Pop-up tavern: Get into the Oktoberfest spirit at Trummer’s on Main, which launched an Austrian-themed pop-up tavern on Monday in the third-floor gallery (running through October 31). Sausages, schnitzel, and wine and beer from Austria are in the mix.
Happy Birthday, Tryst: The longtime Adams Morgan favorite turns 15 this month, and is celebrating this week through Monday, September 30. On the schedule: $1.50 cups of coffee (Tryst’s 1998 opening price), throwback menu items—Swedish Fish served in a large martini glass, anyone?—and more.
All-you-can-eat steak: Need we say more? BLT Steak hosts a charity soiree on Tuesday from 6 to 11 to bid farewell to summer and raise money for the National Children’s Hospital. Five local chefs, including 1789’s Anthony Lombardo and R.J. Cooper of Rogue 24 will tend grills laden with meats, seafood, and veggies. You’ll also find a popover station and a bar serving a variety of beers, wines, punches, and cocktails. Entry is $86, and can be reserved by calling 202-689-8989.
Gentiles welcome: Dino is still in summer Restaurant Week spirit, offering a three-course, “You don’t have to be Jewish” tasting through Thursday. The menu features Italian-Jewish dishes and recipes from owner Dean Gold’s family.
Beery events: Puns aside, there’s plenty on tap at ChurckKey this week. Tuesday brings a Perennial Artisan Ales cask takeover, while you’ll find a Goose Island “migration week extravaganza” on Wednesday starting at 4 with rare bottles and drafts from the Chicago-based brewery. Head over on Saturday for the DC celebration of Cantillon Zwanze Day, where special drafts and taste of the Zwanze 2013 will be available starting at noon.
Bye-bye, Backyard Barbecue: Hill Country’s pop-up at the National Building Museum enjoys its final days this week, starting on Thursday with outdoor live-band karaoke from the Harikaraoke Band from 5:30 to 8:30; gear up for singing with specials like pit-smoked brisket. The festivities culminate on Saturday for the last session from noon to 9.
Viva Mexico: Celebrate Mexican Independence Day Friday through Sunday at Oyamel. Special dishes and drinks for dinner and brunch include the likes of menudo, a tripe soup said to cure hangovers, and braised pork tamales.
Turkish delight: The American Turkish Association brings Turkish Restaurant Week back to Washington, starting Friday and running through Monday, September 23. Participating restaurants, including Zaytinya and Cafe Divan, offer three-course lunches for $18 and $30 four-course dinners, alongside other specials. Check out the full lineup on the event site.
Whisky and bivalves: Fancy Scotch and oysters? Black Jack hosts a tasting of both on Saturday from 3 to 5, where the shellfish will be paired with blended Scotch whiskeys, such as Kumamoto oysters and Compass Box Asyla. Beers and snacks are also available. Tickets are $45 and available online.
Pop-up alert: Hopefully Gristle, the new restaurant by former Pig chef Garret Fleming, tastes better than it sounds. Find out for yourself starting on Sunday, when the toque hosts a three-day pop-up at the charcuterie shop 3 Little Pigs. Call the market 202-726-0102 for more information about the meal, which consists of seven courses for $85 per person.
Outdoor wine fest: Head to downtown Crystal City on Sunday for Sip & Salsa, an al fresco wine festival featuring varietals from Spain, Portugal, Argentina, and more. You’ll also find live music, salsa dancing, and fare from local eateries. Tickets are $20 for the full tasting.
Chances are you’re back from extended Labor Day festivities and facing the reality that August (a.k.a. slacker month) is over. Beat any post-summer blues with a full lineup of weekend events, including a chocolate-centric charity event, cooking classes from two high-profile chefs, and Adams Morgan Day.
All hail the tomato: Jaleo’s Tomatina Festival returns to all three locations Thursday through September 15. (Note that festivities at the Bethesda location, which is under renovation, start later, on September 9.) Head over for summery dishes centered on the fruit, including heirloom tomato salad with Valdeón blue cheese, and seared octopus with caramelized tomatoes. A good drink bet for brunch: white ale mixed with tomato water, lime, and a cumin-salt rim.
Cocoa for a cause: This week’s big ticket event goes down Friday at the Mandarin Oriental: Charity in Chocolate, a benefit for the Heart of America Foundation. You’ll spend the first part of the evening socializing and snacking from tables helmed by more than 50 Washington restaurants, and then watch the chocolate fashion show where models are decked out in cocoa creations. Tickets (starting at $110 per person) are available online.
