Today is national margarita day. To celebrate, Ceiba is offering its signature version of the tequila cocktail for $5 from 11:30 AM until closing. The fortified mix of Cuervo Gold tequila, Citronge, and house-made sour is available in both the bar and dining areas. Visit Ceiba’s Web site to peruse the menu—you may need sustenance after knocking back a few.
New Heights chef Logan Cox has invited Ashby Inn chef Tarver King to join him for a master/protégé reunion dinner celebrating the cured and preserved foods of winter. Dishes include Buffalo wings with Stilton dust, smoked confit of rockfish with black walnuts and sweet-potato juice, and hay-smoked venison with cornbread and caramelized cucumber (see the full five-course menu here). Neal Wavra, the innkeeper and sommelier at Ashby Inn, is pairing each course with Virginia wines, which are included in the price ($105 per person). The meal begins at 6. Call 202-234-4110 for reservations.
Wednesday, February 23
Chef Javier Romero of Taberna del Alabardero is teaming up with wine importer Francisco Astudillo for a four-course winetasting dinner at the downtown DC Spanish restaurant. The reception begins at 6:30 with glasses of Tierro Bianco 2009 and an assortment of tapas, including red-mullet loin with caramelized tomato and roasted-eggplant lollipops. The four-course dinner follows with dishes such as cream-of-squash soup with grilled foie gras, smoked rack of lamb in port sauce with zucchini napoleons, and a selection of Spanish cheeses. Each is paired with a Spanish wine. Reservations for the dinner ($95 per person, all-inclusive) can be made by calling 202-429-2200.
Thursday, February 24
The late Edna Lewis, a grand dame of Southern cooking, is being honored with a dinner and lecture at the Foundation Room in Manassas as part of Black History Month. Top Chef All-Stars contestant Carla Hall is preparing a three-course menu from one of Lewis’s cookbooks, In Pursuit of Flavor. Dishes include wild-watercress salad, chicken with dumplings and glazed carrots, and deep-dish apple pie. Historian Leni Sorensen will lecture on Lewis’s life, career, and legacy. The event begins at 6:30, and tickets ($150 per person) can be purchased through the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s Web site.
Icelandair starts nonstop service from Dulles to Reykjavik in May, but you can preview the island’s culture during Taste of Iceland, a festival that runs today through Sunday. Acclaimed Icelandic chef Hakon Mar Ovarsson is presenting a nightly four-course menu at DC Coast ($48 prix fixe or priced à la carte) that includes specialties such as cold-smoked Arctic char with mustard crème fraîche and dill; Icelandic langoustines with shallot-tomato dressing; and rack of Icelandic lamb with thyme, root vegetables, and rosemary-lamb jus. Click here for a full list of Iceland-themed events and locations.
Friday, February 25
Drop into the Butcher’s Block between 6 and 8 to sample five wines from the 58-acre Carabella Vineyard in Oregon. Tastes of the wines—including the Plow Buster 2009 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and the Carabella Pinot Gris—are complimentary, and bottles are available for purchase ($18 to $35). Carabella owner Mike Hallock will be on hand to answer questions and chat about his wine. Visit the Butcher’s Block Web site for more information.
Saturday, February 26
Shake up the Saturday-afternoon routine—literally—with Columbia Firehouse’s hands-on cocktail class, which runs from 3 to 5. Resident barman Steven Warner will lead the group through classic concoctions such as the martini, julep, gin fizz, and daiquiri. Discover the history behind the drinks, variations on traditional preparations, and how to make a perfect version of each at home. Click here for tickets ($42 per person) and more information.
Patowmack Farms chef Chris Edwards is holding a class on the essentials of buying, opening, and cooking oysters from 10 to 1 at the Lovettsville restaurant. Start by learning about different varieties of bivalves from the East and West Coasts, what to look for when purchasing them, and how to select the freshest and finest. Move on to shucking lessons, and then taste the raw rewards of your labor. Finally, Chef Edwards will lead a demonstration on how to prepare oyster stew, fried oysters, poached oysters, and a few surprise dishes. Guests can sample each and are treated to sparkling or other wine. The class is $85 per person. Call 540-822-9017 to reserve a seat.
Sunday, February 27
Ba Bay, a new modern-Vietnamese place on Capitol Hill, is starting its monthly guest-chef dinner series—a collaboration between chef Nick Sharpe and a visiting talent—with R.J. Cooper of the soon-to-be open Rogue 24. Sharpe worked under Cooper at the Southern-inspired Vidalia, but tonight’s five-course meal focuses on Vietnamese flavors. Dishes include scrambled egg with bitter melon, trout roe, and sea trout; grilled baby octopus with spicy pork sausage, avocado, and charred-lime vinaigrette; and green-mango tarte Tatin. The dinner ($65 per person; $100 with wine pairings) has two seatings at 5 and 8. Call 202-547-1787 for reservations.
There’s no sweat involved in Crystal City’s 1K wine walk. Hydration stations are really sampling venues for more than 45 wines, and the only muscles tested are the ones in your mouth. Participants choose “heats” every half hour from 2 to 5 and make their way with 20 tickets (for $30 per person) along the course in the Crystal City Shops. There’ll also be cheese and bread along the way. Click here for tickets.
Follow the Best Bites Bloggers on Twitter at twitter.com/bestbitesblog