The Week in Food Events: Cochon 555, Free Birthday Dinners at Restaurant Eve, and All-You-Can-Eat Crawfish

Plus: Zaytinya heats up its Greek Easter celebrations.

By: Anna Spiegel

Greek Easter: So you’ve already eaten ham with your extended family. Why not head over to Zaytinya to try Easter Mediterranean-style? The restaurant hosts an extended festival that runs Monday through May 5, and includes specials dishes, cocktails, and a number of activities. Events this week include a wine dinner on Wednesday with Greek author Aglaia Kremezi and Apostolos Spiropoulos of Spiropoulos Winery ($85 per person), and a cooking class with Kremezi on Thursday ($65 per person). Check the event page for more details.

All About Eve: Both Restaurant Eve and its namesake, chef/owner Cathal Armstrong’s daughter, are celebrating April birthdays and treating other April babies to a complimentary five-course dinner in the tasting room (typically $120 before beverage, tax, and tip). In lieu of payment, guests are asked to bring a gift or check for the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. The deal must be made by calling the restaurant (no online reservations) and mentioning “birthday bash;” it’s not valid for Friday or Saturday nights, and is limited to one person per table in the tasting room. Alcohol and gratuity for the meal are also not included. All that being said, have fun! The special runs through the whole month.

Pennsylvania invasion: Monday marks the monthly Industry Takeover Night at Graffiato, and taking over are Pennsylvania toques Brad Spence from Amis in Philadelphia and Justin Severino of Pittsburgh’s Cure. Come for the gratis snacks at the downstairs pizza bar and special cocktails from Gina Chersevani, and stay for the party that will ensue.

Dessert tasting: Poste pastry chef Ryan Westover, who was just nominated by Food & Wine Magazine for the People’s Best New Pastry Chef award (2941 dessert maven Caitlin Dysart is also a contender), is offering a Southern-inspired dessert tasting menu starting Monday through April 8 (the dates correspond with the voting period). You’ll sample five sweets ($20 per person), including mimosa sorbet, a “pb&j” with peanut gianduja and grape jam gelĂ©e, and chocolate eclair truffles.

Vintage wine class: Fiola hosts its monthly wine class series on Thursday from 5:30 to 7. April’s subject is vintage wines, and sommelier John Toigo leads a tasting through aged bottles along with newer examples to show contrast. Reservations are $170 per person and can be made by calling 202-628-2888.

Taste of Japan: One of the top culinary events of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Taste of Japan, happens on Thursday at 7 in the Carnegie Library. You’ll sample Japanese-inspired fare from restaurants like Sushi Taro and Toki Underground, and sip a number of native beers and sakes. Tickets start at $100, and benefit the festival.

Beer and bread: You’ll find two of life’s basic joys together at a brew and bread tasting at the Sixth & I Synagogue on Thursday at 7 PM. Chris O’Brien, author of Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World, leads the seminar with suds from local breweries such as Port City and Baying Hound Aleworks. Tickets start at $23.

All-you-can-eat crawfish: That’s right— Pearl Dive’s annual crawfish boil is back on Saturday. Come hungry, as you’ll have all the crawfish and Abita beer you can handle. Spaces are available during two seatings: noon to 2 and 2:30 to 4:30 ($65 per person).

World of whiskey: The Occidental hosts a “whiskeys of the world” dinner on Saturday from 6:30 to 9. The five-course menu is paired with brown spirits from Tennessee, Scotland, Canada, and more. Check out the full food and beverage lineup and purchase tickets ($117 per person) online.

Pig party: Sunday welcomes the Washington leg of the Cochon 555 tour at the Newseum. It’s a traveling culinary competition in which five chefs prepare five different breeds of heritage hogs paired with five varieties of wine to see who’ll go on to the finals in Aspen. This year you’ll get a pork overload from chefs such as Mike Isabella and Kyle Bailey as well as an abundance of, bourbon, barbecue, and other treats. Tickets start at $125 for general admission at 5 PM.