Table to Table: The Week in Food Events

This week brings free booze, salami, and tapas; a Canadian winetasting; and a taste of sustainable seafood.

Monday, February 28

Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown is hosting brewer Mike Pearlman for a five-course dinner featuring pairings from Stoudt’s Brewing Company, based in Adamstown, Pennsylvania. Start with grilled-cheese bites and a glass of Karnival Kolsch, and then work your way through duos such as scarlet herb pizza with Scarlet Lady ESB, and chocolate-and-short-rib calzone with 2X Chocolate Porter (see a full menu here). Reservations for the all-inclusive dinner ($65 per person) are required for both seatings at 6:30 and 9. Call 202-337-1245 or e-mail

Ticket sales end today for a lunch event at the Willard Hotel Saturday, March 5, celebrating the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration. Beginning at 1, guests can partake in the re-enactment of the inaugural lunch and dine on 1881-style specialities such as mock turtle soup; boeuf en salaison (salted beef) with noisette potatoes; and blackberry pie with berry coulis. A series of speakers are part of the lineup, including Sam Waterston—who played Lincoln in Gore Vidal’s movie, Lincoln, and is also known as Jack McCoy from Law & Order—and Ron White, author of The Eloquent President and A. Lincoln. Visit the Web site for tickets ($75 per person) and a full description of activities.

Tuesday, March 1

The big-ticket event of the week is the 13th annual St. Jude Gourmet Gala at the National Building Museum from 5:30 to 9:30, whose proceeds benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Some of Washington’s top toques, such as Eric Ziebold from CityZen, the Source’s Scott Drewno, and Michel Richard will dish out small bites (click here for a full list of participating chefs and restaurants). If sampling wine and food from more than 30 stations doesn’t occupy all your time, there’s also a silent auction. Visit the Web site for tickets ($350) and more information.

Celebrate with Jaleo Bethesda on its tenth anniversary with complimentary light tapas (gazpacho, chicken croquetas, and fried dates wrapped in bacon), sangria, beer, and wine from 6:30 to 8:30. The full menu is available here *PDF).

Wednesday, March 2

Blame Canada for turning an average mid-week night into a chance to sample more than ten wines from Ontario and British Columbia. The Canadian Embassy opens its doors at 7 for guests to sip from bottles of Mission Hill Sauvignon Blanc, Wayne Gretzky Shiraz/Cabernet, 20 Bees Ice Wine, and ice cider (see a full list of wines here). Passed hors d’oeuvres include crab croquettes, wild-boar sausage, and artichoke-Parmesan tarts. To reserve a space ($74 per person) click here.

Thursday, March 3

What better environment for a sustainable-seafood dinner than the National Aquarium? Start off with a cocktail reception and cooking demonstration by chef Xavier Deshayes of the Ronald Reagan Building at 6:30. After working up an appetite perusing the aquarium’s tanks, sit down for a three-course menu that includes seafood sausage with wild-watercress salad; pan-seared lionfish fillet with aïoli mashed potatoes and bouillabaisse sauce; and red-madras-curry-and-mango tart tatin with tamarind sorbet. For reservations ($79 for aquarium members; $89 for nonmembers), call 202-789-2782. Visit the Web site for more on the event and the aquarium’s Fresh Thoughts: Sustainable Seafood dinner series.

Friday, March 4

To celebrate Brazilian Carnaval, which starts this week, Café Atlántico is hosting a series of events today through Tuesday, March 8. This evening’s special is a complimentary tasting (4 to 6) of cachaça, Brazil’s fiery spirit most frequently included in caipirinha cocktails. Get in the mood with live samba music from ZezehBrazil and a demonstration of capoeira, a Brazilian martial art, from the Ballet Teatro Internacional. Click here for the full lineup of activities, which includes a three-course carnaval dinner ($50 per person) March 8.

Saturday, March 5

Casa Nonna’s executive chef, Amy Brandwein, begins a series of Italian cooking classes that focuses on culinary traditions from different areas of that country with a session on Emilia-Romagna. Brandwein will demonstrate four dishes and offers samples, and there’ll be a seated lunch after the 90-minute class. Expect fried dough with house-made pork salami; baked lasagna with bolognese and béchamel; country pork ribs braised with tomatoes and olives; and cherry-topped sponge cake layered with vanilla and chocolate custard. The class and meal are $100, including tax and gratuity. Call 202-629-2505 for reservations.

Check out the latest brands of salami from Olli Salumeria Americana at Arrowine in Arlington at a free tasting from 1 to 4. The Richmond-based Olli is owned by Oliviero Colmignoli, whose family started Italy’s Fiorucci salumi line. Colmignoli combines Fiorucci’s 150-year-old recipes with pork from local, sustainable farms. Arrowine sells other Olli products, such as hot lomo, guanciale, and lardo, and will have the new salami for sale. Call 703-525-0990 for more information.

Sunday, March 6

Embrace New Orleans' Francophile side at Central, which is serving a Big Easy-inspired menu through Fat Tuesday, March 8. Menu items include fried oysters with caviar-creole remoulade, beignets, and Michel Richard's whimsical take on classics such as gumbo and a trout po'boy. Louisina's Abita Mardi Gras Bock Ale is on tap, in addition to cocktails found in the French Quarter such as the sazerac, cyclone, and hurricane. Drop by the bar, or call 202-626-0015 for reservations.

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Follow Washingtonian on Twitter

w the Best Bites Bloggers on Twitter at

More>> Best Bites Blog | Food & Dining | Restaurant Finder


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.