Monday, October 25
Mexico celebrates the Day of the Dead, but the Penn Quarter restaurant Oyamel is stretching the festivities over nine days. Today through November 2, chef Joe Raffa features a different Oaxacan mole—such as a green mole with pork shank (today) and a complex black mole with turkey (next Tuesday)—plus tacos with chard and tripe (dishes range from $4 to $13). Three specialty cocktails ($10 to $12), which include a Mexican gimlet with cilantro and a hibiscus ice sphere, also debut. Call 202-628-1005 for information and reservations.
Tuesday, October 26
StarChefs.com is throwing an awards gala at Charlie Palmer Steak in honor of its 2010 DC Area Rising Stars, which include chefs, pastry chefs, mixologists, and sommeliers. Sample cotton-candy-wrapped eel from Minibar’s Ruben Garcia, king salmon with “everything bagel” crumbs from Volt’s Bryan Voltaggio, and foie gras with shaved green papaya from Bourbon Steak’s David Varley. Sweet tooths can graze over offerings from Trummer’s on Main’s Chris Ford and Birch & Barley’s Tiffany MacIsaac, among others. The event ($95 per person, $150 for a VIP ticket with a private Champagne reception), runs from 7 to 10. Tickets can be purchased here.
Trey Zoeller of the small-batch bourbon distillery McLain & Kyne and National Press Club chef Susan Delbert team up for a five-course bourbon-pairing dinner at the Fourth Estate Restaurant (529 14th St., NW). The menu includes miniature Korean spare ribs with Asian slaw as well as an apricot-spinach-and mozzarella salad with a ginger-beer/bourbon cocktail. The price of dinner—$85 per Press Club member, $110 per nonmember—includes a 750-milliliter bottle of Jefferson Bourbon to take home. A reception begins at 6:30; dinner is at 7. Call 202-662-7638 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
Wednesday, October 27
Ina Garten—also known as the Barefoot Contessa—signs copies of her latest cookbook, Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips ($35) at Sur la Table in Pentagon City. The free event runs from noon to 2. Call 703-414-3580 for more.
Thursday, October 28
The Woodrow Wilson House (2340 S St., NW) is celebrating President Wilson’s 1919 veto of prohibition laws with a 1920s speakeasy-themed costume ball in the former President’s residence. The evening features Puerto Rican rum cocktails, passed hors d’oeuvres, a costume contest, and dancing to live ragtime music. Guests can tour Wilson’s private wine cellar. The party—$35 per person—runs from 7 to 9. Purchase tickets here.
Chris Han, brewer at Philadelphia’s Yards Brewing Company, guides drinkers through the beer basics at Old Town’s Grape & Bean (118 S. Royal St., Alexandria). He’ll cover different beer-and-food pairings and explain the brewing process. Samples of several beers will be served with light appetizers. The class, $40 per person, runs from 7 to 8:30. Call 703-664-0214 for reservations and more.
Friday, October 29
Wine importer Tom Natan holds a tasting of French holiday wines at L’Alliance Française (2142 Wyoming Ave., NW), where he talks about pairing them with such holiday classics as chestnut stuffing and cornbread. The tasting, $30 per person ($20 for L’Alliance Française members), begins at 6:30. Call 202-234-7911 for reservations and more.
L’Academie de Cuisine throws a fundraising dinner and auction in support of Team USA’s participation in the World Pastry Cup, held in Lyons, France. Between trips to French-themed dinner and dessert buffets, guests can meet chefs competing in the 2011 competition. Auction prizes include a set of Global knives, restaurant gift certificates, and more. The event runs from 6:30 to 11. All proceeds from the auctions and tickets—$95 per person—go to Team USA. Call 301-670-8670 or click here for reservations.
Saturday, October 30
To get kids and grownups in the Halloween mood, the Grille at Morrison House is hosting a tea featuring a reading of Corduroy’s Best Halloween Ever. Tea sandwiches, in flavors such as (for adults) curried chicken and crab salad and (for kids) peanut-butter-and-jelly and egg salad, will be served, along with cookies, scones, and tea. The tea, $28 for children and $38 for adults, begins at 2. Call 703-838-8000 for reservations.
Sunday, October 31
Chef Roberto Donna of the newly opened Galileo III offers a seafood cooking class in his Northern Virginia home. (The address will be given with a reservation.) The hands-on instruction of five courses of Italian seafood is followed by lunch. The class, $140 per person, begins at 1:30. Call 202-257-0168 or e-mail email@example.com for reservations.
Food & Friends, which delivers food to Washington residents with life-challenging illnesses, is holding its fourth annual Slice of Life Thanksgiving pie sale through November 18. Pies ($25)—in flavors such as pumpkin, pecan, apple crumb, and sweet potato—can picked up from a variety of locations on November 23. Buying a chocolate-covered cheesecake ($40) gives you a chance to win $1,200 from US Airways. All proceeds go to Food & Friends. Click here for more.
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