits, and the crowd votes for their favorite. Tickets are $250 online.

Zoofari: Over 100 local restaurants gather at the National Zoo on Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 for the annual Zoofari celebration. In addition to all the eats you’ll find an auction, a grill-off, an international spectrum of wines and beers, and more. Tickets start at $175.

Aggio on the move: Chef Bryan Voltaggio pops up at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore on Thursday and Friday to preview Aggio’s upcoming Charm City location. Two seatings at 6 and 8:30 give guests a taste of the Italian fare and handmade pastas. Reserve a table by e-mailing audrey@woodberrykitchen.com.

Crawfish return: If you’ve been missing the crawfish boils at Bayou Bakery, you’ll only have to wait until Saturday at 5 for the first of the season. The Louisiana mud bugs steamed with corn, potatoes, and spices go for $12 to $14 per pound, and you can wash them down with plenty of Abita beers.

Berry fest: The annual Montgomery County Strawberry Festival returns on Saturday to the White Oak Middle School in Silver Spring from 10 to 4. You’ll find tons of local berries, ice cream, and strawberry-inspired eats, as well as kid-friendly activities such as a petting zoo and face painting. Ticket prices vary by activity.

Taste of Arlington: One of the bigger food-focused events in Northern Virginia goes down on Sunday* at the Taste of Arlington. Sample fare from more than 50 local restaurants, drop into the beer/wine garden or Corona tent for refreshments, and bring the kids for a number of family activities. The crowd can also vote for their favorite dish among the eight Restaurant Challenge semifinalists to pick who’ll go on to the finals and open the next Ballston restaurant. Online tickets for the festival start at $35.

Brunch for fitness: Get your morning workout and breakfast in one at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, which launches its fitness brunch on Sunday at 10. Held weekly in the garden, hotel guests and locals can attend an hourlong, high-intensity boot camp class, followed by brunch at Degrees with bottomless mimosas and live jazz. Reservations are $40 per person.

Presidential drinking: Mount Vernon hosts its Spring Wine Festival this weekend, and tickets are still available for Sunday from 6 to 9 only (unless you want to book a $1,200 VIP table instead of a $38 general admission pass). Guests take a wine-centered tour of the mansion and property before tasting, and can buy fruit and cheese separately.

Looking ahead:

Love lamb? The annual Lamb Jam Tour returns on Monday, May 19, from 6 to 9 at Eastern Market. Local chefs from 1789, Zaytinya, Water & Wall, and more battle to make the best lamb dish, while guests watch butchery demos, sip local brews, wines, and spirits, and vote for their favorite eats. Tickets start at $60 for general admission, $90 for VIP (which includes an hourlong pre-party).

* Updated to correct event date from Saturday to Sunday.

Posted at 03:15 PM/ET, 05/12/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus where to find all your margaritas and parties on Cinco de Mayo. By Anna Spiegel
Craft beer is the name of the drinking game this week with tons of events centered around the Savor festival. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Cinco de Mayo: Start the week off on a high note with plenty of margaritas and Mexican eats served at Cinco de Mayo celebrations across Washington. Some highlights for Monday included in our ultimate guide: a five-pork taco with a bacon “shell” from El Rey, $5 margarita specials at Masa 14 and other Richard Sandoval spots, El Chucho’s early opening with $3 Tecates, and more.

Big beer week: The popular Savor Craft Beer festival is sold out this weekend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have tons of sudsy fun at bars and restaurants hosting related events around the city all week. You might start out on Monday with a five-course dinner at Birch & Barley paired with nine Funkwerks brews at 7 ($70); continue on Tuesday by heading to Jack Rose for a beer-cocktail competition between Boulevard and 3 Stars breweries from 6 to 9 ($15 entry includes two drink tickets); or snack on $1 Rappahannock oysters all night at Meridian Pint during a DC Brau and Baxter Brewing tap takeover starting at 5. DCbeer.com has a stellar lineup of all the events.

Industry noche: Graffiato’s monthly Industry Takeover Night on Monday picks up the Cinco de Mayo theme, featuring chefs such as Seviche’s Anthony Lamas from Louisville, Kentucky, and Boston-based chef/restaurateur Michael Schlow (you can see a recipe for the fried chicken tacos he’ll serve here). As usual, the event runs from 10 PM to 1 AM, with a cash door fee of $10 partially benefiting La Cocina VA.

