Birch & Barley is collaborating with gypsy beer maker Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, co-founder of the highly-praised Mikkeller brewery, for a special five-course menu. He’ll pair some of his award-winning brews with a Scandinavian-inspired menu—designed by chef Kyle Bailey—which includes a barley salad with pickled cucumbers and golden raisins; pan-seared trout with house-made brioche; veal rump roast with minted potatoes; a cheese course; and for dessert, maple mousse with lingonberry sorbet. The dinner, $76 per person, starts at 7. For reservations, call 202-567-2576.
Tuesday, May 18
Trot over to Eatonville, the Southern-inspired eatery on the U Street corridor, for an evening of food and storytelling. As part of its monthly Food & Folklore dinner series, the restaurant is hosting Bettye Wages, who’ll share her story of how she discovered horse racing as a student at the University of Louisville. The talk is followed by a bourbon tasting and a three-course dinner: mint-julep scallops, seared duck breast with a bourbon/sweet-potato purée and spinach, and chocolate-bourbon pot de crème. The event, $45 per person, gets underway at 6:30. For information and reservations, call 202-332-9672.
Wednesday, May 19
Want to learn to make your own sushi? Roll up your sleeves and dig into some sticky rice at DC’s CulinAerie cooking school with Trevor Corson, an Iron Chef America judge and author of The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice. Lessons include preparing your own maki rolls and nigiri. He’ll also offer some secrets of the trade and tips on proper Japanese etiquette. The class, $85 per person, starts at 6:30. For information and reservations, click here or call 202-587-5674.
Thursday, May 20
Gear up for a roaring good time at the National Zoo’s annual ZooFari affair, where more than 100 Washington restaurants come together to support animal care, conservation science, and education. You might just bump elbows with chefs Michel Richard (Citronelle and Central), RJ Cooper (Vidalia), or past Top Chef contestant Mike Isabella (Zaytinya). In addition to food and wine, there’ll be entertainment, animal demonstrations, and a silent auction. The shindig gets started at 6:30. For information and tickets ($125 for FONZ members; $175 for nonmembers), click here or call 202-633-3046.
Friday, May 21
Explore the flavors of Southeast Asian cuisine with instructor Drew Faulkner at L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg. Through a cooking demonstration, she’ll show the class how to prepare a variety of sweet and savory snacks: Indonesian sweet-corn fritters with tomato salsa; Vietnamese grilled shrimp and calamari with lime dipping sauce; Vietnamese grilled summer squash; Thai cucumber-and-pineapple salad; and jasmine rice. The demonstration, $65 per person, starts at 7. For information and reservations, click here or call 301-670-8670.
Saturday, May 22
Are you ready to rock? Bang your head at DC101’s 31st annual chili cookoff, where you can try all kinds of spicy concoctions from 101 of the area’s top chili cooks competing in four categories. From 12:30 to 8, you’ll hear such bands as Alice in Chains, Anberlin, Cage the Elephant, Stone Temple Pilots, Switchfoot, and Tears of Mars. The festival, held at RFK Stadium, benefits the National Kidney Foundation. Advance tickets ($35) are available here or you can purchase one at the door ($55).
Sunday, May 23
Get down on the dance floor at the 9:30 Club, where DC Central Kitchen is putting on its SoundBites benefit concert. More than a dozen restaurants (including Jaleo, Marvin, and Masa 14) will dole out samples of their signature dishes. On stage: Will Eastman, U.S. Royalty, Fatback DJs, Bluebrain, Midnight Kids, and Beautiful Swimmers. Proceeds benefit DC Central Kitchen’s anti-hunger programs. The concert starts at 5. For information and tickets ($30), click here or call 202-265-0930.
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