Free food: California-based the Habit Burger Grill opens its first area location in Ashburn this week with freebies. The first 250 guests on Monday and Tuesday during lunch (11:30 to 1:30) and dinner (5 to 7) get a complimentary burger, followed by more giveaways on Thursday and Friday. The grand opening starts on Saturday at 10:30 am.
Traveling gourmets: Jane and Michael Stern of Roadfood head to Catholic University on Tuesday from 6:30 to 9 for a dinner featuring dishes from across the country. Guests sample barbecue shrimp, Nashville hot chicken, and sweet potato cake among other dishes. Hear the couple’s story about their journey across America in search of the best eats. Tickets ($90) include a book, meal, and unlimited beer and wine.
Tap takeover: Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill hosts a tap takeover on Thursday from 4 to 8. The restaurant welcomes Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company, which will serve special brews like a Schwartz Bier Black Lager and a distinctive Smokehaus Lager. Guests can also sample bites off of the happy hour menu ($5). Admission is free; email email@example.com to secure a spot.
Author talk: Restaurant Nora chef Nora Pouillon visits the Friendship Heights Village Center on Thursday from 7:30 to 9:30 for a discussion of her book, My Organic Life. Hear how she launched her pioneering restaurant, and lobbied the government to create a new certification for organic eateries. Purchase a signed copy at the event. There is no charge for admission.
Delicious dissected: National Geographic magazine, which published “The Science of Delicious” in December, follows the story with an event on Thursday with Chaplin’s Restaurant at the National Geographic Museum starting at 7:30. Guests will learn why certain food tastes good, bad, and why we taste in the first place. Tickets ($100) are available online.
Hot pot: Crane & Turtle launches a new series of ticketed dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings centered around Japanese hot pots. Groups of four can gather on the patio beneath blankets and heaters for the warming dish, and can pick between a carnivorous option or vegetarian ($60). Two seatings are offered: 6 to 8 or 8:30 to 10:30. Reservations are required.
Twelve beers of Christmas: The Black Squirrel’s annual holiday event returns on Friday at 5. Drinkers will find five Christmas ales, four holiday saisons, three noels, two mad/bad elfs, and one Black Squirrel. The chef will pass out Christmas cookies and prepare two new seasonal burgers. There is no charge for admission; food and drink prices vary. Call 202-232-1011 for more information.
Repeal day: The DC Craft Bartender’s Guild hosts the eighth annual Repeal Day ball, a black tie affair on Friday from 9 to 11 at the Carnegie Library. A cross-country crew of beverage professionals from Philadelphia to Las Vegas makes the journey to DC, and prepares a variety of cocktails alongside Washington’s best. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Museum of the American Cocktail. Tickets ($80 to $110 for VIP) are available online.
Brunch pop-up: Dolcezza hosts a Gravitas brunch pop-up on Saturday and Sunday at its Union Market factory from 10:30 am to 2 pm each day. Menu items ($3 to $10) include dishes like a sourdough English muffin with eggs and sausage, breakfast tacos, and a buckwheat waffle. All items are to-go, and a full range of coffees will also be available. Reservations are not required.
Cask ales: Head to ChurchKey on Saturday at 2 to sample five new Flying Dog ales inspired by cookies from Otterbein’s Bakery in Baltimore. Offerings include a citrus saison, a fig & fennel stout, and a cranberry IPA. Admission is free; each four-ounce tasting pour is priced individually.
Prohibition fête: Jack Rose Dining Saloon celebrates Repeal Day on Saturday from 5 to close. Stop by early for “Pappy Hour,” which includes discount pours of Pappy Van Winkle from 5 to 7:30, or a $45 four-course prix-fixe dinner inspired by 1930’s recipes. Later on you’ll find burlesque dancers, specially-priced cigars, free-flowing bubbly, and snacks at midnight. Admission is free; food and drink prices vary.
Food & folklore: Eatonville Restaurant hosts a food & folklore dinner on Sunday at 5:30 inspired by “The Mule Bone,” a play co-authored by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. Engage in a lively theatrical discussion over a four course meal with dishes like deviled eggs, pulled pork, and apple cobbler. Tickets ($48.47) are available online.
Celebrity chef fundraiser: Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) celebrates the life of restaurateur Mark Kuller and honors chef Haidar Karoum (Proof/doi moi/Estadio) with a gala dinner next Monday, December 7 at the Carnegie Institute for Science at 6. Fellow top chefs such as Victor Albisu of Del Campo and restaurateur Richard Sandoval prepare a five-course seated dinner for guests, with wines paired by Kuller’s son, sommelier Max Kuller. Tickets are $550 per person; all funds raised support C-CAP.