The Week in Food Events: Lunch With Mario Batali, Oyamel’s Day of the Dead

Plus a beer-fueled casino night at Jack Rose.

Head to Zaytinya for lunch with Mario Batali this weekend. Photograph by Chris Campbell.

Day of the Dead: The first round of Halloween-related events starts on Monday with Oyamel‘s annual Day of the Dead Festival. The tequila-fueled kickoff party from 6 to 9:30 stars a live band, drinks, and samples of special dishes like chipotle spare ribs and Veracruz-style fish (tickets are $60). Drop by the restaurant through November 2 for a variety of festival-themed dishes and drinks.

Pumpkin-y pours: Seattle brewery Elysian Brewing takes over seven taps at City Tap House on Tuesday from 5 to close. A selection of fall pumpkin beers is available from $6 to $13.

Beery fun: Cash in your chips for charity at Jack Rose on Wednesday, which hosts a Sam Adams-fueled casino night benefiting the American Breast Cancer Foundation. A $20 door donation allows access to all the card games played with “fun money,” complimentary snacks such as clams casino (get it?), and one free drink ticket. Don’t feel like gambling? Stop by the bar on Saturday between noon and 5 for a New Belgium Beer carnival with $5 draft specials, festival foods such as corn dogs and cotton candy, and activities along the lines of psychic readings.

Bubbles: Marcel’s celebrates Champagne Day on Friday with a five-course meal paired with exclusive glasses of bubbly. The $175 meal includes duos like roasted venison with brandied cherries and venison jus matched with Agrapart & Fils, Brut, ‘7 Cru’ from Avize, France. Guests seeking a more casual experience can still get a taste with $55 flights in the bar.

Harvest Festival: In honor of the new National Geographic Museum exhibit, “Food: Our Global Kitchen”, there’s a free Harvest Festival on Saturday from 10 to 3. The museum hosts family-friendly activities like chef demos and tastings, a produce scavenger hunt, fruit and vegetable painting, and more.

Lunch with Batali: Zaytinya offers the chance to lunch with one of the biggest chef-lebrities, Mario Batali, on Sunday at 12:30. The Food Network star is in town to promote his new cookbook, America Farm to Table, and you’ll sample dishes from the book alongside wine pairings. Tickets ($95) include a signed copy.

Monster brunch: Get in the spooky spirit at STK on Sunday, which hosts a Monster’s Ball-themed brunch. In addition to mimosas and eggs, guests can participate in a costume contest with prizes including a free dinner for two and VIP access to the Huxley. Reservations are taken between 11:30 and 6.

Cookbook-inspired dinner: Politics & Prose teams up with Buck’s Fishing & Camping for a Sunday dinner with cookbook author Aglaia Kremezi at 6:30. Guest chef Alexander Zeppos recreates dishes from his new work, Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts, each paired with different Greek wines. Tickets are $94 per person.

Spice dinner: Spice master Lior Lev Sercarz cohosts a spice dinner at 2941 on Sunday with reservations between 5 and 8. The $70, eight-course menu starts with zesty cocktails, followed by an array of specialty dishes and wine pairings (optional for an additional $70). Call the restaurant for reservations.

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.