The Week in Food Events: The Return of Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue, the Wine & Food Festival at National Harbor, and Sake 101

Plus eats and tunes at Sound Bites, a benefit for DC Central Kitchen.

Sound Bites returns with food, drinks, and tunes this weekend to benefit DC Central Kitchen. Photograph via Facebook.

Heady eating: The Pig continues its Head to Toe dinner series on Monday with a five-course menu centered on the cranium. Dishes include Malaysian fish-head soup, lamb brain tacos, truffle-stuffed calf’s eyes, and more. Brave eaters can make reservations ($70) online.

All gold everything: Daikaya launches Golden Week on Monday, a seven-day Japanese holiday. Look for specials such as the sparkling Golden Week Fizz, strawberry birthday cake in honor of former Emperor Showa, and fried chicken with golden honey. Prices vary by item.

Beer launch: Chef Geoff Tracy teamed up with Port City Brewing for a specialty house beer: NorthWestAle, an easy-drinking American pale ale. Get the first taste on Tuesday at the New Mexico Avenue location, which hosts a party starting at 7. Both Tracy and Port City founder Bill Butcher will attend, and $20 tickets get you two beers and snacks such as sliders and maple-bacon cupcakes.

Spring drinking: Get a preview of spring beers at the Sixth & I Synagogue on Tuesday at 7. Chris O’Brien, author of Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World, leads the tasting of environmentally friendly suds from DC BrauBaying Hound, and more. Tickets are $25 in advance.

The Backyard opens: Love al fresco barbecue? Then head to the reopening of Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue on Thursday. The summer-long pop-up on the lawn of the National Building Museum serves a picnic-style menu with goodies including barbecue beef and chicken sandwiches, smoked meats, cold beer, slaw, and potato salad. Also in the mix: games such as cornhole and Jenga, live music, and more.

Sake science: Master sake sommelier Tiffany Dawn Soto leads a seminar on the science of sake on Thursday at Baltimore’s Maryland Science Center. The evening course, from 7 to 9, includes sake 101, samples, and help navigating menus. Tickets are $50 per person.

Drive-by dinner: The Union Market Drive-In movie series continues this Friday with the ’80s classic Diner. The parking lot opens at 6 for the 8 o’clock show ($10 per car), so you’ll have plenty of time to load up on frozen drinks from Suburbia and themed eats from market vendors.

Food fest: The National Harbor Wine & Food Festival returns on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 6. The major fest along the Potomac River boasts all-you-can-taste wine, beer, and spirits; a cooking stage with demonstrations by Mike IsabellaBryan Voltaggio, and other chefs; menu tastings; and more. Ticket prices vary by package.

Chesapeake celebration: Grapeseed hosts ChessieFest on Saturday from noon to 3. Chessie the Chesapeake Bay monster will not be served, but you’ll find local oysters, bluefish, clams, and other seafood, wines and beers, a raffle, and more. Tickets are $25 in advance.

Road trip: If you’re looking to get out of town this weekend, the barbecue festival at Early Mountain Vineyards can be a good excuse. The picturesque Madison, Virginia, winery teams up with the Barbecue Exchange and Charlotesville’s Champion Brewery for a Sunday afternoon filled with wine, beer, and pork from 1 to 4. Tickets are $20, and entry is free for kids under 5.

Go Greek: The two-week-long Greek Easter celebration at Zaytinya culminates on Sunday when the restaurant transforms into anagorá, or Greek market. Vendors such as Demeter’s Pantry and the Mediterranean Way will sell products such as honey, oils, and salts; guests can sample Greek wines and brandies from importers; and the Pepe food truck will be stationed outside for lamb-shoulder sandwiches. Entry is free.

Eats and tunes: The fifth annual Sound Bites returns on Sunday to the Ronald Reagan Building’s Woodrow Wilson Plaza from 1 to 5. The benefit for DC Central Kitchen brings eats and drinks from 25 local restaurants, live music, wines and beers, a cocktail “mix-off,” and other fun. Tickets are $65 per person 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.