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Two of Washington's beloved bars say farewell in January. By Anna Spiegel
Say goodbye to the Passenger and Columbia Room before January 1. Photograph by Chris Leaman.

It's been a rough time for closures of some of the District's beloved bars. First came the news that Duffy's shuttered after eight years. Now the Washington Post reports that the Passenger and Columbia Room will close their doors January 1. The building where both are housed is slated to become an office space by Douglas Development.

Though the blow is a tough one for fans of Derek and Tom Brown's path-paving watering holes, the news isn't entirely unexpected. Hogo, the Browns' rum-heavy tiki bar next door, already bid farewell this summer. According to the Post, the brothers always knew there was an expiration date on the spaces when signing the leases, just not exactly when the end would arrive.

The good news: Plans are underway to resurrect the Passenger and Columbia Room. The latter is already set for a new home in Blagden Alley for the end of 2015, and will grow considerably in size from its ten-seat incarnation. When it comes to Passenger, things are less certain. Tom is currently looking for other Shaw spaces, which, as we know from the recent boom, are increasingly hard to come by. We'll update when details become available.

Posted at 03:23 PM/ET, 11/12/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Celebrate National Happy Hour Day by finding fresh deals. By Anna Spiegel
Check out Poste's new winter lounge for a discount belly-warming drink. Photograph courtesy of Poste.

Here’s one fake national fill-in-the-blank-day we can get behind: National Happy Hour Day, going down today when the clock strikes 5 (or in some cases, much earlier). To celebrate we've rounded up ten new discount drinking experiences, including recently opened spots—plus one bar debuting tonight—and fresh promotions. Whether you're looking to commemorate the faux-holiday with $10-and-less deals or want to check out an unknown haunt, there's a cheap cold one waiting for you.

Brookland’s Finest

3126 12th St., NE

Head to this neighborhood watering hole after work or late-night for new happy hour deals, where brews, wines, and cocktails run $4 to $6.

When: Monday through Thursday 4 to 7, and nightly 11 to close.

Chuy’s Springfield

6793 Springfield Mall, Springfield

The popular Austin-based Tex-Mex chain just debuted its second Washington location in Springfield, and you know what that means: another free nacho-bar car. Fill up on gratis chips, queso, and salsa out of the trunk during happy hour while sipping $9 house margs and Texas martinis, and $3 beers.

When: Monday through Friday 4 to 7.

Gypsy Soul

8296 Glass Alley, Merrifield

Barman Bryan Tetorakis launches a creative happy hour called "off the cuff." There's no menu; guests simply name a spirit and tell the chef-tenders what kind of flavors they like, and $8 creations are made. To go along with your beverage: $4 snacks like crispy chicken skins and $12 ham or charcuterie boards.

When: 5 to 6:30, Monday through Friday.

Lost & Found

1240 Ninth St., NW

Head to this funky Shaw bar, which is brand-new to the neighborhood but looks true to its name with plenty of vintage and salvaged items. Beers and wine are $2 off, fitting for the low-key setting.

When: Monday through Friday 4 to 7.

McClellan’s Retreat

2031 Florida Ave., NW

Civil War buffs will fancy this cozy new drinks place, opening Wednesday, which takes its name from Union general George McClellan (his statue resides nearby). Drop by for rotating discounts on wine, beer, and the "daily ration," a specialty punch served in a vintage bowl.

When: Monday through Friday 4 to 7.

Plan B Burger Bar

801 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Downtown’s new burger, bourbon, and beer spot may become your “plan A” for happy hour. A discounted food and drink menu boasts $3 sliders, $4 drafts and nachos, and $5 whiskeys among other specials.

When: Monday through Saturday 4 to 6.

Poste winter lounge

555 Eighth St., NW

Snuggle up by the fire pit with a blanket and a cocktail at the Kimpton Hotel’s recently reopened outdoor winter lounge. Unfortunately, the hot drinks aren't offered at happy hour prices—think rum-spiked cider for $14—but you can grab belly-warming booze inside and then lounge under heat lamps on the upper patio with $6 wines, $7 rye drinks, and complimentary s'mores.

When: Happy hour runs daily 4 to 7, except Sunday. The winter lounge is open Thursday through Saturday 4 to close, for temperatures 42 degrees and above.

