The Week in Food Events: DC Beer Takeover, Crab Feasts, and Restaurant Weeks

Plus: a presidential cocktail seminar at the Smithsonian.

Top restaurants including Rasika join in Washington Restaurant Week, while Alexandria's version launches Friday. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Washington Restaurant Week: It’s baaack! Summer Restaurant Week returns, with 200-plus restaurants serving $20.14 lunches and $35.14 dinners throughout the area. With so many options, how does one choose? Start by checking a few of our guides, including a roundup of new restaurants participating in the promotion, and tips for finding the best deals, meals, and more. The 100 Very Best Restaurants list is also a good place to start. 

Lambrusco week: Call it the week of weeks. The Neighborhood Restaurant Group launches Lambrusco Week on Monday with a happy hour at the Partisan from 5 to 7:30. You’ll find seven varieties of the charcuterie-friendly Italian wine for $6 a glass at the restaurant, and flights paired with cured meats ($17 to $30). Red Apron locations are also celebrating with special pricing and tastings. 

Drink like the President: The Smithsonian Associates host a Tuesday evening seminar focused on favorite tipples of American presidents. Learn about FDR’s martinis, Truman’s bourbon, and more, all while sipping samples from 6:45 to 8:45. Tickets are $60 for nonmembers, $50 for members. 

Free food alert: Washingtonian readers voted California Tortilla “best Mexican” in our 2014 Best Of Washington survey, and the chain is celebrating with a taco giveaway on Tuesday. All locations will serve free tacos all day long (limit one per customer). 

Seeing stars: Dino’s Grotto teams up with local 3 Stars Brewing Company for a dinner on Wednesday. The four-course meal includes dishes such as pasta with eggplant and grilled pork ribs, and comes with drink pairings for each item. Tickets range from $59 to $69, depending on which seating you choose. 

Rum for it: Washingtonians can celebrate National Rum Day starting Thursday, with a number of events through the end of the week. Rum United hosts everything from a tasting and cigar party on the Graham Hotel rooftop to a boozy barbecue at Jack Rose. Check the schedule, as ticket prices and times vary. Over at Cuba Libre, guests can sip half-price rums from 5 to 7 on Friday and Saturday, and will find mojito and rum flights through the rest of the month. 

Chef’s choice: Wildfire goes more upscale with a chef’s table on Thursday at 6:30. The $60, four-course menu from chef Eddie Ishaq includes dishes like hamachi crudo and bison filet with foie gras butter, and can be paired with wines ($75 total). Call for reservations. 

Snacks and a movie: Headed to the Avalon Theater on Thursday for The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren? Drop by Macon Bistro & Larder before or after the culinary-themed flick for complimentary small bites paired with $15 wine flights from 4:30 to 9. 

Alexandria Restaurant Week: Find more dining deals in Alexandria as it starts Restaurant Week on Friday (through August 24). The offers vary slightly from the Washington version, with participating restaurants serving a three-course set menu or a dinner for two, both priced at $35. 

Crab week: The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay launches crab week on Friday. Overnight guests at the hotel can try a variety of crab dishes, tour a historic crab house, catch cooking demos, try crustacean-friendly wines, and more. A number of kids’ activities are included. 

DC Beer Week: One of the beeriest weeks in Washington officially starts on Sunday: the sixth annual DC Beer Week. The official kickoff party goes down on the water with a brew-filled cruise aboard the Odyssey, co-hosted by Ommegang and Boulevard Brewing Company (tickets start at $95). Other events include an all-you-can-eat-and-drink barbecue at Hank’s on the Hill, a lobster boil at City Tap House, DC Brau’s brunch at Granville Moore’s, and more. 

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.