Spring into pork: Chef Kyle Bailey brings on “May-ham” at Birch & Barley/ChurckKey starting Tuesday, with a monthlong ode to pork. Starting this week, May 6 through May 11, you’ll find charcuterie boards with house-made hams, or a selection of swine treats including aged prosciutto and pork-butter-slathered bread. Going forward, groups of four-to-six guests can reserve a 20-pound suckling pig from Path Valley Farms—available Tuesday through Saturday—which Bailey stuffs with ramps and fennel, slow-roasts, and serves alongside sides like spring onion spaetzle ($95 per person, including beer pairings).

Biscuit bash: Bread lovers, your happy place is Art and Soul on Wednesday during a biscuit bash on the patio from 6 to 8. Five local toques will compete to win the crowd’s vote for who should be named Biscuit King or Queen. Rounding out the event: a whole lamb roast by Border Spring Farms, Rappahannock oysters, cocktails from Derek Brown, and more. Tickets are $55 and benefit Hospitality High.

Wine dinner: Head to the Capella hotel’s Grill Room on Thursday for a pairing dinner from chef Jakob Esko featuring Quintessa wines from Napa Valley. The dinner ($180 per person) starts at 6:30.

Food truck fest: The monthly Truckeroo festival returns on Friday to the Bullpen from 11 to 11. Bask in the sun with eats from 20-plus trucks, cold beers, cornhole, and more.

Mother’s Day: Treat the most important lady in your life to a celebration on Sunday. Check out our Mother’s Day dining guide for ideas of spots for brunch, and keep an eye out as we post gift guides, activities, and more this week.

Posted at 02:14 PM/ET, 05/05/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus eats and tunes at Sound Bites, a benefit for DC Central Kitchen. By Anna Spiegel
Sound Bites returns with food, drinks, and tunes this weekend to benefit DC Central Kitchen. Photograph via Facebook.

Heady eating: The Pig continues its Head to Toe dinner series on Monday with a five-course menu centered on the cranium. Dishes include Malaysian fish-head soup, lamb brain tacos, truffle-stuffed calf’s eyes, and more. Brave eaters can make reservations ($70) online.

All gold everything: Daikaya launches Golden Week on Monday, a seven-day Japanese holiday. Look for specials such as the sparkling Golden Week Fizz, strawberry birthday cake in honor of former Emperor Showa, and fried chicken with golden honey. Prices vary by item.

Beer launch: Chef Geoff Tracy teamed up with Port City Brewing for a specialty house beer: NorthWestAle, an easy-drinking American pale ale. Get the first taste on Tuesday at the New Mexico Avenue location, which hosts a party starting at 7. Both Tracy and Port City founder Bill Butcher will attend, and $20 tickets get you two beers and snacks such as sliders and maple-bacon cupcakes.

Spring drinking: Get a preview of spring beers at the Sixth & I Synagogue on Tuesday at 7. Chris O’Brien, author of Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World, leads the tasting of environmentally friendly suds from DC BrauBaying Hound, and more. Tickets are $25 in advance.

The Backyard opens: Love al fresco barbecue? Then head to the reopening of Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue on Thursday. The summer-long pop-up on the lawn of the National Building Museum serves a picnic-style menu with goodies including barbecue beef and chicken sandwiches, smoked meats, cold beer, slaw, and potato salad. Also in the mix: games such as cornhole and Jenga, live music, and more.

Sake science: Master sake sommelier Tiffany Dawn Soto leads a seminar on the science of sake on Thursday at Baltimore’s Maryland Science Center. The evening course, from 7 to 9, includes sake 101, samples, and help navigating menus. Tickets are $50 per person.

Drive-by dinner: The Union Market Drive-In movie series continues this Friday with the ’80s classic Diner. The parking lot opens at 6 for the 8 o’clock show ($10 per car), so you’ll have plenty of time to load up on frozen drinks from Suburbia and themed eats from market vendors.

Food fest: The National Harbor Wine & Food Festival returns on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 6. The major fest along the Potomac River boasts all-you-can-taste wine, beer, and spirits; a cooking stage with demonstrations by Mike IsabellaBryan Voltaggio, and other chefs; menu tastings; and more. Ticket prices vary by package.

