The Week in Food Events: Winter Restaurant Week, International Food & Wine Festival, National Pancake Day

Plus: more free food and various Meat-Free Week celebrations.

Adour is among this year’s 100 Very Best Restaurants you could try during winter Restaurant Week. Photograph courtesy of the Rockwell Group.

Washington Restaurant Week: The time for $20.13 lunches and $35.13 dinners has arrived: Washington’s winter Restaurant Week. The deals at participating restaurants start on Monday and run through Sunday. Check out which of our newly released 100 Very Best Restaurants are participating, and browse through menus on the event site.

Go gala-ing: Sample cuisine from the area’s top female chefs while raising awareness and funds for the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance at the eighth annual Turn Up the Heat! gala, hosted at the Ritz-Carlton in Foggy Bottom on Monday. Toques include Diana Davila-Boldin of Jackie’s, the Majestic’s Shannon Overmiller, Nora Pouillon (Restaurant Nora), and many more. Purchase tickets (starting at $275) online.

Free sandwiches: Taylor Gourmet continues its Washington takeover with a new shop in Mosaic District, and is giving away hoagies on Monday to celebrate. Stop by the new store between between 6 and 9 PM for your comped lunch and/or dinner.

Free burgers: Z-Burger—which could consider a name change to Free-Burger, given its recent slew of promos—is once again handing out free beef to customers, this time in honor of the Ravens’ victory. Stop by certain locations on Monday from 11 to 2 or 5 to 7, say the secret password (it’s “Z-Champions”), and get a gratis burger on a purple bun.

Meat-Free Week: Carnivores had their moment with DC Meat Week, but the opposition starts Monday with DC Meat-Free Week. The four-year-old festival continues through February 11 with a number of happenings, like Monday’s vegetarian and vegan barbecue kickoff at Sticky Fingers, vegan taco Tuesday at Casa Oaxaca, and happy hour at Elizabeth’s Gone Raw on Thursday. Check out the full schedule on DC Vegan’s website, and note that many require advance reservations or registration.

Industry night: Scott Drewno, Erik Bruner-Yang, and Spike Mendelsohn collaborate on a complimentary late-night menu at Graffiato on Monday as part of the ongoing series of industry takeover nights. You’ll find free snacks from the toques from 10 PM to 1 AM in the first-floor pizza bar, plus drink specials and cocktails from Toki Underground’s Colin Sugalski.

Oyster classes: Tel’Veh debuts a series of oyster-tasting classes, held on the first Monday of each month in the restaurant’s 12-seat bar. Head over at 7, where a representative from the Washington State-based Northwest Shellfish Company will discuss bivalves from the Pacific Northwest. The offerings include eight varieties of raw oysters, two cooked preparations, an oyster shooter, and two glasses of bubbly ($35 per person). Call 202-758-2929 for reservations.

International Food & Wine Festival: The lineup of seminars, tastings, and dinners returns to the Ronald Reagan Building from Tuesday through Saturday. Participate in a grand tasting with more than 100 wineries, watch notable sommeliers go head-to-head in a vino-filled showdown, or head to a sit-down paired dinner by chefs such as Todd Gray. There are tons of options to choose from (prices/availability varies). 

National Pancake Day: Mark your calendars—it’s going down this Tuesday. And what better way to celebrate than with free pancakes? Local branches of IHOP offer a free short stack all day, from 7 AM to 10 PM, in hopes that diners will make a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Chinese New Year: There are a number of ways to celebrate the Year of the Snake in Washington this week. First up on Friday, Les Dames d’Escoffier host a feast at Dame Janet Yu’s Hollywood East Cafe ($55 for general admission), which you must book by Monday. Then on Saturday, head over to the Source for an afternoon dumpling class and tasting ($75) led by chef Scott Drewno (reservations required). Planning to attend the big parade in Chinatown Sunday? Hit up Zengo, which offers Chinese-themed specials the last three weekends in February, or Ping Pong Dim Sum, which is also celebrating with deals throughout the month.

Taste of the Nation kickoff: Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation DC—a fundraiser happening in early April—gears up on Sunday with Taste of the Market. Guests head to Union Market between 4 and 6 for oysters from Rappahannock River Oysters, vino from Cordial Wines, and bites from participating restaurants including Bibiana and Cashion’s. Tickets ($45) are available online, and proceeds go toward the No Kid Hungry Campaign.

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.