Table to Table: The Week in Food Events

This week, celebrate two saints (Patrick and Joseph), score free tequila, and learn about wine from a master sommelier.

Monday, March 14
During Oyamel’s two-week Tequila & Mezcal festival—which starts today—connoisseurs are leading tastings, cocktail classes, and demonstrations centered around Mexico’s prime spirit. Through March 28, there are featured flights and cocktails as well as complimentary events such as a tequila-cocktail-making demonstration and “mezcal missionary” Ron Cooper’s discussion. (A full schedule of events can be seen here.) Call 202-628-1005 for reservations.

Leave the Greek salad behind and explore the culinary traditions of Crete at a four-course dinner hosted by Mourayo and chef/author Nikki Rose, founder of Crete’s Culinary Sanctuaries, an organization designed to protect the island’s heritage. The menu highlights ingredients that are historically important to Crete and presents them in modern ways: grilled sardines over eggplant purée; rabbit ragoût with Cretan pasta; and pork tenderloin with honey-almond-and-fig sauce. For those who want to delve deeper into Hellenic history, the Embassy of Greece is presenting a complimentary lecture prior to the 8:30 meal ($65 per person, including two glasses of wine) with professor Donald Haggis from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The seminar, which begins at 6:30, details farming, feasting, and foundations of early Greek cities. Click here for more details and to make reservations.

Tuesday, March 15
Jeremy Smith, author of Growing a Garden City, is discussing and reading from his work on community-based agriculture at Busboys & Poets at DC’s 14th and V streets at 6:30. In the book, Smith shows an array of characters—from farmers to troubled teens to foodies—and details how they transformed themselves and their communities through agricultural projects. Smith will answer questions along with leaders from the DC Farm to School Network, Slow Food DC, the Neighborhood Farm Initiative, and others, who will provide information on how to get involved in our area. The event is free.

Beer connoisseurs should stop by Meridian Pint to taste the work of 20 home brewers who are showcasing their products at a complimentary tasting from 6 to 8. Each contestant worked on his or her own formula for the past two months. A panel of judges will decide who should quit their days jobs and who should stick to buying six-packs. Call 202-588-1075 for more information.

Artini, a cocktail competition among a dozen mixologists to create a drink based on a work of art, is starting its “feature nights” at Tabard Inn. Each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 throughout March, a Washington venue known for its cocktails will feature a special tipple drink and donate 20 percent of its bar proceeds to upcoming exhibits. Vote for your favorite art-inspired cocktail at, and head to the main Artini event at the Corcoran on April 2 to taste all 12 entries. Visit our Artini page for the schedule and event information and to vote.

Wednesday, March 16
The Capital Wine Festival at the Fairfax Hotel at Embassy Row is winding down, with only two more Wednesday-night wine dinners. Tonight features Silver Oak Cellars—a Napa and Alexander Valley winery that focuses almost exclusively on Cabernet Sauvignon—and the owner’s new venture, Twomey. Winemaker Daniel Baron will guide guests through the food-and-wine pairings, such as crispy duck confit with wild mushrooms and melted leeks alongside Twomey Pinot Noir, and Cabernet-braised boneless short ribs with Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon. The reception begins at 7 and is followed by a four-course dinner ($155 per person). Visit the event Web site for a full menu and more information, and click here to purchase tickets.
Thursday, March 17
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in all its green-beer glory! Check out our listing of events for Irish-themed celebrations. Slaynt!

Friday, March 18
Party like a Parisian at the French Embassy during the Grande Fete celebration, the biggest event of the Francophonie Cultural Festival. More than 35 embassies and organizations have tables with dishes, drinks, and art from Francophone countries, from Belgium to Morocco to Vietnam. The tasting runs from 7 to 10, and a dance party starts soon after. General-admission tickets are sold out, but $50 benefactor tickets are still available here.

Saturday, March 19
The world of wine can be a mysterious place, even for oneophiles. Citronelle’s master sommelier, Kathy Morgan, is leading a class called “Sommelier’s Secrets” from 1 to 3, covering sipping etiquette, vocabulary, and common myths—such as “legs” as a marker of quality. The class is $100 per person, but you can get a discount if you purchase reservations for more classes in Morgan’s five-part series. Call 202-625-2150 for reservations.

If you didn’t get enough of saintly holidays on St. Paddy’s, head to the Pug on H Street, Northeast, for the dive bar’s St. Joseph’s Day celebration. The patron saint of carpenters is honored with $3 Peronis, $2 Sambuca, and special meatball-and-sausage sandwiches.

Eatonville and Church Lady Cake Diaries are hosting the semifinals of the “Makes-Me-Wanna-Shout!” coconut-cake challenge. From 2 to 4 at the restaurant, amateur bakers are offering tastings of their confections to the public and judges, including cookbook authors Joan Nathan and Brenda Rhodes Miller. Sample Samoa-cookie-inspired coconut cake, coconut cake with cardamom-cream-cheese frosting, coconut-oatmeal cookie cake, and many more. (The list of cakes can be seen here.) The top five cakes will go on to the final competition April 27, and the winning cake earns $500 and a place on Eatonville’s dessert menu. Proceeds from tickets ($16.52; click here) go to Miriam’s Kitchen, which provides meals and services to the homeless.

Washington native Daphne Miller, author of The Jungle Effect: A Doctor Discovers the Healthiest Diets from Around the World—Why They Work and How to Bring Them Home, discusses “food vitality” through the lens of traditional diets and scientific studies at Elizabeth’s Gone Raw (1341 L St.
, NW). Miller’s book examines cultures with historically low rates of chronic diseases, such as cancer and depression, with a specific focus on what we eat. The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 5:30, followed by Miller’s talk and a five-course vegan, raw dinner ($110 per person). Call 303-347-8349 or e-mail to reserve. Click here for more information.
Sunday, March 20
At Galileo III chef Roberto Donna’s spring cooking class, participants will learn to make five courses, including asparagus-egg salad, pea soup, fettuccine with ham and lemon sauce, roasted chicken with orange sauce, and strawberry Bavarian cream. The hands-on class, which begins at 1:30, is followed by a sit-down lunch ($140 per person, including class, recipe booklet, and apron). The event is at Donna’s home in Virginia. Call Nancy at 202-257-0168 for reservations, and visit the Web site for more details.

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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.