The Week in Food Events: Mother’s Day Planning, Sweetlife Music and Food Festival

Plus free sandwiches at DGS and shakes from Shake Shack.

Sweetgreen salads are, naturally, among the food offerings you'll find at Sweetlife. Photograph courtesy of Sweetlife.

Make Mom’s day: Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 12, but you better get planning as soon as possible if you want to be as on top of things as Mom. Check out our 2013 Mother’s Day Guide, which includes a rundown of brunches plus our own editors’ picks for mom-day meals and a few fun suggestions for activities that go beyond the typical eggs Benedict. 

Free Shake Shack: Throughout May, Shake Shack is giving out free shakes to anyone who donates $2 or more to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. You’ll also see new baked-good-flavored daily custards inspired by the organization’s fundraising bake sale, such as lemon meringue, banana bread, and chocolate chip cookie. 

Local chef takeover: Graffiato throws its regular industry takeover night on Monday from 10 to 1. This time you’ll find familiar faces like Kyle Bailey and Tiffany MacIsaac of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, as well as Shake Shack’s Mark Rosati. The NRG toques offer free fried chicken and doughnut samples from their newly opened project, GBD, while Rosati dishes up frozen custard alongside in-house drink specials. 

Free DGS: Dupont neighbor DGS Delicatessen officially opens its sandwich counter on Tuesday at 11:30, and is giving away free pastrami sandwiches to the first 50 customers. Besides the freebies, you’ll find a menu of sandwiches and sides to go, as well as condiments and jarred pickles.

Meet Michael Mina (and his new chefs): Restaurateur Michael Mina hosts a dinner on Tuesday at Bourbon Steak to welcome both new chef John Critchley and Jonah Kim, who recently started at sister restaurant Pabu in Baltimore. Starting at 8, you’ll dine on six courses by the three chefs with an East-meets-West theme, which includes wine and cocktail pairings ($150 per person). Reservations are necessary. 

Doggy dinner: The Daily Dish hosts a dinner with Flying Dog Brewery on Tuesday at 6:30. Five courses are paired with five different brews (for $55), with vegetarian options available upon request. Want to bring Fido? The restaurant debuts a “yappy hour” from 4 to 6, with canine refreshments and Flying Dog’s bottle-opener collars for sale.

Book signing and lamb roast: There’s a lot going on at Art and Soul this week. Starting on Thursday, Art Smith signs copies of his latest book, Healthy Comfort, from 5 to 6:30 at the bar, which will serve up complimentary bites from the book. Then on Saturday, the restaurant begins a monthly series of Southern suppers, beginning at 7 with a spring lamb roast. Start off on the patio with snacks and drinks before heading indoors for the three-course family-style meal, paired this week with brews from Williamsburg Alewerks. Tickets are $65, including tax and gratuity. 

Celebrating black bartenders: DC Toasts honors historic black bartenders with the Museum of the American Cocktail on Friday at the Howard Theatre. You’ll sip cocktails created or inspired by them, as well as listen to live go-go tunes from the Chuck Brown Band. Tickets start at $75 for general admission. Read all about the event in our preview.

Ballet and daiquiris: Septime Webre, the artistic director of the Washington Ballet—and the choreographer for the Inn at Little Washington’s staff—debuts an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises in May, and there’s a cocktail component for spirits lovers. This Friday, cocktail-and-Hemingway historian Philip Greene hosts a companion reception at the Kennedy Center’s Roof Terrace Restaurant with drinks inspired by the legendary author, 1920s-era music, and more. The event is $35 for ballet ticket holders.

Sweet eats: Sweetgreen’s Sweetlife Music and Food Festival returns to Merriweather Post Pavilion on Saturday. In addition to the musical lineup featuring big-time bands such as Phoenix and Passion Pit, you’ll find plenty of tasty eats. The VIP chef pavilion is already sold out, but even lawn dwellers can get down on Luke’s Lobster rolls, food truck fare, Dolcezza gelato, local brews, and more. Check out our recap of last year’s eats to get a taste.

Family cooking class: Arcadia farm in Alexandria hosts a family-oriented cooking workshop on Saturday from 10 to 1. Parents and kids begin by harvesting fresh ingredients, and help prepare a lunch while learning cooking tips and recipes. Registration is $35 for adults and $15 for kids, with separate activities available for children under 4. 

Nats and cakes: Washington Nationals star Gio Gonzalez signs autographs at the newly expanded Fluffy Thoughts Cakes in McLean on Saturday from 10 to 11:30. To get an autograph, buy a dozen cupcakes or donate $50; proceeds benefit the Gio Gonzalez foundation. Other Nats merchandise will also be available at the event.

Mother’s Day: This Sunday. Don’t forget (and see above).

Planning ahead:

Star chef gathering: The big-ticket event next week is the Chef’s Best Dinner & Auction on Monday at the Washington Hilton. You’ll find 60 toques offering bites, plenty of wines and cocktails, a live auction, and a golden ticket raffle. Party for a cause and help raise funds for Food & Friends’ efforts to support those battling HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. Tickets start at $250 for general admission, and usually sell out fast.

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.