Roof Kitchen and Bar

7940 Norfolk Ave., Bethesda

Bethesda’s biggest roof bar/restaurant just underwent a revamp, complete with a fresh look and menu. Look for a new lineup of daily specials, including dollar-off tacos and $4 tequilas on Tuesday, half-price wine every Wednesday, and late happy hour on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 to midnight.

When: Daily; times and specials differ.

Vinoteca vermouth hour

1940 11th St., NW

Vino has long had one of the best happy hours around, with 15 wines by the glass for $5 and tasty discount eats. Now vermouth fans can head in on Mondays to learn more about the fortified wine—yes, you can sip it over ice—and try $5 vermouths such as Cocchi Americano and Carpano Antica all night, or a flight of three for $10.

When: Monday 5 to close; barman Horus Alvarez’s weekly vermouth discussion 7 to 8.

Washington Firehouse Restaurant

1626 North Capitol St., NW

Get drinks with a side of history at Bloomingdale’s bar/restaurant located in an old firehouse. Specials are more modern: $2 drafts, $4 house wines, and $8 signature pizzas.

When: Monday through Friday 4 to 7.

Posted at 02:00 PM/ET, 11/12/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Inside one of the year's most star chef-studded events. By Caroline Cunningham
Cohosts Anthony Bourdain and Carla Hall with a tricky competition ingredient: Buddha's hand. Photograph by Larry French/Getty Images for DC Central Kitchen.

The 11th annual Capital Food Fight went down last night at the Ronald Reagan Building, with an impressive 75 restaurants offering tastes and drinks to raise more than $700,000 for DC Central Kitchen. What made this different than Washington's other food-filled galas: cohost Anthony Bourdain dissing pastry chefs, Daniel Boulud creating awkward moments on stage, and plenty of competition among local toques battling it out in a Top Chef-style cooking competition.

Ripple and Roofers Union executive chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley ultimately reigned supreme over the fight, besting Table's Frederik de Pue, Tim Ma of Maple Ave Restaurant and Water & Wall, and Javier Romero of Taberna del Albardero.

Meek-Bradley wasn’t the only one to leave last night with honors. Here are a few others we think deserve recognition.

Best newcomer: Mango Tree, slated to open at CityCenterDC before the new year, brought its A-game with a spicy bite of chargrilled steak salad with northeastern tamarind sauce. Hopefully it's on the opening menu.

Most likely to merit seconds: Bayou Bakery's blackened lamb meatball with Trickling Springs yogurt.

Longest line: Woodberry Kitchen, for its made-to-order buckwheat crepes with smoked short rib, mushrooms, and sour cream.

Most clueless: Judge Daniel Boulud of DBGB DC who, after taking the stage for the first time, asked loudly, "Where's José?" (The boisterous event founder and frequent emcee was mostly absent this year, besides a brief early appearance). After an awkward pause, Boulud continued: "Are we on for Iron Chef or Food Fight?" After hearing the answer: "Oh, Food Fight. Much better."

Second most cluelesss: Bourdain butchering the names of local eateries when auctioning off dinners around town. “China...Chilcano?”

Best showdown: Bourdain insisted that he doesn’t like pastry chefs, which didn’t go over so well with Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman. But Bourdain assured Goldman it wasn’t personal: "You can do something I can't do. I resent that.” To which the shorter, stockier Goldman replied: "You can change a lightbulb without getting on a ladder. I don't resent that." “Well, maybe you should,” replied Bourdain.

Most memorable "technical term": When cohost Carla Hall asked Ma how he was going to deal with cooking beef cheeks in ten minutes—the first battle’s secret ingredient, which typically requires lengthy braising to tenderize. “In about ten seconds, I’m going to pound the sh*t out of it,” said Ma. “Pounding the sh*t out of it—that’s a technical term,” Hall quipped. The technique was ultimately successful, as Ma’s beef cheeks cooked in soy sauce won favor with the judges over Romero’s stew with creamy potatoes.

Best description: “If you’ve killed someone and rolled them up in a tarp and then you’ve cleaned the hotel room—if you’ve done it well, it smells like that,” said Bourdain, attempting to describe the lemony-fresh scent of the second battle’s secret ingredient: Buddha’s hand. “It looks like something out of a horror movie,” Bourdain added. “It smells nice, though.”

