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The Week in Food Events: Meat Week, Sugar & Champagne, and Super Bowl

Plus plenty of oyster-slurping opportunities and a tamale festival.

Pets and owners alike get smiley over bubbles and treats at the annual Sugar & Champagne fundraiser, happening this Thursday. Photograph by Chris Leaman.

DC Meat Week: The porkiest, beefiest seven days in the District goes down on Monday with the start of DC Meat Week 2013. Participants hop around to different restaurants, such as Hill Country and Pork Barrel BBQ for barbecued treats, or taste along as ’cue trucks battle it out at the LivingSocial event space on Friday at 6. Certain stops require advance registration/pay, while others are just drop-in, so check out the full schedule to plot your carnivorous strategy. Vegetarians, don’t worry—you’ll have your revenge next week with DC Meat-Free Week.

Happy birthday, Inn at Little Washington: One of our area’s biggest dining destinations celebrates its 35th birthday on Monday (and if you’ve seen our just-released 100 Very Best Restaurants issue, you know Patrick O’Connell and his dancing crew are doing better than ever). A special menu marking the past three and a half decades with the most popular dishes from each is available for $178. Too late to drive out to the other Washington tonight? The special offer is also available on Wednesday and Thursday. Call 540-675-3800 for reservations.

Fishy benefit: ProFish hosts the Snakeheads at the Harbour fundraiser on Monday at Tony and Joe’s from 6:30 to 10:30, with proceeds going toward the Oyster Recovery Partnership. You’ll feast on raw oysters, sip local brews and wine, rub elbows with Redskins Hall of Famer John Riggins, and sample a five-course menu from the likes of Scott Drewno and Victor Albisu with a few samples of the invasive (yet delicious) snakehead fish. Tickets ($125) are available online.

Italian vino dinner: Dino hosts a five-course Italian wine dinner on Monday at 7 with Francesco Pacenti, grandson of the Canalicchio Di Sopra winery founder, who’ll present his family’s varietals along with the meal ($125 per person). You’ll find hearty, perfect-for-cold-weather dishes such as cheesy potato gratin with wild mushrooms and pork in red wine sauce over polenta. Call 202-686-2966 for reservations.

Winter wine classes: Vinoteca launches a series of wine classes on Tuesday from 7 to 9 in the upstairs lounge, led by sommelier Tim Galvin. The wine master will guide guests through five to six tastings around topics like Valentine’s Day bubbly (February 12) and Chardonnay for Chardonnay haters (February 19). First up this week: a global exploration of Cabernet Sauvignon. The classes are limited to 20 people and cost $40 each (plus tax). Call 202-332-9463 for reservations.

Sugar & Champagne: The annual Humane Society fundraiser returns this Thursday for a blowout bash at the Reagan Center, starting at 7. Expect flowing bubbly, cocktails, and sweets from the city’s top pastry chefs, as well as plenty of cute (leashed) pets. The VIP section is sold out, but you can still get tickets ($90 per person) for the general reception.

Oyster happy hour: Head to Urbana on Friday from 4 to 7 for the first in a series of local oyster happy hours, to be held on the first Friday of each month. Chef John Critchley teams up with War Shore Oyster Company and Port City Brewing Company—which is not stranger to seafood with its bivalve beer—for 50-cent oysters, $4 pints, and a combo of six oysters and a beer for $6.

Happy birthday, Port City: It’s a big day for Alexandria’s award-winning brewery, which also turns two on Friday. It’s celebrating from 3 to 9 in the tasting room by tapping of a new line of smoked imperial porter, Two, which will be available by the glass or take-home growler. The Borinquen Lunchbox truck is serving Puerto Rican eats to pad the stomach starting at 5.

Tamale Festival: El Centro D.F. launches its first celebration of all things tamale, the Mexican festival food of masa stuffed with a variety of fillings. Saturday marks the start of the fest, which runs through March 31. You’ll find specials such as tamales filled with braised pork mole, beans and cheese, or fried chicken with poblano salsa and pickled vegetables.

Groundhog (i.e., Bill Murray) Day: Everyone’s favorite prescient rodent returns on Saturday, so what better way to celebrate than by watching Groundhog Day? Get off your couch and head to Jackson 20, which is screening the movie throughout the day and offering specials like the gin-based Spring Fever Fizz cocktail and groundhog burgers, thankfully not made of groundhog (substitution: pork topped with jalapeño cheddar instead). Call 703-842-2790 for details and reservations.

Super Bowl: Love ’em or hate ’em, our neighbors the Ravens are taking on San Francisco this Sunday at 6:30 for Super Bowl XLVII (that’s 47 for all you non-Romans out there). Stop hiding in your Redskins shame closet and check out our recipe slideshow of 20 comfort dishes from local chefs, perfect for your party (the Vidalia mac and cheese, for one, is a tried-and-true favorite of this author). Check out After Hours for a roundup of bars offering Super Bowl specials, and tune in for a restaurant roundup soon.

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