This Week’s Food Events: Free Pinot, Tomato Festivals, Julia Child Restaurant Week

Plus: grower Champagne specials at Urbana and Old Time Ice Cream.

Pan con tomate at Boqueria, where you'll find tomato specials all month. Photograph courtesy of Boqueria.

Sip With the Sommeliers: The Hotel Palomar plays host to wine experts vying for Advanced Sommelier status next week, and the bar and lounge at Urbana is celebrating with a special menu of grower Champagnes by the half bottle ($48 to $84) and glass ($17), plus Rieslings from New York, Germany, and New Zealand ($10 to $12), $6 craft beers from Victory and Port City, and a Fernet About It (“it” being the wine exam, presumably) cocktail with Yellow Chartreuse, Carpano Antica, and Fernet Branca for $13. The menu will be available today through August 13.

Tomatoes at Tapas Spots: Every year, the Spanish city of Valencia throws a festival in which people toss tomatoes at one another, and two local restaurants are celebrating in kind. José Andrés likes his peak summer tomatoes—so you’ll find La Tomatina Festival going down at all three Jaleo locations at lunch and dinner, today through August 12, with specials like fried green tomatoes with Valdeon cheese and heirlooms with Spanish anchovies.

Over at Boqueria, Barcelona-born chef Marc Vidal has a month’s-worth of tomatoey specials on the market menu, including grilled octopus with tomatoes and mojo rojo, and sparkling tomatina sangria with Cava, tomato water, gin, and sea salt.

Old-Timey Ice Cream: Try your favorite frozen treat the way it tasted in George and Martha’s time during a seriously old-school ice-cream-making demonstration at Mount Vernon every Saturday in August from 10 to noon. Costumed sweets-makers use reproductions of 18th-century equipment to churn out the frozen stuff, and may give you a taste if you ask politely (We hear “dear sir” is a good way to start).

Julia Child Restaurant Week: Master the art of celebrating Julia Child’s 100th birthday by taking part in the national restaurant week dedicated just to her. It begins Tuesday and runs through the 15th. There are a number of ways to toast the very tall culinary personage here in Washington—from a commemorative menu at Cafe Dupont to whole roast chicken for two at Marcel’s and a trip to Child’s kitchen at the National Museum of American History, which is back on exhibit August 15. Zagat has the full DC lineup.

Pasta Among the Pigs: Crafting fresh noodles on a beautiful Virginia farm sounds like a pretty nice way to pass a Saturday. Chef Christopher Edwards shows guests around the world of DIY pasta during a 10 AM cooking class in the Patowmack Farm kitchen. The course ($65 per person) covers long noodles, raviolis, and gnocchi. Call 540-822-9017 for more information.

Patio Party: It’s the last month of summer, so get all the outside time you can, starting with Georgia Brown’s patio party on Saturday from 1 to 4 PM, where the restaurant will be serving Southern treats such as boiled crawfish, suckling pig, mac and cheese, red velvet cake, and Abita beers from New Orleans. Tickets are $65.

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.