The Washington-is-inferior-to-New York snub: Bourdain, on de Pue’s beautifully plated halibut and bok choy, seasoned with Buddha’s-hand zest: “I’d pay $29.95 for that—in New York. I guess in Washington I’d pay, what? $17.50?”

Posted at 12:25 PM/ET, 11/12/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Every morning, we'll let you know where to find lunch on wheels. By Caroline Cunningham

Happy Wednesday, food truck followers! Make it over the mid-week hump with chili garlic tofu baguettes from BONMi or veggie chili aboard Carolina Q.

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Posted at 10:50 AM/ET, 11/12/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Where to find full feasts, sides, pies, and more. By Caroline Cunningham
Take a full feast to go, or just pick up a few Thanksgiving pies and sides. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Putting together a Thanksgiving feast is not for the faint of heart. Why not outsource a few dishes—or the entire meal—to the pros? Washington's chefs are eager to brine your birds, dish up your sides, prepare your pies, and, in one case, fry turkeys for free.


Acadiana

901 New York Ave., NW

The feast: Take home a whole Southern-style feast or just the bird from this Louisiana-inspired eatery. The Cajun-style turkey, with your choice of giblet or eggplant gravy, comes with four sides—think sweet potato purée, oyster stuffing, or collard greens—plus a pumpkin or pecan pie and biscuits with house-made pepper jelly.

Menu

Serves: Eight for $175; individual sides $12 each; 16- to 18-pound turkey $105.

Details: Place your order by 5 on November 20 pick up between 11 and 1 on November 27.


Al Dente

3201 New Mexico Ave., NW

The feast: This Italian four-course meal includes butternut squash half-moon pasta, and a sausage and chestnut-stuffed turkey, with an apple bread pudding to top it all off.

Menu

Serves: Portions vary by order, $35 per person.

Details: Place your order before November 25 to have your feast ready for pickup on November 26.


Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery

1515 N. Courthouse Rd., Arlington

The feast: Grab Louisiana-style sides, sweets, and snacks to round out your meal, from spicy candied pecans to bourbon-chocolate chip pies, buttermilk biscuits, and a range of savory dishes (dirty rice and mac and cheese should do just fine).

Menu

Serves: Prices and portions vary by order.

Details: Order by phone 48 hours before pickup, which is offered before 1 on November 26. Orders placed before Thursday, November 13, receive a 10-percent discount.


BlackSalt

4883 MacArthur Blvd., NW

The feast: One of the largest Thanksgiving catering restaurant menus boasts everything from fresh turkeys to seasoned birds, spiral-cut ham, oysters, starters such as mini crabcakes, sides, and dessert.

Menu

Serves: Prices and portions may vary by order.

Details: Order between now and November 23 to have your feast scheduled for pick up on November 26.


Blue Duck Tavern

1201 24th St., NW

The feast: Take the Thanksgiving meal up a notch with this gourmet spread, including a 10- to 12-pound roasted free-range turkey, freshly baked bread, and four sides, such as cornbread stuffing with chorizo and cauliflower gratin, and—if you still have room—both an apple and a pumpkin pie.

Menu

Serves: Six to eight ($350).

Details: Place your order online by November 21 at 5, and your feast will be ready for pick up November 26 from 1 to 5, or November 27 from 11 to 2.


Buttercream Jubilee!

301 Water St., SE

The Feast: Buttercream Bakeshop’s pastry chef/owner Tiffany MacIsaac teams up with Ice Cream Jubilee for a sweet Thanksgiving pop-up. Pies, take-and-bake scones, ice cream sandwich kits, and more can be preordered, and you can also snag pints of festively flavored ice cream such as salty apple-cinnamon and pumpkin-honeycomb.

Menu

Serves: Prices and portions vary by order.

Details: Pickup on Thursday, November 20, from noon to 7; Tuesday, November 25, from noon to 6; Wednesday, November 26, from noon to 3:30. See page for preordering information.

Carmine's

425 Seventh St., NW

The feast: A traditional family-style affair to-go (or eat-in), which includes an 18-pound bird and sides like sweet potatoes with marshmallows.

Menu

Serves: Eight for $239.95 (or about $30 per person).

Details: Call for pick-up and order information.


