Table to Table: The Week in Food Events

Taste the best of two DC neighborhoods, celebrate Oktoberfest, and get a head start on holiday cooking.

Monday, October 4

Jamey Whetstone, owner and winemaker of Whetstone Cellars in Napa, switches coasts to host a dinner tonight at Bourbon Steak with executive chef David Varley. Expect such offerings as the vineyard’s 2007 Catie’s Corner Viognier paired with Varley’s madai sashimi and the 2007 Phoenix Ranch Syrah with whole roasted lamb (for the full menu, click here). The dinner, $135 per person, begins at 7. Call 202-944-2026 for reservations.

Tuesday, October 5

Grazers, delight: The annual Taste of Dupont is tonight. From 6 to 9, a number of restaurants in DC’s Dupont Circle (click here for a map) are offering $5 sampling portions. Dishes include butternut-squash tortelloni from Darlington House and Firefly’s deviled eggs. Tickets (sold individually for $5 or in packages of five for $20) can be purchased here or at the Dupont Circle Resource Center (9 Dupont Cir., NW) beginning at 5. All participants are entered into a raffle that includes a $100 gift certificate to Mourayo.

Mark Bittman, New York Times dining columnist and author of several cookbooks—including the voluminous classic How to Cook Everything—is speaking about his new work, The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living. The book has recipes in the Michael Pollan style (“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”) and advice on health- and environment-conscious eating, shopping, and living. The talk is at 7 at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue and is followed by a Q&A and signing. Tickets ($12 or two for free with purchase of the $35 book) can be ordered here.

Wednesday, October 6

Internationally renowned wine importer and author Neal Rosenthal leads a tasting at Cork Market & Tasting Room from 6 to 7:30. Rosenthal will guide guests through the essentials of his French and Italian wines, offer pours of newly released vintages, and read from his memoir, Reflections of a Wine Merchant. E-mail to reserve a spot. $25.

Battle of the Bartenders pits an all-star team of four Washington mixologists (PS 7’s Gina Chersavani, Café Atlántico’s Owen Thomson, and Room 11’s Dan Searing) against skilled contenders from Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Richmond. The teams muddle, shake, and stir their way to victory when a secret cocktail ingredient is revealed. Mike Isabella of Graffiato and Modern Gentleman coauthor Jason Tesauro determine the winner. The contest is free as part of the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Food, Beverage & Lodging Expo in Baltimore, which runs until tomorrow and includes a full lineup of foodie events.

Thursday, October 7

Food trucks rev their engines for the first annual Curbside Cookoff, today and tomorrow at CityCenterDC from 11 to 9. Twenty of Washington’s street-food vendors, such as Red Hook Lobster Pound and TaKorean, dish out their mobile fare while attendees vote by text (or old-fashioned ballot) for their favorite. In addition to the food, Brightest Young Things and Flying Dog are sponsoring a happy-hour beer garden. A lineup of graffiti art, live music, dance performances, and yoga demonstrations provides entertainment. Entrance is free. For more information, click here.

Rob Ferguson of Culpeper’s Cibola Farms joins Stir Food Group executive chef Bryan Moscatello to host a free 30-minute seminar at Zola Wine & Kitchen. Guests will learn about cooking techniques and recipes centered around Cibola’s bison and pork products, and the talk is followed by a tour of the neighboring Penn Quarter farmers market led by Moscatello. For more information, click here.

Friday, October 8

Spend date night learning how to cook romantic meals at CulinAerie’s Couples Food & Wine class. Guests will prepare seared scallops with cucumber-dill sauce, mushroom-and-herb-stuffed chicken with couscous and wilted spinach, and cranberry bread pudding. The class, $185 per couple, includes wine pairings and begins at 7. Click here for reservations.

Saturday, October 9

Taste of Georgetown runs from 11 to 4 today, with stalls from 30 restaurants lining Wisconsin Avenue between M and K streets. Participating eateries include Tackle Box, Clyde’s, Farmers & Fishers, and Georgetown Cupcake. Tickets for food ($5 each or five for $20) and drink ($10 for four samples of beer, wine, and/or cocktails) can be purchased here. Proceeds benefit Georgetown Ministry Center’s services for the homeless.

Head to Rustico in Alexandria’s Del Ray for an afternoon of Oktoberfest festivities. Most of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group eateries—which includes Evening Star Cafe, Vermilion, and Birch & Barley—will dish out grilled brats, sauerkraut, handmade pretzels, and other dishes. Greg Engert of DC’s ChurchKey will have 30 autumnal craft-beer selections. Non-culinary entertainment includes live music, a raffle, and a family area with a moon bounce and cookie- and pumpkin-decorating tables. Admission is free, and $1 tickets can be purchased on-site for food and drink items (most require three to eight tickets).

Sunday, October 10

Roadside Organics and the Hip Hop Caucus are teaming up for "District Flavors: A Local Food Block Party" at Bread For the City (1525 Seventh St., NW) from noon to 4. The afternoon is meant to raise awareness for area's of DC that don't have access to healthy food. Local chefs, including Daniel Giusti of 1789, are cooking dishes for the free event. There'll also be hip-hop music and speeches throughout the day.   

It doesn’t hurt to get an early start on holiday-cookie decorating, and a how-to class from Betsy Cukla of Hammer Song Cookie Cutters will have guests piping Rudolph’s red nose before the first snowflake falls. Participants will learn a
number of techniques, including how to make meringue icing. The class, which runs from 10 to noon at La Cuisine in Alexandria, is $120 per person (including all ingredients and materials). E-mail for reservations.

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.