The Week in Food Events: Taste of the Nation, Hank’s Oyster Fest, and Free Cocktails at Ping Pong Dim Sum

Plus piggy dinners at Dino.

By: Anna Spiegel

Chef-tacular: The big ticket event this week is Taste of the Nation, Share Our Strength’s fundraiser at the National Building Museum on Monday. A whole host of chefs, bartenders, winemakers, and participating restaurants share bites and sips, all in an effort to end childhood hunger in America. Tickets start at $105 and go up to $150 for VIP access.

Empanada happy hour: April is National Empanada Month (why not?), and Cuba Libre celebrates with a variety of stuffed specials. This Monday is the official “empanada hour,” with $1 empanadas, $5 caipirinhas, and $4 sangria from 4:30 to 6:30 PM.

Happy birthday, Matchbox: The local pizza chainlet celebrates the tenth anniversary of its original Chinatown shop this month, and you’ll find a number of specials at the founding location. Alumni bartenders will serve up cocktails and give away eats and drinks on Monday; Tuesday you’ll find $10 pizzas, and Wednesday brings a $10-for-ten mini-burger deal. Also mark the calendar for a patio party on April 18.

Burger pop-up: Trummer’s on Main launches its burger and spiked milkshake pop-up on Tuesday, which runs through Thursday from 5 to 9 PM. See the full “burger bar” and boozy shake menu in our preview.

Pig dinner: If you somehow didn’t get enough swine at Cochon 555, head over to Dino on Tuesday at 6:30 PM for a dinner made from a hefty Mangalista hog ($69 per person; $99 with wine pairings). Since it’s tough to take down a 425-pound pig in one evening, you’ll find specials and a $49 pork tasting menu starting on Wednesday until the dishes run out.

Feel the wrath: Granville Moore’s teams up with Leopold Brothers for a booze-fueled Seven Deadly Sins dinner on Tuesday at 6:30 PM. You’ll find dishes like duck pancakes with Swiss chard cracklings paired with blackberry brandy ($70 per person).

Comped cocktails (and a cab): Ping Pong Dim Sum launches set family-style menus for two and three diners on Tuesday, and as an added incentive is throwing in complimentary Ping Pong cocktails and a $20 Uber voucher through Sunday. The meals cost $50 for two and $75 for three; a vegetarian option is available.

Genever celebration: Fans of Belgium’s signature spirit, genever, can head to Et Voila! on Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. The spot is launching a four-day celebration with special tastings, cocktails, and dishes. VĂ©ronique Beittel, brand owner and importer of Diep 9, will be on hand to talk about the product and share cocktails like passionfruit genever mixed with Hoegaarden.

Booze cruise: Set sail on the Spirit of Washington with other whiskey aficionados during the Whiskey Guild’s tasting cruise on Wednesday from 7 to 9:30 PM. You’ll sample a variety of brown liquors, with a buffet dinner helping to keep conditions calm on deck. Tickets start at $95 for general admission, and are $115 for VIP access.

Bee benefit: Help the honey bees with a benefit at Whole Foods Chevy Chase on Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. You’ll sample honey-infused hors d’oeuvres and drinks, listen to live music, and hear remarks from well-known beekeeper Gunther Hauk. Tickets are $30 and benefit the Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary in Floyd, Virginia.

Oyster Fest: Hank’s Oyster Bar in Dupont hosts its sixth annual Oyster Fest on Saturday, starting at 11 AM. You’ll get all-you-can-eat freshly shucked oysters, fried bivalves, popcorn shrimp, and more, alongside all-you-can-drink craft brews. Tickets are $80, with partial proceeds going to Women Chefs & Restaurateurs.

Wine dinner and tasting: Cork Market & Tasting Room hosts two wine events on Saturday and Sunday. First up is a dinner with Neal Rosenthal wines on Saturday at 7 PM, with courses from chef Kristin Hutter and discussions of the wine led by a Rosenthal wine specialist ($75 per person). Then on Sunday at 2 PM is a tasting of new vintages from the Loire Valley ($25 per person). Reservation for either event can be made by e-mailing

Gin tales: Local cocktail historian Luke Johnson leads a seminar on the colorful history of gin through five cocktails on Sunday from 6 to 7:30. Head to the Occidental to hear gin-fueled anecdotes and taste a variety of spirits, from sweeter-style gins to dry versions. Tickets are $45 through the Museum of the American Cocktail.