The Week in Food Events: Valentine’s Day, the Washington International Wine & Food Festival, and a Hemingway Happy Hour

Plus Artini feature nights return.

Get ready for Valentine’s Day with our dining guides and plenty of sweet recipes. Image via Shutterstock.

Valentine’s Day planning: The most romantic day of the year (for some) is this Friday, so make sure to check our Valentine’s Day Guide for all your dining, cooking, and gifting needs. No reservations yet? Consider these budget-friendly options that’ll still impress your date, or see what the top 25 Very Best Restaurants have planned for the holiday.

Olympics, continued: The opening ceremony went down last Friday, but there are still plenty of dining and drinking specials to be had throughout the course of the games. Check out our roundup for viewing spots, daily happy hours, Sochi-style dining, and more.

Artini begins: The annual cocktail extravaganza that is Artini returns for 2014. The main event at the Corcoran Gallery isn’t until March 22, but first you’ll find a series of feature nights at various bars where barkeeps will mix up their signature libations for the party. First up: the W Hotel’s P.O.V. rooftop lounge, where barkeep Joe Ambrose pours drinks on Tuesday at 6:30.

Med-style beer dinner: DC Brau and Zaytinya team up for a beer dinner on Tuesday at 7 ($65 per person). A five-course menu is paired with the brews, including limited-release concoctions such as Exaltation strong ale and Model Citizen American cream ale. Founder Brandon Skall and brewer Jeff Hancock will partake and answer questions.

Hemingway Happy Hour: Drink like Papa at Bar Pilar on Tuesday during a Hemingway-themed happy hour from 5 to 7. Author Philip Greene will sign copies of his Hemingway-inspired cocktail book To Have and Have Another, and there’ll be rum tastings, snacks, and $5 libations.

Meet your local vendors: Rockville’s Dawson’s Market hosts local vendors the second Tuesday of every month, and you can meet them and sample their products from 4 to 7. This week you’ll find Gordy’s Pickle Jar, Farm to Freezer, Michelle’s Granola, and more.

Do the dosa: DC Dosa owner P riya Ammu is set on introducing diners to the South Indian specialty—essentially a kind of crepe stuffed with a variety of fillings. To that end you’ll find a series of “Do u dosa?” days beginning on Tuesday, during which dosas ($8) are buy one, get one free.

Canadian whiskey 101: Sample Canadian whiskeys from Pike Creek, J.P. Wiser’s Rye, and more at Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar on Tuesday at 7:30. Tickets are only $5.

Pizza party: Pizzeria Paradiso chef/owner Ruth Gresser just released a cookbook, Kitchen Workshop: Pizza, and hosts a party at Brewmaster’s Castle on Wednesday to celebrate. The event runs from 6:30 to 9 and features an antipasto table, beers and ciders, pizza-making demos, and, of course, plenty of pies. Tickets are $65.

Valentine’s gift idea: Skip the generic box of chocolates and snag tickets to a chocolate, cheese, and bubbly class/tasting at Union Market’s Righteous Cheese. Fromager Carolyn Stromberg takes guests through four cheeses and Champagnes, as well as sweet bites. Reservations ($69 per person) are still available for the Thursday course at 7, as well as one on February 20.

Culinary festival: The Washington International Wine & Food Festival returns for the 15th year, Thursday through Saturday, at the Ronald Reagan Building. The festivities begin on Thursday from noon to 8 with a free Festival Marketplace, where guests can sip complimentary drinks and shop for Valentine’s gifts from more than 40 vendors. The main event features 100-plus wines, a beer garden, cocktails, live music, an international array of eats, and more. Tickets start at $120 per person.

Happy Birthday, Mr. First President: Mount Vernon commemorates George Washington’s 282nd birthday on Saturday with a sampling of his favorite breakfast: “hoecakes swimming in butter and honey.” Sounds better than Frosted Flakes! Get a taste from 9 to noon, while supplies last.

Gospel brunch: Celebrate Rosa Parks during a Sunday gospel brunch at the Mansion on O Street from 11 to 2 ($45 per person). You’ll find some of the civil-rights activist’s favorite foods, and a wax figurine on loan from Madame Tussauds.

Planning Ahead:

Goddesses of food: Next week’s big ticket event is Turn Up the Heat, a soiree celebrating women chefs and benefiting the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. You’ll find a variety of participating chefs and mixologists at the Ronald Reagan Building on Wednesday, February 19, all cooking for a good cause. Tickets start at $275.

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.