Chesapeake celebration: Grapeseed hosts ChessieFest on Saturday from noon to 3. Chessie the Chesapeake Bay monster will not be served, but you’ll find local oysters, bluefish, clams, and other seafood, wines and beers, a raffle, and more. Tickets are $25 in advance.

Road trip: If you’re looking to get out of town this weekend, the barbecue festival at Early Mountain Vineyards can be a good excuse. The picturesque Madison, Virginia, winery teams up with the Barbecue Exchange and Charlotesville’s Champion Brewery for a Sunday afternoon filled with wine, beer, and pork from 1 to 4. Tickets are $20, and entry is free for kids under 5.

Go Greek: The two-week-long Greek Easter celebration at Zaytinya culminates on Sunday when the restaurant transforms into anagorá, or Greek market. Vendors such as Demeter’s Pantry and the Mediterranean Way will sell products such as honey, oils, and salts; guests can sample Greek wines and brandies from importers; and the Pepe food truck will be stationed outside for lamb-shoulder sandwiches. Entry is free.

Eats and tunes: The fifth annual Sound Bites returns on Sunday to the Ronald Reagan Building’s Woodrow Wilson Plaza from 1 to 5. The benefit for DC Central Kitchen brings eats and drinks from 25 local restaurants, live music, wines and beers, a cocktail “mix-off,” and other fun. Tickets are $65 per person online.

Posted at 02:15 PM/ET, 04/28/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus Bethesda Row Restaurant Week. By Anna Spiegel
Load up on spring brews at Capitol City Brewing Company’s beer fest this weekend. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Happy birthday, Del Campo: Chef Victor Albisu’s South American restaurant celebrates its first birthday with a tango dance party on Tuesday. Stop in between 7 and 10 for dancing, cocktails, snacks, and more. Tickets are $55 and can be ordered by calling 202-289-7377 or e-mailing events@delcampodc.com.

Hot happy hour: Those looking to spice up their Tuesday evening can head to Right Proper Brewing Company for happy hour with locally made Glover’s Pepper Sauce. From 5 to 8 you’ll find wings made with the condiment, samples of hot sauce flavors from chef/producer Jamie Glover, and $1 off all house beers.

Brews and bacon: Love pork and beer? Belga Cafe has a special dinner for you on Tuesday at 6:30, centered on Belgian ales and bacon. Five courses include dishes such as bacon-wrapped oysters and roast pheasant with bacon shavings, each paired with a different beer ($59 per person).

Celebrity chef dinner: The first leg of the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour dinner comes to Kapnos on Wednesday. Visiting toques including Zahav’s Michael Solomonov from Philadelphia join forces with local notables such as host Mike Isabella and Scott Drewno for the meal. Tickets can be reserved online for $200 per person.

Artistic happy hour: Logan Tavern hosts a “meet the artist” happy hour on Wednesday from 5 to 7, with complimentary snacks and discounted drinks celebrating an exhibit by local artist Heidi Phelps. Sip cocktails inspired by Phelps’s art, such as one made with gluten-free gin and house-made rosewater, as you listen to Phelps talk about her pieces.

Dine out for a cause: The Dining Out for Life campaign returns to local restaurants on Thursday, where participating eateries will donate anywhere from 25 to 100 percent of sales to Food & Friends’s efforts to assist those living with HIV/AIDS. See the full list and the contribution percentages online.

A chef’s charity returns: The eighth annual World Festival from chef Art Smith’s national nonprofit, Common Threads, resumes on Thursday after a two-year hiatus. The event, held from 6 to 9 at the Liaison Capitol Hill, brings together 20-plus chefs and mixologists who create a global spectrum of drinks and eats. Tickets ($150) are available online.

Rockfish roast: Chef Todd Gray and his team launch a seasonal grilling/roasting series at Equinox on Thursday. The theme of the first: a Chesapeake Bay rockfish roast, which begins at 6 with beers and local oysters before the family-style seated dinner. Reservations ($95, all-inclusive) are required.

