Table to Table: Highlights of the Week in Washington’s Food Events

Meet Bobby Flay, celebrate all things tomato at Jaleo, and take a snout-to-tail cooking class.

Bryan Voltaggio and other big-name chefs are preparing a blowout dinner to benefit Share our Strength.

La Tomatina Festival at Jaleo
Monday, September 19 through Sunday, October 2
In celebration of the famed tomato fight that takes place each year in Valencia, Spain, all three branches of tapas restaurant Jaleo are offering tomato-based dishes and drinks as part of a two-week-long festival. Small plates ($8 to $12 each) include fried green tomatoes with Valdeon cheese; crab-stuffed tomatoes; heirloom tomatoes with tuna belly and slow-cooked egg; and mixed tomato salad with green onion and black olive, among others. Bartender Owen Thomson has created a cocktail of gin, tomato water, lemon, and basil. All Jaleo locations—DC’s Penn Quarter, Bethesda, and Crystal City—are taking part.

Stuff the Bus Food Drive

Monday, September 19  through Friday, September 30
This food drive, organized by local dining deals site Venga, has a mission to provide 5,000 pounds of food to DC Central Kitchen. At each location, help chefs such as José Andrés and Mike Isabella and other local personalities—ABC’s Cokie Roberts, The Next Food Network Star’s Mary Beth Albright—fill a bus with canned tomatoes, boxed pasta, applesauce, and other healthy nonperishables. Participants who wish to donate food can meet the bus at locations throughout the city (see the full schedule here).  

Legal Sea Foods Oyster Festival
Monday, September 19 through Sunday, October 16
Get an early jump on oyster season at Legal Sea Foods, where there are plenty of oyster specials on the menu. Though dishes vary by location, look for specials like fried oysters with lime salt; oysters and bacon with leeks on Sriracha toast; oyster po’boys; and oyster pie with spinach and mushrooms.  Click here for addresses and other information, and call the individual restaurants for specials.

Share Our Strength Dinner at Volt 
Tuesday, September 27 at 6 PM
This week’s big ticket event benefits the national No Kid Hungry Campaign, an initiative by Share Our Strength to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. Host Bryan Voltaggio will be joined at his restaurant Volt by fellow chefs Charlie Palmer, Cathal Armstrong (Restaurant Eve), Spike Gjerde (Woodberry Kitchen), and Matt Hill (Charlie Palmer Steak), who will prepare a multi-course dinner with wine pairings. Ticket options vary, from a wine and beer reception only ($125 per person) to dinner in the main dining room ($500), in the chef’s kitchen ($1250), and at Table 21 ($2000). A silent auction will offer culinary items.  

Bobby Flay Discussion and Book Signing at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue
Wednesday, September 21 at 7:30 PM

Meet Food Network host and Iron Chef fixture Bobby Flay at this 45-minute talk followed by a signing of his latest book, Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook. Tickets—$40 per person—include a copy of the cookbook. 

Mezcal Tasting at Casa Oaxaca
Friday, September 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Adams Morgan restaurant Casa Oaxaca is holding a tasting in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month that will give guests the chance to sample a flight of three mezcals ($18 per person), including the crisp, lightly smoky Joven, rich Reposado, and oaky Anejo. There are also specialty cocktails like the Holy Mole, made with mezcal Reposado, sweet vermouth, chartreuse, and mole bitters. A special street food menu is on offer through October 15. Call 202-387-2272 for reservations.

Autumn Wine Dinner at Equinox
Friday, September 23 at 7 PM
Equinox owners Todd and Ellen Gray host a dinner with Real Time Farms, an organization that helps educate people on where their food comes from. The evening starts with a canape reception, and then moves on to a seated dinner featuring scallop crudo and smoked foie gras with quince mignonette; orecchiette with robiola cheese, corn, chanterelles, and guanciale; sage-roasted veal loin with curried kabocha squash; and granny smith apple with peanut ice cream and roasted-peanut cake. In addition to the meal there will be a question-and-answer session with Corinna Borden of Real Time Farms and Todd Gray. Reservations—$150 per person, including wine, tax, and tip—can be made by calling 202-331-8118.

DC Veg Fest at George Washington University’s University Yard
Saturday, September 24 from 11 AM to 6 PM
Celebrate the meatless side of life with DC VegFest—a day of speakers, cooking demonstrations, book signings, and plenty of vegetarian munchies—co-organized by Compassion Over Killing and the Vegetarian Society of DC. The schedule includes a talk and book signing by Humane Society president Wayne Pacelle and a cooking demo by vegan chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz among many other activities. See the full lineup here. Between events you can graze on offerings from Amsterdam Falafelshop, Bread and Brew, Sticky Fingers, and more. Admission is free.  

Snout to Tail Cooking Class at BLT Steak
Saturday, September 24 from 12:30 to 3 PM
BLT Steak chef Victor Albisu and Wagshal’s Market co-host a class on lesser-used cuts of beef. Albisu will make a trio of braised beef (cheek, oxtail, and short rib) over gnocchi; grilled heart with horseradish and beet salad; surf n’ turf of pan-roasted sweetbreads and lobster; and grilled hanger steak and kidneys. Following the class guests will sit down to a four-course lunch. The class is $100 per person, and reservations can be made by calling Erica Frank at 202-689-8989.

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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.