The Week in Food Events: Restaurant Weeks, a Charity Preview of Doi Moi, and VietFest

Plus a homebrew bash at Kastles Stadium.

Maple Ave hosts its monthly tasting table dinners this week. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Summer Restaurant Week: Starting
Monday, dine at a discount during Summer Restaurant Week, when a variety of spots offer $20.13
lunches and $35.13 dinners. Check out the full list of eateries on the official site,
or browse our roundup of participants on our 100 Very Best Restaurant List. Hoping to try a newly opened
place or a Restaurant Week first-timer? We also have a list of 25 spots that fit the bill.

Celebratory wine dinner:
Ripple recently joined ten local spots on
Wine Enthusiast’s Best Wine Restaurants in America list, and is celebrating with a four-course family-style
Monday. Naturally, wine pairings will be provided for the dishes. Reservations are $80 and
should be made by calling the restaurant.

Happy Birthday, PX: Alexandria’s pioneering cocktail den
PX celebrates its seventh
anniversary on
Monday with a benefit for Fit for Hope. Resident barkeep
Todd Thrasher is joined by
Derek Brown for the special evening (you can catch Thrasher guest-tending at Brown’s Passenger next Monday). RSVP to to try to secure last-minute reservations.

August tastings:
Maple Ave hosts its monthly tasting table dinners this week on
Wednesday and
Thursday, starting at 7. The six-seat, four-course experience will show the journey from the
current restaurant to the yet-to-open venture, Water & Wall. The meal is $69 per person
(pairings are an additional $15) and can be reserved by calling the restaurant.

Happy Birthday, Ben’s Chili Bowl: The historic U Street restaurant celebrates its 55th anniversary on
Thursday. Special guest and Ben’s fan
Bill Cosby will join the Ali family at a 10 AM press conference, followed by a day of festivities.

And another restaurant week: While the Washington-area Restaurant Week starts Monday (see above),
Alexandria kicks off its similar dining promotion on
Friday. Spots such as Cheesetique,
and more offer two-person dinners for $35 dinners and/or a three-course lunch for
the same price.

Dog days relief:
Black’s Bar and Kitchen hopes to provide some relief to the summer heat on
Saturday with a “hot summer, cold oysters” party from noon to 3. You’ll find a spread of raw and cooked bivalves from Rappahannock
Oyster Company, a whole roast pig, sides, and Flying Dog brews. Tickets are $55 and
include all-you-can-consume oysters and beer.

Cookies galore: If you missed the raucous bash that was Brightest Young Things’ DC Donut Fest, then
you have a second chance for pastry-filled debauchery on
Saturday during Cookies & Cream. The party is hosted
Penn Social between noon and 4 and features brunch cocktails, sweet treats, and an ice-cream-sandwich-eating
competition. Tickets start at $13.

Homebrew and ’cue: Curious about Washington’s homebrewing scene (or just like to drink beer)? Head to
Kastles Stadium on
Saturday for the 2nd annual DC Homebrewers BBQ from 2
to 6. The $15 entry includes a plate of barbecue, Sam Adams beer, and an additional
ticket for a craft beer of your choosing (more are sold for $5). A variety of demos
and presentations from DC homebrewers round out the activities, and there will be
games and entertainment for kids.

VietFest: Washington boasts one of the largest Vietnamese expat communities in the nation,
and the impressively vast VietFest celebration reflects
those numbers. Head to the
Landmark Mall in Alexandria on
Saturday and
Sunday for a multitude of events, many centered on eating (crawfish-eating championship
pho cookoff, anyone?). General admission tickets are $7 for adults, and free for children under 5.

Preview for a cause: Unless you’re someone who doesn’t give to charity unless you can Instagram the process,
here’s a cool cause for you: Doi Moi,
the soon-to-open restaurant from the Proof and Estadio team, is hosting a pre-opening dinner on
Sunday to benefit Brainfood. The restaurant is asking guests to refrain from using social
media at and after the event. A minimum $100 donation will go directly to the nonprofit
youth development organization, and includes several dishes and drinks from the upcoming

Gospel brunch: The
Willard Hotel—where
Dr. Martin Luther King finished his “I Have a Dream” speech the night before its delivery—celebrates the
50th anniversary of the historic oration with a gospel brunch on
Sunday featuring opera singer
Denyce Graves. The $132 meal (that price includes tax and gratuity) revolves around a Southern-style
buffet spread with dishes like chicken and waffles, raw bar fare, and carving stations.
Call 202-637-7350 for reservations.

Old Fashioned showdown: No, we don’t mean drawing pistols at high noon.
Bourbon Steak hosts a competition on
Sunday from noon to 3 pitting six bartenders against one another to make the best Old Fashioned.
Guests will sample the drinks along with bison dogs from chef John Critchley, oysters
from the raw bar, and an additional selection of wines and cocktails. Tickets are
$70 per person.

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.