French Market encore: Georgetown’s annual French Market returns to the Book Hill neighborhood on Friday and Saturday from 10 to 5. The area’s many galleries, salons, and shops will offer specials and sales, while restaurants and cafes offer Francophile fare such as macarons, grilled merguez sausages, crepes, and more.

Restaurant-hop in Bethesda: Restaurant Week returns to Bethesda Row Monday through Sunday. The 16 participating restaurants, including Jaleo and Luke’s Lobster, will offer three-course lunches for $15 and dinners for $30.

Eat more oysters: The seventh annual Oyster Fest returns to Hank’s Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle on Saturday from 11 to 3. The all-inclusive tickets ($80) allow access to all-you-can-eat raw, fried, and barbecued oysters, popcorn shrimp, bottomless draft beers, and more. Tickets are available online.

Boil more crawfish: The annual Crawfish Boil goes down on Saturday at Pearl Dive, offering an unlimited amount of crawfish and Abita beers. Two seatings—from noon to 2 and 2:30 to 4:30—are available; tickets are $65 for each.

Carb-loaders welcome: Running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon on Sunday, or just really love pasta? Stop by Urbana on Saturday evening for all-you-can-eat pastas made with power veggies such as kale and sweet potatoes ($20 per person). Choices include whole-wheat bucatini with roasted tomatoes and arugula pesto, sweet potato gnocchi with grilled salmon, and kale gemelli with cauliflower and capers.

Spring beer fest: Forget Oktoberfest—Capitol City Brewing Company throws its first spring beer festival on Saturday at the Village at Shirlington from noon to 7. Beer fans can try more than 200 styles of beer from 45 breweries, snack on food from local vendors, and more. Tickets are $30 for drinkers, which include a tasting glass and ten beverage tickets; additional tickets are available for $1 each. Entry is free for non-drinkers and kids.

Posted at 12:09 PM/ET, 04/22/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus: DC Brau celebrates its third anniversary. By Anna Spiegel
Take a break from spring holiday eating this week for new spring cocktails at the W Hotel’s scenic P.O.V. Lounge. Photograph courtesy of the W Hotel Washington DC.

Plan your Passover: One of the most important Jewish holidays begins at sundown on Monday, and we have a roundup of restaurants celebrating thoughout the week. Check out a modern Seder dinner at DGS Delicatessen, a farm-to-table version at Equinox, BLT Steak’s truffled matzo-ball soup, and more.

Happy beery birthday: Local brewer DC Brau celebrates its third anniversary with a party at Meridian Pint on Tuesday, starting at 5. Plenty of its brews will be on draft—including less-common sips such as Yonder Cities, aged in red-wine barrels—and you can drink $3 pints of the Public, Citizen, and Corruption ales all night.

Commemorative dinner: Two culinary powerhouses combine forces on Wednesday during a special dinner at Toki Underground with Rose’s Luxury. The eight-course meal is hosted in memory of chef Thang Le, with proceeds going toward Mission Excellence. Tickets ($100 per person) can be reserved by e-mailing info@tokiunderground.com.

Taste of the sea: The tasting table dinner series has returned to Maple Ave, and you’ll find two centered on seafood on Wednesday and Thursday. Six guests are treated to five courses ($65 per person) starting at 7, plus an optional wine pairing for $25. Call for reservations.

Michelin stargazing: Curious to try fare from New York’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Rouge Tomate? You’ll have a chance on Thursday during a collaborative dinner at Blue Duck Tavern, starting at 7:30. Rouge chef Jeremy Bearman prepares a five-course meal themed around the idea of “health through food” ($175 per person). Call Blue Duck (202-419-6755) for reservations.

Drink in spring: The W Hotel’s scenic rooftop P.O.V. Lounge launches a spring cocktail menu on Thursday during a “rooftop riviera” soiree. You’ll sip five drinks at destination-themed bars, relax with Bliss spa treatments at several beauty stations, and more. Tickets are $55, with $10 of each sale going to the Washington Ballet.

Eat through Easter: Many restaurants are planning festive brunches for Easter this Sunday, so it can be hard to pick. We checked in with the top 25 eateries on our 100 Very Best list to help you decide between luxurious prix-fixe meals and casual brunch eats. Check in with us over the course of the week for more Easter coverage.

