Table to Table: The Week in Food Events

Beer dinners, food festivals, and the great DC Taco Experiment.

Monday, May 9
Get your beer-and-pizza fix at Pizzeria Paradiso in Old Town Alexandria, where a four-course meal is paired with six brews from Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing Company. On tap are such pours as Milk Stout and Good Juju—a pale ale made with fresh ginger—alongside dishes including grilled ginger prawns with carrot-cilantro salad; pizza with sweet-spicy plum sauce, bacon, and smoked mozzarella; and roasted pear with chocolate biscotti and vanilla whipped cream (read the full menu here). For a seat at the dinner ($65 all-inclusive), which starts at 6:30, e-mail or call 703-837-1245.

Tuesday, May 10
Chef Juan Manuel Barrientos—who owns two restaurants in Medellin, Colombia, and specializes in molecular gastronomy—is visiting Café Atlántico today through Sunday. There are special dishes on the menu at lunch and dinner and a seven-course meal tomorrow night. Call 202-393-0812 for reservations, and find out more at Café Atlántico’s Web site.

Wildfire in Tysons Corner is hosting a beer dinner with Vermont’s Magic Hat brewery. At a pre-dinner reception, try smoked chicken wings with Magic Hat #9, and then sit down for three courses. Parings inlcude an open-faced steak sandwich on Asagio ciabatta with the beer Blind Faith and pineapple upside-down cake with house-made ice cream paired with Single Chair Ale. The dinner, which starts at 6:30, is $45; for reservations, call Michelle Bringham at 703-442-9110.

Wednesday, May 11
Visit the Kennedy Center for the Roof Terrace restaurant’s “Virginia Marketplace: Exploring the Roots of the Old Dominion” event. Distillers, wine and cheese makers, butchers, and bakers from Virginia will sample their goods. The tasting, which runs from 6 to 8, is $40. Call 202-416-8555 for reservations, and visit the Web site for more information.

Expand your whiskey knowledge at Columbia Firehouse, which is holding a tasting from 6 to 9 (the exact lineup is still in the works). Tickets, $15, include five tastes of whiskey, including Scotch, rye, bourbon, Irish, and white. No RSVP is necessary. Call 703-683-1776 for more information.

Thursday, May 12
Sisters Frances and Ginger Park are celebrating the release of their memoir, Chocolate Chocolate: The True Story of Two Sisters, Tons of Treats, and the Little Shop That Could, with a reception at their store, Chocolate Chocolate (1130 Connecticut Ave., NW) in downtown DC from 5:30 to 7:30. There’ll be complimentary Champagne and chocolate. Copies of the book ($24) are available for purchase and signing. Call 202-466-2190 for more information.

Friday, May 13
Cooking Light magazine’s executive chef, Billy Strynkowski, is preparing a five-course dinner at the Old Hickory Steakhouse in National Harbor with chef Aaron Baxendale. Dishes include chilled oysters with strawberry-ginger mignonette; scallop carpaccio with pickled-ramp purée; and slow-cooked veal with creamy peas, foie gras, and truffles. Each course is paired with wines from Napa’s Hendry Estate (see a full menu here). The event begins at 7 and is $110 per person, including tax and gratuity. Call 301-965-4000 for reservations or book a seat on the Web site.

Saturday, May 14
The fourth annual National Harbor Wine & Food Festival starts at noon today, and the only tickets left are a limited number of two-day, all-access tickets ($150 per person). The all-you-can-taste event includes 150 wines, beers, and spirits; cooking demonstrations; and discussions with celebrity toques such as Iron Chef’s Katsuya Fukushima and Elizabeth Falkner from Citizen Cake as well as a tasting pavilion with hundreds of samples from participants. Visit the event Web site for more details and to purchase tickets.

In other tastings this weekend, eight Mount Vernon Triangle eateries—including Kushi and Taylor Gourmet—are opening their doors for the second annual neighborhood food crawl. A master ticket ($15 in advance on the Web site; $20 the day-of at the Fifth Street Ace Hardware) gets a tasting of an appetizer, entrée, or dessert, which can include wine and beer pairings. Visit the site for more information.

Learn some tricks of mixology at TenPenh, where Passion Food Hospitality beverage director Scott Clime is leading a course from 1 to 3 on classic cocktails and homemade drink ingredients. Guests will learn to master basic drinks—such as the margarita, martini, and Sazerac—as well as how to make their own bitters, cocktail onions, cherries, sour mix, and more. The class is $75. See the Web site for more details, and call 202-393-4500 for reservations.

Sunday, May 15
The Food Experiments—a national series of amateur cook-offs—is coming to Washington with the DC Taco Experiment. Home cooks are gathering at the Rock & Roll Hotel at 4 noon to show off all forms of taco creations—from the sweet to the savory—to be judged by members of the local food media. The winner receives a free trip to Brooklyn to compete in the championship cook-off, and all participants get a Whole Foods gift certificate to help cover the cost of ingredients. Anyone can compete and attend (advance tickets are $10; $15 at the event), and part of the proceeds go to the Capital Area Food Bank. Visit the Web site for more info.

The 16th annual Taste of Weekend comes to Wheaton Triangle from 11 to 5, with $1 to $5 tastes from area restaurants. In addition to the food, there are two stages with music from JCJ Band, Secret Society, and others; dance performances; and a range of kid-friendly activities such as face painting and a puppet theater. Visit the Web site for more information. 

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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.