The Week in Food Events: Bethesda Restaurant Week, Sidewalk Festival on 14th Street, and Free Curbside Cupcakes

Plus Jaleo’s 11th Annual Paella Festival returns.

Sixth Engine hosts a viewing party this week. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Bethesda restaurant week: The first in a series of summer restaurant weeks is upon us, as Bethesda’s eateries offer up deals on lunch and dinner starting Monday. Spots like Newton’s Table, Black’s Bar & Kitchen, Freddy’s Lobster & Clams, and more serve two- and three-course lunches for $12 and $16, respectively, or a $33 dinner. Check in with the individual restaurants for menus and specials.

Old beers: For some time now, Dogfish Head has been exploring ancient brews with the help of a molecular archaeologist to bring historic beers from the Egyptians, early Chinese, and more back to life. Get a taste of the past on Monday during a beer dinner at Birch & Barley at 7. The restaurant will prepare a four-course meal to pair with the drinks ($60 per person). Call 202-567-2576 for reservations.

Paella festival: Monday, José Andrés brings the 11th annual Paella Festival back to all three locations of Jaleo; the special runs through August 11. Stop in with family and friends for special large servings of Spain’s signature rice dish, like paella with Iberico pork ribs and artichokes or another version with head-on shrimp and calamari, each serving four to six people.

Fit for a king: Royal dining deals aren’t just centered around baby George. Cafe du Parc offers a special menu this week, starting Monday, featuring dishes an international host of royal chefs often prepare for their leaders. Pick between dishes like melon-avocado gazpacho (fancied by François Hollande of France), stuffed zucchini blossoms (also favored by Prince Albert II of Monaco), and more. A portion of the sales—guests can order à la carte or go all in on a four-course menu for $42—benefit the Children of Mine Youth Center.

Cocktail culture: Neighborhood wine bar Vinoteca hosts its first-ever cocktail class on Tuesday from 7 to 9, focusing on DC’s cocktail culture. Lead by head barkeep Horus Alvarez, the course explores the history of DC’s bar scene, teaches guests how to make drinks with local spirits, and gives instructions for mixing the District’s signature cocktail: the rickey. Snacks are also provided. The class is $50 per person; call 202-332-9463 for reservations.

Viewing party: The Cooking Channel’s Road Trip with G. Garvin stops in Washington with an episode that airs on Tuesday, focusing on dishes at Birch & Barley, Boundary Road, and Sixth Engine. The latter hosts a party during a viewing party at 9, with drink specials like $3 “lights” (Miller and Bud) and $4 local brews such as Port City. It’s also your chance to try the dish being featured on the show: grilled shrimp with black eyed peas, tasso ham, and sherry butter.

Free cupcakes: Gratis sweet treats hit the road on Tuesday, courtesy of Curbside Cupcakes and the Ford Motor Company in honor of founder Henry Ford’s 150th birthday. Visit the trucks from noon to 2 at Metro Center (12th and G streets, NW) or Capitol Hill (D and First streets, SE) and get free cupcakes. You can also answer trivia about Ford through the street vendor’s twitter feed to win additional sweets and prizes.

Dog days of summer: The MidCity Dog Days sidewalk festival returns to the 14th and U Street corridor on Saturday and Sunday with sales and specials at shops and restaurants in the ever-growing neighborhood. While you’ll find plenty of deals on fashion and home design, there’s a ton for food-lovers: think pulled pork sandwiches and $1 oysters at Pearl Dive, 15 percent off cheeses from Smucker Farms, and 50 to 75 percent discounts at Home Rule.

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.