Planning Ahead

Celebrity chefs on tour: A limited number of tickets are still available for the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour dinner at Kapnos on Wednesday, April 23. Visiting toques including Michael Solomonov of Zahav in Philadelphia join with local notables such as host chef Mike Isabella and Scott Drewno of the Source for the meal; spaces can be reserved online for $200 per person.

Posted at 02:49 PM/ET, 04/14/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Trying one of the swankiest cocktail courses around. By Carol Ross Joynt

Bar manager Orcun Turkay leads the cocktail classes inside the elegant St. Regis. Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.

It’s become routine to visit bars where the bartender makes a flourish out of meticulously crafting a cocktail, component by component. But what about walking into a bar and doing it yourself? The St. Regis Hotel has introduced a monthly Saturday-afternoon cocktail class at which patrons mix their own drinks, learn the ABCs of the recipes, and, of course, drink them, too.

The first class, a few weeks ago, focused on classics such as the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and French 75, and one for the current season: a Japanese-whiskey-based Cherry Blossom. The class has room for ten participants to sit at the bar (plus room for overflow), where beverage director Orcun Turkay lays out all the necessary ingredients and tools: jiggers, strainers, shakers, and an array of glasses suited to each drink, which he explains how and when to use.

Turkay offers tips and tricks that help both novices—always use the freshest egg whites in drinks for a creamy foam, for instance—and more seasoned home bartenders, such as which drinks to stir and which to shake and why, James Bond notwithstanding. For some, drinking four cocktails in the middle of the afternoon may seem a bit much, but the pace is slow, and it’s possible to make the drinks as potent or as weak as you wish. (Tip: It’s a good idea to plan to walk or cab home.) The class spanned two hours and included the occasional bite-size portion of pork belly flatbread, lobster bruschetta, and Croque Monsieur.

The next class— Saturday, April 19—will focus on the Bloody Mary, which, according to St. Regis legend, was created in 1934 at the King Cole Bar, tucked inside the hotel chain’s New York flagship. Besides recipes you’ll learn the history behind the beverage. A fun fact in advance: Because bartenders were timid about using the word “bloody,” the brunch time favorite was initially called a “Red Snapper.”

Classes begin at 2 PM ($70 per person), and include a copy of the St. Regis Bloody Mary book. Call 202-638-2626 for reservations.

Posted at 01:11 PM/ET, 04/11/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Toki Underground and Rose’s Luxury join forces for a commemorative meal. By Anna Spiegel
Erik Bruner-Yang and Aaron Silverman team up for a dinner in memory of chef Thang Le, who prepared a beautiful Chinese New Year meal (above) before his passing in 2012. Photograph by Erik Uecke.

If you think finding a seat at Toki Underground or Rose’s Luxury is tough, you can bet a collaborative dinner between the restaurants’ chef/owners will be a sought-after reservation. Toki toque Erik Bruner-Yang and Rose’s Aaron Silverman are joining forces for a meal on April 16. The dinner is hosted in memory of chef Thang Le, who passed away in 2012, and will partially benefit the nonprofit Mission Excellence, an after-school program for inner-city youths.

The meal will be held at Toki Underground, where Le last cooked. The chefs have designed eight courses (see the menu below), with an optional beverage pairing. Reservations are $100 each, and can be made by e-mailing info@tokiunderground.com. Better book soon.

The Second Annual Bel’le Dinner

nam prik oysters

nam khao crudo

congee | quinoa | pig’s tongue

“spring vegetables”

homemade sourdough and fresh cheese

pork | prawn

local fish

roasted grapes | bamboo shoots

whole quail

seven treasure sticky rice

oolong panna cotta

Posted at 12:04 PM/ET, 04/09/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus a historical look at brewing in the District—with samples. By Anna Spiegel
The monthly food truck festival Truckeroo returns on Friday. Photograph by Kyle Gustafson.

Cherries on top: The cherry blossoms have yet to peak, but dining and drinking specials related to the national festival are going strong. Check out our updated list of all the offerings, from cherry cocktails to Japanese-inspired specials and sake tastings.

Beer day: As if you needed another excuse to soak up suds, Monday is National Beer Day! City Tap House celebrates by offering rye-infused beers, special whiskey cocktails, and bites such as a French dip with a beer-infused dipping jus. The event is free; most beers cost between $6 and $10.