Chef Geoff's

Multiple Locations

Menu

The feast: Dine on a spread of orange-glazed turkey with chicken sausage and sour cherry stuffing, roasted garlic and buttermilk mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green beens with caramelized shallots, port wine cranberry sauce, and a pumpkin pie.

Serves: Serves four ($120).

Details: Order online for pickup at any Chef Geoff's location on Thanksgiving Day between noon and 5.


The Hay-Adams

800 16th St., NW

The feast: Display a pretty pie from pastry chef Josh Short, which comes with a marble-and-glass display stand and recipe. Choose from three options: a Virginia sweet potato and italian meringue tart, Texas pecan tart with Catoctin Creek brandy cream and chocolate leaves, and Virginia honey-apple tart with cranberries, rolled oats streusel, and caramel.

Serves: Eight, depending on slice size, for $50 (includes the stand).

Details: Place orders the evening prior to pickup, November 27 through 30.

Hill Country Barbecue Market

410 Seventh St., NW

The feast: Choose between two BBQ pick-up packages: the "rancher's feast," which includes five house sides, a nine-inch pie, and a pit-smoked turkey, or the "governor's banquet," which adds three additional sides, a pie, and skillet cornbread to the deal. Items are also available a la carte.

Menu

Serves: The rancher's feast serves five to eight ($210), and the governor's banquet feeds nine to 12 ($300).

Details: Call by November 22 to place your order for pickup on November 26 from 3 to 5, or Thanksgiving Day from 9 to noon.

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

750 15th St., NW

The feast: Leave dessert to Joe's this year, choosing from their selection of ten pies, including sweet potato-pecan, pumpkin chiffon, and key lime.

Menu

Serves: Pies are $7.95 each

Details: Place your order 24 hours prior to pickup.


Kapnos

2201 14th St., NW

The feast: Chef Mike Isabella caters a Mediterranean-style with spit-roasted rotisserie turkeys, lemony potatoes, charred Brussels sprouts, and Greek mac and cheese with feta and dill.

Menu

Serves: Turkeys, sides, and desserts ordered separately (prices vary).

Details: Place your order by November 23, and pick up on Thanksgiving Day between 9 and noon.


Macon Bistro & Larder

5520 Connecticut Ave., NW

The feast: Bring some southern comfort to the table with Macon Bistro & Larder's "Thanksgiving kit," which includes three sides, such as mac and cheese and collard greens. Biscuits and pies can also be added to the order.

Serves: Four ($40). Biscuits ($20) and pies ($25 each) may be added.

Details: Order over the phone by November 21 for pickup on November 25 or 26.


Medium Rare

515 Eighth St., SE

The feast: Medium Rare owner Mark Bucher moves his free deep-frying turkey tradition to Barracks Row this year. Complimentary hot cider, coffee, and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade viewing will be available during your wait.

Serves: It’s BYO turkey (eight to ten pounds), and the frying is free. Just make sure it’s fully defrosted beforehand, and that you have a container to bring it home in.

Details: Stop by on Thanksgiving Day between 11 and 2 for first come, first fry service.


Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

1612 14th St., NW

The feast: Pick up Addie’s dinner rolls or pies, available in flavors like Key lime, pecan, apple, and sweet potato.

Menu

Serves: 6 to 8 ($25-$30). Rolls are $8 for a dozen.

Details: Order online by November 24 for pickup on November 25 and 26.


RareSweets

963 Palmer Alley., NW

The feast: Get a taste of CityCenter’s new sweet shop prior to opening with pastry chef Meredith Tomason’s holiday catering lineup. Thanksgiving specials include a morning breakfast spread with the likes of pumpkin crumb cake and cider doughnuts, plus festive three-, six-, or nine-inch cakes such as a vanilla bean variety filled with cranberry compote and topped with orange-blossom icing.

Menu

Serves: Three-inch cakes are $6, six-inch cakes are $50, and nine-inch cakes are $70. Breakfast serves ten ($70) or 16 ($95).

Details: Orders must be placed by phone (202-499-0077) or e-mail (info@raresweets.com) by 4 on November 21.


