The Week in Food Events: Artini, Pink Tie Party, and the DC Beer Festival

Plus: the Blue Jeans Ball and a cupcake walking tour.

Catch a discussion with former Russ & Daughters owner Russ Federman at the Sixth & I Synagogue. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Bitch Cakes.

Let’s talk lox: Head over to Sixth & I Historic Synagogue on Tuesday at 7 for a talk with Russ Federman, the former owner of Manhattan’s iconic Lower East Side shop Russ & Daughters, and author of Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes From the House That Herring Built. Fellow writer Joan Nathan moderates. Get one ticket for $12 or the book and two passes for $26 through Sixth & I.

Taco time: Casa Oaxaca launches a new Taco Tuesday, with $3 beers, sopes, and tacos filled with the likes of lamb, fish, pork carnitas, and skirt steak (available during happy hour from 5 to 7 PM). Still craving tacos later? A five-item platter is served at dinner for $15, with fillings that rotate weekly—think chicken mole and chili-sauced mushrooms.

Eat4Life fundraiser: The DC-based nonprofit Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation hosts a fundraiser at Crios on Tuesday from 6 to 9 PM with top toques such as Rock Harper (from DC Central Kitchen and the forthcoming Fat Shorty’s), Scott Drewno (the Source), and more. Tickets are $50 and include two drinks along with tastes from the chefs.

Bitters basics: Salt & Sundry hosts a bitters class on Wednesday from 7 to 9 PM with Bittermens creators Janet and Avery Glasser. You’ll learn how the tinctures are made and when best to use them, and sip two complimentary cocktails from spirits specialist and Room 11 owner Dan Searing. Tickets are $35 online.

New Zealand wine dinner: Vinoteca hosts Blair Gibbs, general manager of Marlborough’s Spy Valley Winery, for a four-course dinner paired with wines including its award-winning sauvignon blanc. The meal starts on Wednesday at 7. Call 202-332-9463 for reservations.

Put on your best pink tie: The Pink Tie Party, a fundraiser for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, returns on Wednesday from 7 to 11 PM at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel. Celebrity chef Lorena Garcia acts as host toque, and is joined by restaurants such as Woodward Table and Charlie Palmer Steak to serve up cherry-inspired cocktails and bites. Tickets ($200) are available online.

Women’s wine club: Trummer’s on Main has its own version of ladies’ night with a monthly women’s wine club lead by sommelier Diana Roderique. Women, head over on Thursday between 6 and 7 for vino, hors d’oeuvres, a “wine ID” game, and shopping from vendor tables of women-owned businesses; proceeds from table purchases go to Women Giving Back. Reservations are $30, and can be made by e-mailing

Artini: After a series of feature nights, the big Artini party happens on Friday at the Corcoran from 8:30 to midnight. Dress in your best creative cocktail attire and sample art-inspired drinks from some of the city’s top bartenders. Drink mixers include Alex Bookless (the Passenger), Joshua Berner (Zentan), and Frank Jones (the Gibson). VIP slots are sold out, but you can still get general admission tickets for $125 per person.

DC Beer Festival: The first brewfest goes down at Nationals Park on Saturday and Sunday between 1 and 9 with dozens of craft producers both international and local. Tickets ($40) include unlimited brew tastes; food is sold separately. Currently only the two Sunday time slots are available.

Oyster day trip: Take a day tour on Saturday to Early Mountain Vineyards—about two hours outside Washington—for its first oyster festival. You’ll find a variety of East Coast oysters, clams, chowder, and sides, as well as wines from the vineyard and tunes from a bluegrass band. Tickets start at $55 per person.

No-tie ball: On Sunday, forget your tux at the tenth annual Blue Jeans Ball, a dressed-down denim gala that benefits the Capital Area Food Bank. The festivities start at 6 with cocktails at the Marriott Wardman Park, followed by a live auction and tasting from restaurants including Ris and Table. Tickets start at $150 per person.

Cupcake walking tour: Sure, Georgetown Cupcake is a modern phenomenon, but mini cakes goes way back to the 1700s. Join the Dumbarton House on Sunday from 10 to noon for a historical walking tour, during which you’ll stop at three cupcake shops to learn the history of the dessert. Tickets are $20 online and include the cost of the three cupcakes.

Olive oil tasting: Women Chefs & Restaurateurs hosts an olive oil tasting at the Mosaic District’s Ah Love Oil & Vinegar on Sunday from 1 to 4. Owner Cary Kelley discusses oils and how to use them, and offers samples of limited-edition olio nuovo. The tasting is $15.

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.