Restaurant party: Graffiato’s monthly industry night returns on Monday from 10 to 1, this time with a local lineup that includes bites from chef Haidar Karoum (Proof/Estadio/Doi Moi) and Zentan’s Jennifer Nguyen and drinks by Founding Farmers beverage director Jon Arroyo. There’s a $10 cover charge (donated to charity) as usual.

Pick your pinot: Vinoteca continues its spring wine series on Tuesday from 7 to 8:30 with a class dedicated to Pinot Noirs from around the globe. Learn about Pinots from various old- and new-world regions while sampling the wines and snacks. Reservations are $40, and made by calling the restaurant.

Historical brewing: Author Garrett Peck of the newly published Capital Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in Washington D.C. discusses one of his favorite topic at the Warehouse Theatre on Wednesday from 6:30 to 8. You’ll sip samples of local brews and a beer-tail and snack on appetizers, and Peck will sign copies of his book ($35).

Tiki party: It may not feel like summer yet, but Trummer’s on Main is getting into the warm-weather mood with a patio tiki party on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30. You’ll sip drinks such as pineapple-vanilla margs and white-peach sangria, sample chicken satays and salted grilled pineapple, and listen to live music. Tickets ($32) can be reserved by calling the restaurant.

Patio party: Casa Luca opens its sidewalk patio on Thursday (weather permitting) with a casual party from 5 to 7. Drop by for cocktails, rosé, and complimentary spring bites.

Truckeroo season begins: It’s baaack! Truckeroo returns to the Bullpen on Friday from 11 to 11, featuring tons of food trucks, live music, cold beer, cornhole, and more. Look for monthly appearances through early fall.

Bacon and beer fest: Love pork and brews? Apparently you’re not alone—Saturday’s Bacon and Beer Festival at Penn Social is sold out. The good news: You can get on a waitlist for tickets (starting at $45) to gain access to all the brews and bacon.

Beer fest: This week has plenty for brew fans, including the biggest this weekend: the DC Beer Festival at Nationals Park on Saturday. Two sessions (1 to 4 and 6 to 9) offer 120 kinds of beers from 60 craft breweries, along with beer-friendly eats, live music, games, and more. Admission is $40 and includes unlimited tastings, with food sold separately.

Posted at 02:53 PM/ET, 04/07/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus: BlackSalt hosts an Oregon wine and seafood pairing. By Anna Spiegel
P.J. Clarke’s launches its summer-long patio happy hour with 50-cent oysters. Photograph courtesy of P.J. Clarke’s.

Taste of the Nation: Share Our Strength’s annual fundraiser to end childhood hunger in America returns to the National Building Museum on Monday. While tickets are no longer available online, passes for the all-star culinary event can be purchased at the door for $125 (general admission) or $165 (VIP).

Free cocktails: Yep, sounds good. Bar Pilar teams up with Brightest Young Things and Tanqueray gin for a Tonight We Tanqueray spring cocktail tasting on Tuesday from 5:30 to 7. Make sure to RSVP (and show up early) for access.

Oysters on the half (off) shell: The week just gets better for deals. P.J. Clarke’s debuts its patio on Tuesday from 5 to 8 with 50-cent oysters and $4 Port City brews. You’ll find the same deal throughout the summer on Tuesdays from 2:45 to 7, because come August, 3 is a perfectly acceptable time to start drinking.

Wine and seafood dinner: Oregon’s Big Table Farm winery comes to BlackSalt on Tuesday for a four-course dinner at 7. Dishes including wild Alaskan sablefish with house noodles and pho broth will be paired with 5 varietals, including new releases and sold-out vintages. Reservations are $90.

Barkers are back: Bring your four-legged friend to Jackson 20 on Thursday between 5 and 8 for the return of doggie happy hour. Humans can sip discount drinks and snack on deviled eggs, ham-and-corn fritters, barbecue sliders, and more. The event continues on Thursdays throughout the summer.

Dinner (party!): Richard Sandoval’s newest restaurant, Toro Toro, officially debuts on Saturday with a party featuring internationally known deejay Robbie Rivera. Fill up on pan-Latin steakhouse fare and then dance from 10 to 3 in the eatery’s subterranean lounge. Tickets are $30; dinner reservations can be booked separately.

