Table to Table: The Week in Food Events

Cupcake Wars, sushi etiquette, and lots and lots of pork.

Monday, March 7
Frederick’s Restaurant Week starts today and runs through Sunday. Restaurants such as Volt and Acacia are offering four sets of special menus: two- and three-course lunches ($10.11 and $20.11) and dinners ($20.11 and $30.11). Visit the Web site for a list of participating restaurants.

Forget about a three-martini lunch. Try sampling ten wines with your midday meal—it comes with any lunch purchase for $10—at Smith & Wollensky during its 48th annual Wine Week, today through Friday. The rotation changes daily, and varieties include Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne, Wildhorse Pinot Noir, and Trefethen Chardonnay (see the list of wines here). Call 202-466-1100 for reservations.

Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company is offering a Grills Gone Wild menu today through Sunday. Tamer options are wild Alaskan halibut with caramelized-onion rice and mango salsa as well as wild-boar sausages. Some of the crazier dishes are snapping-turtle chili with honey-jalapeño cornbread and sherried sour cream as well as muskrat “poppers” with curried red-pepper cream. Visit the Web site for locations and more information.

Tuesday, March 8
Happy Fat Tuesday! Check out our Mardi Gras roundup of restaurants and bars that are celebrating with special drinks, food, live music, and deals.

The arrival of the Los Angeles-based Sprinkles bakery in Georgetown added another play to the area’s cupcake competition. Catch a televised version of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars when the vegan Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats, in DC’s Columbia Heights, goes head to head with three other bakeries. BreadSoda in Glover Park is hosting a watch party from 8 to 10, during which there’ll be cupcake-and-cocktail pairings (from a chocolate old fashioned to a vegan white Russian). Check out the Sticky Fingers Facebook event page for updates and information.

Wednesday, March 9
DC native Trevor Corson, author of The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice, acts as “sushi concierge” as he leads guests through a traditional tasting at Sushiko in Glover Park from 7 to 9. Corson will guide diners through the history, preparation, and eating etiquette of a Japanese menu with only traditional fish and techniques—no rainbow rolls involved. The meal ($105 including tax and tip) includes an appetizer, ten to 12 pieces of sushi, soup, salad, and dessert. Visit Corson’s Web site to book reservations and learn more.

Stop into the Capitol Visitor Center (First St. and E. North Capital, NE) theater from 6 to 8:30 for a special screening of Pig Business, an investigative documentary that delves into the world of commercial pig farming and its effect on the environment, small farms, and animal and human welfare. Environmental advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Kathy Ozer of the National Family Farm Coalition, renowned Virginia pig farmer Bev Eggleston, and others will discuss the film and its implications after the viewing. The screening is free, but arrive in advance to ensure seating.

Thursday, March 10
Winemaker Deborah Brenner, author of Women of the Vine, is hosting a tasting and signing at Morton’s Steakhouse in Crystal City from 7 to 8:30. Her book—a copy is included in the $52 event ticket—profiles the work and personal lives of 21 women in the wine industry, some of whom now contribute to Brenner’s Women of the Vine wine label, a collection of vintages from female growers and winemakers. Brenner will lead a tasting of wines from the Women of the Vine cellars, which are paired with light hors d’oeuvres. Click here for reservations.

Roughly 150 restaurants in Washington are participating in today’s Dining Out for Life campaign, which benefits Food & Friends, a nonprofit organization that delivers daily meals, groceries, and nutritional services to people suffering from HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Restaurants such as Tosca, Buck’s Fishing & Camping, BGR the Burger Joint, and all Black Restaurant Group locations are donating 25 to 100 percent of today’s profits to Food & Friends. Visit the Web site for a list of restaurants, or go to OpenTable to find restaurants that are accepting online reservations.

Friday, March 11
Vegetarians and vegetable lovers can bulk up their recipe repertoire at L’Academie de Cuisine’s vegetable seminar, a technique-driven class that focuses on knife skills and classic preparations of 15 veggie dishes. Learn to prepare spicy broccoli rabe with roasted garlic and Parmesan, vegetable tempura with soy-ginger sauce, eggplant Parmesan, and more. Chef Bonnie Moore is leading the class ($165), which runs from 10:30 to 2:30, at the Gaithersburg campus. Click here for a full list of dishes and to make reservations.

Saturday, March 12
PS 7’s cocktail whiz, Gina Chersevani, is hosting a “Beer + a Shot = Cocktails” class, starting at noon. Chersevani will demonstrate how to make cocktails by mixing suds and spirits. There are samples, of course, along with light hors d’oeuvres from chef Andrew Markert. Reservations for class, which is $65, can be made by calling 202-742-8550.

Butcher’s Block by Robert Wiedmaier is hosting a complimentary sampling of Valderrama olive oils from 3 to 5. The Valderrama family has produced oils in Spain since 1853. Alexandre Odier of Art of Wine leads guests through the tasting, which includes varieties such as fruity Arbequina, the heartier Hojiblanca, and Grand Cru—a special blend of oils from the first five days of harvest. Click here to learn more about the oils and here for more information on the event.

Sunday, March 13
Five chefs, five pigs, five wines, and an excess of foo
d, drinks, and local culinary personalities are the recipe for Cochon555, a fundraising competition at the Newseum. The competing chefs—Jamie Leeds (Hank’s Oyster Bar), Bryan Voltaggio (Volt), Adam Sobel (Bourbon Steak), Tarver King (Ashby Inn), and Scott Drewno (the Source)—are each preparing a 175-pound heritage hog from snout to tail. Guests and 20 judges—including chefs R.J. Cooper, David Guas, and Mike Isabella—will rate the results and determine who’ll be the “prince or princess of pork” and go on to the national Cochon competition. There’s also a butchering competition, demonstrations on how to break down whole hogs, and wines from Elk Cove Vineyards, Sokol Blosser, and more. VIP tickets ($175 per person) allow early entrance at 3:30 along with a wine reception, caviar, oysters, and hors d’oeuvres. Regular entry ($125 per person) begins at 5. Visit the Web site for event details and to purchase tickets. The ten-city competition is designed to promote awareness of small farmers and humanely raised heritage pigs.

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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.