The Week in Food Events: A Cava Grill for Tenleytown and DC Meat Week

Plus: Birch & Barley's Scottish beer dinner and free tickets to Sugar & Champagne.

By: Anna Spiegel

Learn how to create on-point pairings at Cork this week. Photograph by Chris Leaman.

We just received some good news to start off the week: Cava Grill is opening a new branch in Tenleytown this summer. When we checked out the original location in Bethesda—where the Cava Mezze guys launched the “Mediterranean Chipotle”–esque concept last February—the team was planning a swift expansion. Looks like that plan is being fulfilled, with additional locations slated for Tysons Corner, Merrifield, and, per the press release, additional areas in Washington as spots become available.

Today also marks the beginning of DC Meat Week: a seven-day series of meaty specials at local haunts. The festivities begin at a concert/benefit for wildfire victims at Hill Country starting at 7. Specials include all-you-can-eat brisket, ribs, chicken, and sides for $20, which can be washed down with discounted drinks, like $2 PBR (tickets are available online). Already booked? There will be plenty of more chances to feast this week, including another all-you-can-eat spread on Wednesday—this time from the Porc Mobile—and an awesome-sounding sandwich/hangover cure special at Rocklands in Glover Park on Sunday, featuring pulled pork, bacon, and a fried egg. Check out the lineup of activities here.

If you’re a Birch & Barley fan (or even if you’re not), the spot’s beer-pairing dinners are typically worth checking out­—for the beer, of course, (handpicked by Greg Engert) but also for the off-menu items from chefs Kyle Baileyand Tiffany MacIsaac. Today’s event features nine rare ales from the Scotland-based Williams Brothers Brewing Company—master brewer Bruce Williams himself will be there to talk about the selection—and regionally appropriate dishes, including roasted pheasant with smoked onions, lamb with whiskey sausage, and MacIsaac’s take on cranachan, a traditional Scottish dessert ($73 per person). Call 202-567-2576 for reservations.

Tickets for the Human Society’s 11th annual Sugar & Champagne Affair at the Ronald Reagan Building on Wednesday are sold out, but we have two to give away via Twitter. Followers of Best Bites Blog, tweet your favorite food-based pet name for your animal of choice (Dumpling the dog!). Our favorite response will win two free general reception tickets to the event (worth $90). The event, hosted by Todd and Ellen Gray, is always a goldmine for sweet tooths and Champagne lovers, so start tweeting!

If you don’t have the meat-and-beer sweats by Wednesday, Brasserie Beck should be your dinner destination from 6 to 9. Local breweries DC Brau and Stillwater Artisanal Ales are each matching a five-course dinner from chef William Morris with two brews, plus one special-edition collaboration from both ($85 per person). The menu looks tasty, with dishes like braised rabbit pot pie and buttermilk panna cotta with salted caramel ice cream. Call 202-408-1717 for reservations, or e-mail mac@beckdc.com (spots are limited, so reserve ASAP).

Switching over to wine, Cork Market & Tasting Room is hosting the final installment of its “wine fundamentals” series this Saturday from 2 to 3:30. The course tackles the tricky matter of pairing wine well with food. Classes are offered individually, so don’t feel shy if you’ve missed the others. What better way to spend a lazy Saturday? You’ll sip wine, snack, and, at the end, be better prepared for your next dinner party. The cost is $55 per person; reserve by calling 202-265-2674.

Looking ahead:

Tickets remain for next week’s 13th annual International Wine & Food Festival. It’s a $600 for a full-access VIP pass, but there are far less pricey events, including a sommelier showdown on Thursday, and the weekend-long grand tasting, featuring chef demos and—pace yourselves, now—500 wines.