Wine flows like water: Fancy sipping vino around a fountain? Crystal City launches its annual Wine in the Water Park series on Friday. Drink varietals picked by the Washington Wine Academy, listen to live music, and let the stress of the week wash away.
More wine!: The Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival returns to Reston Town Center on Friday and Saturday. Taste more than 100 kinds of wine in the wine gardens, sample cheeses and olive oil in tasting pavilions, listen to live music and cooking demos, and more. Ticket options vary, starting at $27 per person.
Official dining and drinking events are fairly light this week, what with Labor Day looming, but there’s plenty of summer food fun to be had. Consider stopping into Doi Moi’s opening night on Tuesday for one of the most anticipated debuts of the season (also newly opened: Ted’s Bulletin nearby and NoMa’s Timothy Dean Burger). Not into crowds? Check out our recommendations for ten eating and drinking experiences to have in August. (Just don’t go to Little Serow, which is on vacation.)
Restaurant Week, part deux: Don’t fret if you missed out on the official Washington Summer Restaurant Week last week. A number of eateries are extending the offer of $20.13 lunches and $35.13 dinners through Labor Day—check out our list. Virginia is also for food lovers, with Alexandria Restaurant Week running through Sunday.
Movie happy hour: It’s back to school for most kids Monday, so channel your inner sophomore and head to the Brixton for a showing of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion along with an extended happy hour, popcorn, and movie trivia. The event starts at 7, with open admission.
Guest tending: Want to sample Todd Thrasher’s cocktails, but can’t get a reservation at PX? The self-described “liquid savant” mixes drinks at the Passenger on Monday from 5 to 9 alongside owner/mixologist Derek Brown. According to a press release, “expect great cocktails, Survivor’s ‘Eye of the Tiger,’ athletic gear, and trash talk.” The event benefits the American Cancer Society.
Beer dinner: Chef Bart Vandaele hosts a beer dinner at Belga Cafe on Tuesday, starting at 6:30. The three-course menu focuses on eight Brouwerij Bavik brews, and is $49 per person. Call for reservations.
Summer Restaurant Week: Starting Monday, dine at a discount during Summer Restaurant Week, when a variety of spots offer $20.13 lunches and $35.13 dinners. Check out the full list of eateries on the official site, or browse our roundup of participants on our 100 Very Best Restaurant List. Hoping to try a newly opened place or a Restaurant Week first-timer? We also have a list of 25 spots that fit the bill.
Celebratory wine dinner: Ripple recently joined ten local spots on Wine Enthusiast’s Best Wine Restaurants in America list, and is celebrating with a four-course family-style dinner on Monday. Naturally, wine pairings will be provided for the dishes. Reservations are $80 and should be made by calling the restaurant.
Happy Birthday, PX: Alexandria’s pioneering cocktail den PX celebrates its seventh anniversary on Monday with a benefit for Fit for Hope. Resident barkeep Todd Thrasher is joined by Derek Brown for the special evening (you can catch Thrasher guest-tending at Brown’s Passenger next Monday). RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to try to secure last-minute reservations.
Summer restaurant week starts Monday, August 19, with most restaurants serving three-course $20.13 lunches and $35.13 dinners through the 25th. (On the list below, an asterisk indicates an establishment extending the deals beyond that date.) Even if August is a slower time in Washington, it’s best to book as soon as possible. Not a fan of the official Restaurant Week, even at the best spots? Check out these 24 restaurants offering inexpensive tasting menus around town (note that some will suspend specials during Restaurant Week).
Chef Roberto Donna’s Foxhall eatery is one of many Washington restaurants to gain national accolades of late, and you can enjoy the Italian fare at a discount.
Available: Lunch and dinner
Ashok Bajaj’s Cleveland Park eatery offers a generous Restaurant Week deal: three courses from the regular menu and the offer of the $35.13 special for an extra week.
Available: Dinner (menu)
Plenty of our favorites from Nick Stefanelli’s kitchen are represented on the two restaurant week menus, including tender braised meatballs, Bolognese, and semifreddo for dessert. The offer lasts through September 1.
Available: Lunch and dinner (menus)
Look for a seasonal lineup from chef Kyle Bailey’s kitchen—and if it’s offered, don’t pass up Tiffany MacIsaac’s bread basket, even for an upcharge.
