The Week in Food Events: Nordic Nights Gala, Crab Feast at Dino, and Wine Dinners Galore

Plus a beer-versus-vino pairing challenge at Ris.

Maple hosts a four-course wine dinner on Tuesday. Photograph by Erik Uecke.

Tour Burgundy: Bastille chef-owners Christophe and Michelle Poteaux offer a mini tour of Burgundies at a five-course dinner on Monday, featuring bottles selected by sommelier Mark Slater. The meal costs $119 per person (or $75 without wine pairings).

Winemaker dinner: Maple in Columbia Heights hosts winemaker Max di Lenardo on Tuesday during a four-course dinner paired with five wines from his family’s 100-year-old farm in Italy ($65 per person, including tax and gratuity). Peruse the menu online; a vegetarian alternative can be requested while making a reservation.

Beer versus wine: Which is better with food, hops or grapes? Husband-and-wife beer-and-wine experts attempt to answer the question at Ris on Wednesday at 6:30. In-house wine director Leah Cheston pairs a five-course spring menu with vino, while brew guru Thor Cheston matches the same dishes with suds. Tickets ($125) are available online.

Pre-Derby dinner: You’ll have plenty of opportunities to sip bourbon this weekend with Kentucky Derby festivities—see our separate roundup later this week for all the race-related events—but you can get a head start on Wednesday at Del Frisco’s Grille. The steak spot offers a five-course dinner starting at 6:30 with dishes like mesquite-smoked pork loin with grits paired with Knob Creek, Old Granddad, and more ($70 per person).

Drink from Veneto: Al Dente’s Roberto Donna cooks a special five-course dinner on Thursday at 7 paired with wines from the Veneto region of Italy. Reservations must be made for the $75 meal, and you can check out the full menu online.

Nordic fundraiser: Miriam’s Kitchen throws its annual 100 Bowls of Compassion gala on Thursday at 6 in the National Building Museum. Nordic cuisine and cocktails are the theme of the soiree, which benefits the organization’s efforts to end chronic homelessness in Washington. Also on tap: an auction with a variety of food and travel-related items. General admission tickets start at $250 and are available online.

Patio picnicking: Get outside for Westend Bistro’s Picnic on the Patio menu, launching this Thursday and continuing on Thursday and Friday through outdoor dining season. The three-course menu, which changes weekly and draws from local farmers market ingredients, will begin with a platter of local cheese, charcuterie, and other accompaniments. The meal is $28 at lunch and $40 for dinner between 5:30 and 7:30.

Get crabby: Maryland soft-shells are officially in season, and Dino celebrates their arrival with a special tasting menu on Friday. The meal is part of a new May series that features a different ingredient-driven tasting menu on Thursday and Friday throughout the month. This week’s five-course crab feast is $49 per person, and reservations must be made for the menu specifically (the regular lineup is also available).

Francophile fete: The Willard InterContinental and Café du Parc throw La Fête du Muguet, a.k.a. Lucky Lily Day, on Friday from 5:30 to 8 in the courtyard. You’ll find the traditional bouquets of fragrant lilies along with French wines, beers, and Gallic dishes. Tickets can be purchased at the event, starting at $20 for four food or drink items.

Party among the monuments: The fifth annual Ball on the Mall gala goes down on the National Mall on Saturday. Dress to impress for the event, which includes a buffet, open bar, and dancing. Tickets start at $175 for general admission.

Barbecue fest: Craving ’cue? Head out to the Annapolis area this weekend for the Naptown BarBayQ on Saturday and Sunday at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds. Sample meaty treats from the barbecue competitors vying for the cash prize, listen to live music, bring the kids for moon bounce fun, and more. Tickets start at $10 for general admission (kids under 12 are free), and can be purchased online.

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.