Ewes and brews: Say hello to spring on Saturday at Art and Soul by feasting on Colorado lamb and beer. The event starts at 7 with snacks and drinks from Great Divide Brewing Company, followed by a three-course family-style meal starring oysters, lobster salad, various lamb preparations, and more. Tickets are $75.

Posted at 03:19 PM/ET, 03/31/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus Capella’s one year anniversary “rye-ception.” By Anna Spiegel
Consider this wine week between all the dinners, tastings, and specials around town. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Get ready for wine: There are tons of organized wine activities this week (see below), but Taste Around Town is more freestyle. The promotion, which runs from Monday through April 6, bills itself as “Restaurant Week for wine,” so you’ll find vino specials at participating eateries including Brasserie Beck and MXDC.

Eat à la Treme: Meet Treme cookbook author Lolis Eric Elie during a special dinner at Eatonville on Monday at 6:30, part of the restaurant’s ongoing Food & Folklore series. Cocktails and dishes from the book will be served, including stuffed pecan-crusted chicken roulette. Reservations are required.

Local cookbook launch: The Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture launches its first recipe compilation, The Arcadia Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook, at theHill Center on Tuesday from 7 to 9. Author JuJu Harris and Pamela Hess, Arcadia’s executive director, will discuss the work in advance of a signing. The event is free (though guests can pre-register).

Rosé-colored glasses: Time to start drinking like it’s spring (even if it’s snowing) on TuesdayVinoteca hosts a class on rosé wines from 7 to 8:30, from classics to bubbly, including snacks to nibble alongside. Reservations are $40 per person.

Beer or wine: The Daily Dish pits grapes against hops in a competitive dinner on Tuesday at 6. The four-course meal is paired with different Flying Dog brews and vines from Virginia’s Breaux Vineyards, and guests get to vote for their favorites. The event is $65 per person.

Happy Capella-versary: The Capella Georgetown celebrates its one-year anniversary on Wednesday with a “rye-ception” in the Rye Bar. Each guest will receive a gratis spring cocktail alongside passed hors d’oeuvres.

Springtime vino: Black’s Bar & Kitchen hosts a spring wine dinner with California’s Stonestreet Winery on Wednesday at 7. Viticultural enologist (best job title ever?) and winemakerKristina Werner will discuss each wine paired with the five-course meal. Reservations are $120 per person.

Vin din: Fancy a French wine dinner? Head to Bastille on Thursday at 6:30 for a five-course meal paired with varietals from Vignobles Comtes von Neipperg, which is composed of eight Bordeaux vineyards. The meal is $129 per person (or $59 sans wine).

Rogue wines: Chef RJ Cooper partners with one of his favorite winemakers, Matthias Pippig of Sanguis Wines in Santa Barbra, California for a wine dinner on Thursday at Rogue 24. The collaborative meal is $100 per person, all inclusive, with reservations available by e-mailing gorogue@rogue24.com or calling 202-408-9724.

Grapes from the seed: In more wine this week, Grapeseed in Bethesda joins independent Washington State wineries Novelty Hill and Januik Wine on Thursday at 6:30 for a four-course meal. Reservations are $95 per person.

Drink more whiskey: Looking for a wallet-friendly tasting/break from wine this week? Try the $5 whiskey one at Little Miss Whiskey’s on Thursday at 7:30. Ewan Morgan, one of 14 “masters of whiskey” in the world, is on hand to guide drinkers through Bushmills, Bulleit, Dickel, and more. Tickets are available online.

Street-style Cubano: Chef Victor Albisu heads another street food class at Del Campo on Saturday from noon to 3, this time focusing on Cuban fare. Learn to make dishes such as ham croquetas, Cuban sandwiches, empanadas, and more while sipping cocktails alongside samples of the dishes ($98 per person).

Italian wine dinner: Wind down a very wine-y week on Sunday at Al Dente with a wine dinner at 6, featuring varietals from Abruzzo’s Marramiero Winery in Central Italy. Five courses such as garlic bread topped with stewed clams and spaghetti alla chitarra are paired with the wines. The meal is $75 per person.

Posted at 03:52 PM/ET, 03/24/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()