Red Apron and Buzz Bakery

Multiple locations

The feast: Red Apron’s Nathan Anda has collaborated with Fields of Athenry to bring free-range heritage turkeys to your table, along with pork roast, charcuterie boards, and riffs on traditional sides such as garlic confit fingerling potatoes and cranberry mostarda. Sister bakery Buzz supplies the likes of bourbon-pecan pie.

Menu

Serves: The turkey ranges in size from eight to 20 pounds ($9 per pound). Buy it brined for $10 a pound. Price and portion for side items vary based on order.

Details: Preordering online (which ends at noon on November 25) is recommended. Pickup is available at Red Apron’s Union Market, Penn Quarter, and Mosaic District locations November 25 through 27.


Ris

2275 L St., NW

The feast: Choose from chef Ris Lacoste’s 19 sides and 11 sweets, available for pickup at her restaurant. Take home a quart of butternut squash soup or sweet potato and sherried onion gratin, or try a pumpkin, pecan, or apple pie.

Menu

Serves: Prices and portions vary by order.

Details: Fill out the online form or order by e-mail by November 23 to have your sides and sweets ready for pickup on November 25 to 26 from 2 to 5.


Society Fair

277 S. Washington St., Alexandria

The feast: Chef Cathal Armstrong offers a locally sourced, full Thanksgiving meal for those dining a deux. Pop the seasoned and stuffed turkey breast into the oven, and warm generous pints of mashed potatoes, bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts, green bean casserole, and more.

Menu

Serves: Two for $85 (note: wine sold separately).

Details: Pick up on November 25 or 26 between noon and close.

Posted at 11:10 AM/ET, 11/11/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Every morning, we'll let you know where to find lunch on wheels. By Hallie Golden

Happy Veterans Day, food truck followers! Many trucks are off the road for the holiday, but there are still a few dishing up eats such as classic chicken and waffles from Capital Chicken & Waffles.

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Posted at 10:35 AM/ET, 11/11/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Discounts and freebies for military personnel, mimosas for all. By Anna Spiegel
Find specials and brunch this Veterans Day. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Brunch

The Black Squirrel

2427 18th St., NW

The Adams Morgan spot opens at noon and serves all-you-can-eat mussels all day.

EatWell DC Restaurants

Multiple locations

All of the restaurant group's concepts except for the Pig serve brunch, including Logan Tavern, Grillfish, Commissary, and more.

Founding Farmers

1924 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 12505 Park Potomac Ave., Potomac

Anyone can stop in for brunch between 7 and 2, or lunch starting at 11. Active and retired military personnel with a valid ID can receive 50 percent off the meal for brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Kangaroo Boxing Club

3410 11th St., NW

The neighborhood spot opens for brunch from 11 to 3, with a 20-percent discount for anyone showing a military ID.

Silo

919 5th St., NW

Fancy bottomless mimosas on a Tuesday? Head in for brunch.


Specials/discounts

Alexandria's Vets Gotta Eat!

Multiple locations

More than 40 restaurants and bars in Alexandria extend 10- to 20-percent discounts for veterans and their families Tuesday through November 16. Participants include Dairy Godmother, RedRocks Pizzeria, Virtue Feed & Grain, and more.

BLT Steak

1625 I St., NW

Any veteran or active military member receives a 50-percent discount for parties of two or less, and a 25-percent discount for groups of three or more.

Duke's Grocery

1513 17th St., NW

Active and retired military and their spouses can snag a free beer.

Fiola

601 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Head to the haute Italian for pre-concert lunch specials in the bar area and lounge until 4.

GCDC

1730 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Vets and active-duty members can stop by for a free grilled-cheese sandwich from 11 to 1 (note that the eatery will close early for the holiday at 3).

Georgetown Cupcake

Multiple locations

Anyone can score a free cupcake by asking for the off-menu special: Veterans Day vanilla (limit one per customer).

Mintwood Place

1813 Columbia Rd., NW

The French-American brasserie will live-stream the Concert for Valor all evening.

Mission BBQ

Multiple locations

This barbecue joint, which supports veterans with fundraisers and service projects throughout the year, offers free sandwiches and cake to vets.

Rock & Roll Hotel

1353 H St., NE

Feeling like a Tuesday party? All current and former members of the military can head in for a free PBR and shot of whiskey.

Zaika

2800 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington

Anyone with a military ID can receive 40 percent off on food only. A similar promotion extends for the rest of the year, though with a 10-percent discount.

