Paella from Jaleo. Photograph by Greg Powers and Audrey Crewe; courtesy of Jaleo
Monday, July 18
Looks like it's paella season. Today, both Jaleo and Taberna del Alabardero are launching festivals dedicated to the Spanish rice dish. All three Jaleo locations (Penn Quarter, Bethesda, Crystal City) are offering paella daily for lunch and dinner through July 31, using recipes from guest chef Rafael Vidal of Restaurante Levante in Benisanó, Spain. The paella dishes are $34 to $50 and include such variations as Paella Valencia with rabbit and chicken; and Paella de Ibérico de Bellota with ibérico pork ribs. Taberna is kicking off its weeklong event—which includes a selection of ten paella dishes—with a cooking demonstration (squid-ink rice with mussels and shrimp and another paella with duck, seafood, and fava beans) on the restaurant's patio today at 11. Other paella dishes have grilled razor clams and scallops, and suckling pig and artichokes.
Tuesday, July 19
It's that time of year: Head to Bar Pilar for the restaurant's first summer crab feast, where $60 (for two) buys ten crabs steamed with cider and Old Bay; two side dishes such as cornbread, house-made slaw, and potato salad; and a rotating dessert (let's hope it's always the buttermilk pie). The special is available every Tuesday as long as crab season lasts.
Wednesday, July 20
Fruit isn't just for a salad anymore at Zola Wine & Kitchen, where there's a class focusing on sweet and savory dishes made with mango, pineapple, citrus, and more. Guests will learn how to prepare crispy dorade with blood-orange beurre blanc on a fennel-and-grapefruit salad, curry chicken with mango chutney, and charred-pineapple cake. The cocktail for the evening? A pineapple mojito. To make reservations ($75) for the class, which starts at 6:30, click here.
Thursday, July 21
Evo Bistro in McLean is hosting a wine dinner with California's Caymus Vineyards. The event begins with a reception at 7 PM with smoked-trout mousse with caviar, fried oysters, and Soleil Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2008. The five-course meal starts at 7:30 with such dishes as a duo of scallop with foie gras, grilled apple, and white balsamic; crispy pork belly with mozzarella, sweet-pea purée, and chorizo oil; and a Cabernet-poached pear with blue cheese and blackberry jam. All come with a wine pairing (click here for the full menu *PDF). For reservations ($125), call 703-288-4422.
Happy birthday, Ernest Hemingway! Sure, you could read A Moveable Feast, but Cuba Libre is celebrating with the author's supposed second-favorite pastime: drinking. The Penn Quarter restaurant is offering $5 "Papa Doble" daiquiris as well as caipirinhas, caipiroskas, and sakerinhas (cachaça and sake) from 4:30 to 6:30.
Friday, July 22
Today is the start of the Living Earth Festival at the National Museum of the American Indian, a three-day environmental celebration with special exhibits, cooking demonstrations, lectures, and more. A farmers market opens at 10 AM on the museum's outdoor plaza, with a variety of foods and crafts for sale (think New Mexico green chiles, which can be roasted on-site). Other events throughout the day include Hopi-breadmaking and Pueblo-style-cooking demonstrations and a class on weaving corn-husk dragonflies for kids (see a full lineup of all the festival events here *PDF). There are also panel discussions on such issues as diabetes, sustainable agriculture, and ocean stewardship. Many of the activities are free.
Saturday, July 23
Urbana restaurant turns five this week and is celebrating with specials from 4 to close, from Monday through today. Look for $5 cocktails with chef John Critchley's house-made limoncello; $10 glasses of Veuve Clicquot; a complimentary glass of Champagne and an ice-cream cone for guests who have dinner in the main dining room, a free serving of beer or wine at lunch, and more.
The eighth annual Asian festival (free admission) unfolds this weekend at George Mason University. More than 35 vendors will dole out traditional dishes from participating countries. Other activities include dance ceremonies, live music, cultural booths, and children's games.Visit the festival Web site for more details.
Sunday, July 24
Saveur magazine is partnering with Sur La Table in Arlington for a series of cooking classes, including today's Carolina-style-barbecue course based on the recent "BBQ Nation" issue. The class, which runs from 11:30 to 1:30, features North Carolina-style chopped pork shoulder, two barbecue sauces (vinegar and mustard-based), a mayo-less coleslaw, and banana pudding. To make reservations ($69 per person), click here.