Drink up: DC Beer Week is upon us, and it’s the biggest sudsy celebration yet. The official site contains the full lineup of festivities, including pairing dinners, tap takeovers, outdoor festivals at Nationals Stadium and NoMa, a sneak peek of the upcoming Bluejacket Brewery, and more. Many of the big-time gatherings may sell out, so make sure to get tickets as soon as possible.
Throwback treats: Clyde’s is still young at heart, despite being a Georgetown stalwart, and celebrates its 50th birthday on Monday with a DC City Council-designated Clyde’s of Georgetown Day. Stop in throughout the day for specials from through the decades, including dishes such as London broil and Sidecar cocktails.
Industry night for charity: Graffiato’s first-Monday-of-the-month industry night returns with guest chefs Victor Albisu (Del Campo/Taco Bamba), Bandolero’s Tony Starr (awkward?), and Timothy Spinner from Philly. Half of the proceeds from the $10 admission tickets go toward the American Cancer Society’s Fit for Hope charity.
Beery fun: In advance of DC Beer Week next Monday, August 12, ChurchKey delivers a number of rare brews and tap takeovers. Belly up to the beer bar on Monday for craft Italian drafts, on Wednesday for a firkin takeover from Idaho-based Laughing Dog, and Friday for the one-year anniversary party celebrating DC’s 3 Stars Brewing Company. Admission is free and open to all, with beers priced individually.
Prosciutto party: We all know how seriously Italians take their designated foods (e.g., Neapolitan pizza), and two local chefs have been chosen by the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma to spotlight the Italian ham: Marjorie Meek-Bradley from Ripple and Ris sous-chef Sarah Biglan. Both restaurants will serve prosciutto in a number of ways through August, like on Ripple’s charcuterie board and on the lunch and supper club menus at Ris (think ricotta dumplings with crispy prosciutto).
If you missed National Watermelon Day—which was August 3—don’t worry. Local restaurants that ran weekend specials have opted to extend dishes and cocktails through Friday, August 9. In addition to those, there are a bunch of places running seasonal specials. Read on for the full list. Oh and word to the wise, Alexandria: We have it on good authority that Vermilion is expecting a shipment of watermelons on Wednesday, so look out for a special $12 watermelon-and-cucumber salad with toasted peanuts, coriander, and mint from chef William Morris starting then.
Specials through Friday, August 9
Head to the bar in the Loews Madison Hotel for watermelon gazpacho with pickled berries and micro basil ($9), a seared-watermelon salad with arugula tossed in a cracked-pepper-and-citrus vinaigrette and topped with shaved Manchego ($12), and/or the Dealer’s Choice cocktail: tequila-infused watermelon, vanilla sugar, Key lime, and Cointreau ($11).
Here are some things Abraham Lincoln likely never ate: lobster-and-watermelon beignets with gazpacho vinaigrette ($14), roasted salmon with watermelon tabbouleh and caper yogurt ($13), and corn-and-jalapeño pound cake with lime granita, watermelon consommé, and candied basil rind. ($8). All are on offer at the downtown restaurant honoring our 16th president.
Todd English’s new Metro Center Mexican restaurant will offer a jicama salad ($9) with grilled watermelon, avocado, grapefruit, and arugula plus an orange-and-red-chile vinaigrette. There’s also a tuna-and-crab ceviche ($14) with watermelon, coconut, habanero, and lemongrass. To drink: Damon’s Watermelon Punch—tequila, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, hibiscus syrup, and muddled watermelon—for $12.
Alan Popovsky’s second presidential eatery has a lamb chop with watermelon hash and minted pistou ($15); barbecue watermelon with red Indian corn, radish, and duck confit ($14); and a cocktail called Hot & Cold: seared watermelon feta ice cubes, olives, mint, and lemon ($8).
Bethesda restaurant week: The first in a series of summer restaurant weeks is upon us, as Bethesda’s eateries offer up deals on lunch and dinner starting Monday. Spots like Newton’s Table, Black’s Bar & Kitchen, Freddy’s Lobster & Clams, and more serve two- and three-course lunches for $12 and $16, respectively, or a $33 dinner. Check in with the individual restaurants for menus and specials.
Old beers: For some time now, Dogfish Head has been exploring ancient brews with the help of a molecular archaeologist to bring historic beers from the Egyptians, early Chinese, and more back to life. Get a taste of the past on Monday during a beer dinner at Birch & Barley at 7. The restaurant will prepare a four-course meal to pair with the drinks ($60 per person). Call 202-567-2576 for reservations.