Posted at 03:09 PM/ET, 11/10/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our favorite dishes of late. By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Anna Spiegel
Lupo Verde boasts a charcuterie and cheese room, which supplies Parmesan and pecorino for the cacio e pepe. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Todd Kliman

This won't be a thing. It'll be a things.

I was in Columbia, Missouri, recently to give a talk at the University of Missouri, and was fortunate to visit some favorite spots (I've been going out there to do research and talk for the past five years now) and some new ones, too, while reconnecting with good friends.

I've always been drawn to college towns, and Columbia is a great one, with a growing arts scene that is at least partly responsible for the tremendous sense of energy and possibly I sense right now.

Inevitably, whenever I come to Columbia, I find myself sitting down to a meal at Sycamore at least once and often twice. The chef, Mike Odette, was a James Beard semifinalist in 2009 for Best Chef Midwest, and his cooking is rooted and direct and appealingly understated, even when he's ringing such sly changes on Americana as his plate of deep-fried gizzards, a recent special. The gizzards are corned, then confited, then breaded and fried. Which is, yes, a helluva lot of work for what essentially is a snack—the result tastes like a cross between pigs in a blanket and fried oysters—but it gives you a good idea of just how detailed and process-oriented the chef is. I also love his trout bellies. This is the fattiest and therefore most luscious part of the trout, and Odette turns to them for a wonderful meatless twist on rilletes. He cuts them into strips, smokes and peppers them, and serves them with pickled onions and crème fraîche.

The next day I hit Uprise, a bakery with sandwiches, for a small snack. I'd already had lunch, and dinner was in two hours, but for some reason I was hungry. I asked the woman at the counter what sandwiches she liked. "Anything with bacon," was the answer. And I understood why when I took a bite of my BLT. The bacon wasn't crispy, which for me is usually a turn-off, but I loved this. Uprise cures its own, and the strips were infinitely richer, smokier, and porkier than any bacon I've had in a while.

I left town after a quick brunch at Cafe Berlin: three good breakfast tacos filled with ground pork and a waffle topped with peanut butter, honey, granola, and banana.

I know I'll be back soon, but every time I leave now it's with a sense that I'm missing out on something good.


Ann Limpert

Tonnarelli cacio e pepe at Lupo Verde

This Roman-style pasta is one of my favorite things to make at home (I usually go with this trusty recipe), and it's so quick and super-simple that when I see it at restaurants I'm rarely tempted to get it. I mean, butter, Parmesan, pecorino, black pepper—that's it. How different could it really be? When I ordered it the other night at Lupo Verde, I discovered the answer: very.

For one, the kitchen isn't using dried spaghetti like I usually do—they're actually not using spaghetti at all. Instead, they make their own tonnarelli; long, thick strands with a hole extruded through the center (they're like bucatini, but a little bit more robust). And the noodles are cooked beautifully, with just enough chew and heft to keep them from getting weighed down by the massive amounts of butter and cheese and black pepper. The end result is the perfect comfort food, chilly weather food, drunk food—a glorious, gooey mess.


Anna Spiegel

Beets with wasabi kefir at the Oval Room

I know, beet salad, yawn. It's like the god of New American dining gave the commandment "Thou shalt not serve a menu without beets and goat cheese," and all restaurants obey. While the dish is a reliable staple, few versions are remarkable; the beet-and-chèvre mountain pie at Mintwood Place is one notable exception. Just as good, though less hearty: chef Tony Conte's citrus-roasted beets. The appetizer is bright with wasabi-spiked kefir, which tastes like a tangier yogurt, as well as blackberry vinaigrette and thin wheels of the fruit. Beets and blackberries? Not a frequent combination, but the natural sweetness and acidity of both work together beautifully. Maybe even better than goat cheese.

Posted at 01:51 PM/ET, 11/10/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus a Green Hat Gin cocktail class in the distillery. By Anna Spiegel
The stage is set for the Capital Food Fight. Photograph via Flickr user dccentralkitchen.

Speed-tenders: Start the week off on a boozy note at the Howard Theatre, which hosts an all-female speed-bartending competition on Monday to benefit breast cancer research. Competitors include the Gibson's Andrea Tateosian, Karen Hernandez of Kapnos, and many more. Tickets are $20 and include drinks and local eats.

