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

OD on oysters, learn about the art of making punch, and take a spin around Taste of DC.

Spike Mendelsohn will talk burgers and pizza this Saturday at Taste of DC. Photograph courtesy of Bravo.

Aperitivo Happy Hour Debuts at Casa Nonna
Tuesday, October 4 from 5 to 8 PM
Casa Nonna is kicking off its new happy hour, which features discounted cocktails and wine alongside complimentary Italian small plates. Between 5 and 6, the Dupont Circle restaurant is serving up a special one-night promotion—free Peroni beers, Limoncello-based aperitifs, and appetizers from chef Amy Brandwein. After that, you’ll find the regular happy hour deals: $3 Peronis, $5 quartinos of wine, and such free snacks as risotto balls, marinated mushrooms, meatballs, and crostini.

Talk and Tasting with Joan Nathan
Tuesday, October 4 at 7 PM
Join James Beard Award-winning cookbook author Joan Nathan as she talks about her latest book, Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France at National Geographic Live! (1600 M St., NW; 202-857-7700). After the talk, guests can sample several of the dishes Nathan writes about at a reception.Tickets are $42 for National Geographic members, and $48 for non-members. Click here to buy them.

Bartender Dan Searing Talks Punch at the Passenger
Tuesday, October 4 from 6:30 to 8 PM
Dan Searing, founder of the DC Craft Bartenders Guild and author of The Punch Bowl, will explain how to make a perfect punch with a variety of liquors. Guests at the event—held at downtown DC bar the Passenger—won’t leave thirsty:  a sampling of four different punches and light snacks will be served. Tickets are $45 for the general public, with discounts for Museum of the American Cocktail members—click here to buy them. Additional passes ($50 per person) are also available at the door.

Italian Night at PS 7’s Restaurant
Thursday, October 6 from 5:30 to 9:45 PM
For just one night, chef Peter Smith is putting an Italian spin on Penn Quarter eatery PS 7’s, serving up fare inspired by his great grandmother. The a la carte menu will feature such dishes as rice balls with mozzarella, salami and ricotta; linguini carbonara with house-made pancetta; mixed seafood stew; and cannoli (prices range from $4 to $19). Call 202-742-8550 for reservations.

Capitol City Brewing Company’s 12th Annual Oktoberfest
Saturday, October 8 from noon to 7 PM
Head to the Village at Shirlington (4001 Campbell Rd., Arlington) for a celebration that will include German music, pretzels and brats, and of course, plenty of beer from over 40 breweries. General admission is free for children and designated drivers, but those who want to partake in four-ounce samples of beer can pay $25 for a tasting glass and ten drink tickets. Additional tickets will be sold for $1 each (with a five ticket minimum). 

Taste of DC  
Saturday, October 8 through Monday, October 10; event times vary.
Spend Columbus Day weekend at one of the area’s biggest culinary fairs, where you’ll find cook-offs, live music, and lots of food, beer, and wine. Over sixty local restaurants—click here for the list—will set up booths along Pennsylvania Avenue. The culinary stage will feature cooking demonstrations by Good Stuff Eatery’s Spike Mendelsohn, pizza master Edan MacQuaid, Seasonal Pantry’s Dan O’Brien, and other chefs, and bands Styx and Rusted Root will perform. General admission is free, but ticket prices for food, drinks, and events vary. They can be purchased here.

Guinness and Oyster Festival at McGinty’s Public House
Sunday, October 9 from 2 to 7 PM
Bivalves will be served four ways—raw, fried, in po’ boys, and in stew—along with Ireland’s signature beer on the patio outside McGinty’s. Live music, Irish sports demos, and oyster-eating competitions round out the afternoon. Admission is free.

Indian Brunch with Monica Bhide at Seasons
Sunday, October 9 from 11 AM to 1 PM
Food writer Monica Bhide will sign her cookbook, Modern Spice, lead a Q&A, and host a brunch featuring her dishes at the Four Seasons. On the menu: fennel-spiced baby back ribs; black-chickpea pakoras; cumin-braised short ribs with curried crepes; specialty cocktails; and more. The event is $80 per person; call 202-944-2000 to make a reservation.

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.