The Week in Food Events: Restaurant Weeks, a Charity Preview of Doi Moi, and VietFest

Plus a homebrew bash at Kastles Stadium.

By: Anna Spiegel

Summer Restaurant Week: Starting Monday, dine at a discount during Summer Restaurant Week, when a variety of spots offer $20.13 lunches and $35.13 dinners. Check out the full list of eateries on the official site, or browse our roundup of participants on our 100 Very Best Restaurant List. Hoping to try a newly opened place or a Restaurant Week first-timer? We also have a list of 25 spots that fit the bill.

Celebratory wine dinner: Ripple recently joined ten local spots on Wine Enthusiast’s Best Wine Restaurants in America list, and is celebrating with a four-course family-style dinner on Monday. Naturally, wine pairings will be provided for the dishes. Reservations are $80 and should be made by calling the restaurant.

Happy Birthday, PX: Alexandria’s pioneering cocktail den PX celebrates its seventh anniversary on Monday with a benefit for Fit for Hope. Resident barkeep Todd Thrasher is joined by Derek Brown for the special evening (you can catch Thrasher guest-tending at Brown’s Passenger next Monday). RSVP to to try to secure last-minute reservations.

August tastings: Maple Ave hosts its monthly tasting table dinners this week on Wednesday and Thursday, starting at 7. The six-seat, four-course experience will show the journey from the current restaurant to the yet-to-open venture, Water & Wall. The meal is $69 per person (pairings are an additional $15) and can be reserved by calling the restaurant.

Happy Birthday, Ben’s Chili Bowl: The historic U Street restaurant celebrates its 55th anniversary on Thursday. Special guest and Ben’s fan Bill Cosby will join the Ali family at a 10 AM press conference, followed by a day of festivities.

And another restaurant week: While the Washington-area Restaurant Week starts Monday (see above), Alexandria kicks off its similar dining promotion on Friday. Spots such as Cheesetique, Majestic, and more offer two-person dinners for $35 dinners and/or a three-course lunch for the same price.

Dog days relief: Black’s Bar and Kitchen hopes to provide some relief to the summer heat on Saturday with a “hot summer, cold oysters” party from noon to 3. You’ll find a spread of raw and cooked bivalves from Rappahannock Oyster Company, a whole roast pig, sides, and Flying Dog brews. Tickets are $55 and include all-you-can-consume oysters and beer.

Cookies galore: If you missed the raucous bash that was Brightest Young Things’ DC Donut Fest, then you have a second chance for pastry-filled debauchery on Saturday during Cookies & Cream. The party is hosted at Penn Social between noon and 4 and features brunch cocktails, sweet treats, and an ice-cream-sandwich-eating competition. Tickets start at $13.

Homebrew and ’cue: Curious about Washington’s homebrewing scene (or just like to drink beer)? Head to Kastles Stadium on Saturday for the 2nd annual DC Homebrewers BBQ from 2 to 6. The $15 entry includes a plate of barbecue, Sam Adams beer, and an additional ticket for a craft beer of your choosing (more are sold for $5). A variety of demos and presentations from DC homebrewers round out the activities, and there will be games and entertainment for kids.

VietFest: Washington boasts one of the largest Vietnamese expat communities in the nation, and the impressively vast VietFest celebration reflects those numbers. Head to the Landmark Mall in Alexandria on Saturday and Sunday for a multitude of events, many centered on eating (crawfish-eating championship or pho cookoff, anyone?). General admission tickets are $7 for adults, and free for children under 5.

Preview for a cause: Unless you’re someone who doesn’t give to charity unless you can Instagram the process, here’s a cool cause for you: Doi Moi, the soon-to-open restaurant from the Proof and Estadio team, is hosting a pre-opening dinner on Sunday to benefit Brainfood. The restaurant is asking guests to refrain from using social media at and after the event. A minimum $100 donation will go directly to the nonprofit youth development organization, and includes several dishes and drinks from the upcoming menu.

Gospel brunch: The Willard Hotel—where Dr. Martin Luther King finished his “I Have a Dream” speech the night before its delivery—celebrates the 50th anniversary of the historic oration with a gospel brunch on Sunday featuring opera singer Denyce Graves. The $132 meal (that price includes tax and gratuity) revolves around a Southern-style buffet spread with dishes like chicken and waffles, raw bar fare, and carving stations. Call 202-637-7350 for reservations.

Old Fashioned showdown: No, we don’t mean drawing pistols at high noon. Bourbon Steak hosts a competition on Sunday from noon to 3 pitting six bartenders against one another to make the best Old Fashioned. Guests will sample the drinks along with bison dogs from chef John Critchley, oysters from the raw bar, and an additional selection of wines and cocktails. Tickets are $70 per person.