Farm to feast: Love to eat local? The FreshFarm Markets Farmland Feast is your big-ticket event for the week, happening Monday at the Ritz-Carlton Washington DC. Guests can buy tickets for a cocktail and oyster reception ($150) or go for the whole shebang with a sit-down dinner afterward from some of the city's top chefs, sommeliers, and bartenders ($300). Ticket prices benefit the FreshFarm Markets and their charitable programs.

Celebrity chef battle: The annual Capital Food Fight returns to the Ronald Reagan Building on Tuesday at 6, bringing a slew of celebrity chefs including Anthony Bourdain, Carla Hall, Daniel Boulud, and more. Local toques battle it out on the main stage in a Top Chef-style competition, while more than 75 restaurants serve food and drinks to guests. Tickets are $250, with proceeds benefiting DC Central Kitchen.

More pop-ups: For anyone who missed two of the big pop-ups last week, there're more coming. On Tuesday, Mike Isabella will serve a limited menu of tacos, guac, and Mexican beer from the Pepita preview at G from 11 to 7. Then on Friday, Tiffany MacIsaac brings back her Buttercream Bakeshop sweets to Cork Market starting at 11.

Chef talk: Catch celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson at Sixth & I on Wednesday at 7 for a discussion of his new cookbook, Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home. Tickets are $35 and include a copy of the book (or get two tickets for $45).

Wine and a movie: Head to E Street Cinema on Thursday for a special screening of the documentary American Wine Story at 6:30, followed by a Q&A and tasting reception with the wineries and owners featured in the flick. Tickets are $50 per person.

Distillery class: Learn to make seasonal gin cocktails where the spirits are made during a Thursday evening class at New Columbia Distillery, which produces Green Hat Gin. Co-owner Michael Lowe also leads a tour of the space and production process. Tickets are $15.

Wine happy hour: Get a taste of Argentina's Bodega Catena Zapata winery at a discount during a Thursday happy hour at Del Campo from 4 to 7. Glasses go for $6 alongside free tastings of some higher-price bottles, and a raffle whose winner gets a rare wine.

Go Nordic: Hop on the Nordic food trend at B Too on Friday, where chef Bart Vandaele—a member of the Norwegian Seafood Council—prepares a three-course menu with dishes like grilled mackerel with pickled potatoes, cod with smoked leeks and shellfish sauce, and cinnamon waffles ($35.14 per person).

Oysters and apples: Friday marks the beginning of Virginia Cider Week, with a variety of tastings, events, and dinners. Most are in the Charlottesville/Richmond area, so plan a weekend road trip if you're closer to Washington. November is also Virginia Oyster Month, so check out five bivalve festivals happening this weekend (also in road-trip distance from the District).

Happy Birthday, DGS: The Dupont delicatessen turns two on Saturday and celebrates by bringing together some of their favorite chefs and producers for a family-style meal. Look for challah from bread king Mark Furstenburg, deviled eggs topped with Bev Eggleston's chicken cracklings, braised beef shanks courtesy of chef Jeremiah Langhorne, and more. The meal is available from 5:30 to 10 for $40, with an optional $18 beverage pairing.

Holiday cooking, Louisiana-style: Get ready for the holidays at Acadiana on Saturday, which hosts a New Orleans-style cooking class from 1 to 3. The session is $85 per person.

Calling shopaholics: General admission tickets remain for the otherwise sold-out Emporiyum, a food-lover's shopping extravaganza at Union Market on Saturday and Sunday. A national variety of chefs and vendors including Momofuku Milk Bar, Luke's Lobster, Austin's Paul Qui, Mike Isabella, and more sell dishes, drinks, and take-home items (which would make pretty great holiday gifts). General admission tickets ($20) are available online, as well as a workshop with Mast Brothers chocolates ($50). Bluejacket and Red Apron will also run a beer garden with grilled hot dogs that's open to the public.

Posted at 01:45 PM/ET, 11/10/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Every morning, we'll let you know where to find lunch on wheels. By Caroline Cunningham

Happy Monday, food truck followers. Spice up your week with vegan curry chicken from Woodland's Vegan Bistro or pork chops with rice from Borinquen Lunch Box.

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Posted at 10:20 AM/ET, 11/10/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()