The Week in Food Events: NKOTB at Mess Hall, Alfie’s Farewell Bash

Cool off with chilled Burmese desserts (including a boozy version) from Toli Moli, popping up at Maketto. Photograph courtesy of Toli Moli

Tomato Week: Celebrate the peak season of vine-ripened tomatoes with a speciality menu at Cafe Saint-Ex starting on Monday. The tomato infused menu includes fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade, and smoked tomatoes with crab and creamed corn. All of the items are available a la carte for lunch and dinner through Sunday.

Wallet-friendly wine dinner: Co Co. Sala is offering a four-course wine dinner for $45 per son, Tuesday through Saturday. Guests can choose between a variety of dishes for every course, such as watermelon salad and spiced steak, all paired with either house red, white, or sparkling. Reservations and full menu can be found here.

Drink for good: Help raise funds for D.C. nonprofit Food & Friends on Wednesday at Bar Dupont as part of their “A Good Reason to Drink” benefit. Happy hour will last from 6 to 9 pm featuring $5 food specials like lamb meatballs, which you can wash down with a $5 draft, $7 cocktail, and/or $6 glasses of wine.  Partial proceeds support Food & Friends.

Crab and beer dinner: Author of Chesapeake Bay Cooking, John Shields, will lead guests through a Maryland blue crab picking on Wednesday at 6:30 pm at Wildfire in Tysons Galleria. The host of PBS series Coastal Cooking will offer tips on buying and cooking crabs, followed by a three-course dinner paired with Union Craft Brewing beers. There will be a second dinner on Thursday at 6:30 pm at Gertrude’s  in Baltimore. The event is $65; call 703- 442-9110 for reservations.

Falooda time: Toli Moli is popping up at Maketto on Thursday at 5 pm to sweeten your snack time with three different  faloodas. The layered Burmese dessert is a chilly treat, offered for $5 on the first floor, and $10 for a boozy version above. Flavors include the Royal with pomegranate-ginger jellies, and a rum-spiked Cuba-Looda.

Kids eat free, parents dine: Nibble+Squeak, a dining club that hosts kid-friendly food events, is coming to Old Town Alexandria’s Vermilion on Friday from noon to 2 pm. The company launched earlier this year to provide fun outings for parents who want to go out to “adult” restaurants with the kids in tow. Give the babysitter a day off and enjoy a three-course meal with that includes cornmeal hushpuppies and pan-roasted hanger steak. Children eat free and adults are $50 per person.

Cheese tour: Take a trip to West Virginia’s Shepherd’s Whey Creamery for a cheese tour on Saturday, hosted by Slow Food DC. For $10 attendees can tour the goat farm, sample artisanal cheeses, get an inside look at cheese production. Tickets are on sale here.

Summery eats: Chef Todd Gray hosts Solstice Bites & Flights tasting on Sunday from 6 to 9 pm at Equinox ($58 per person). The lineup of summery eats and drinks features the likes of striped bass tacos and soft shell crab, cobbler and plenty of rosé. The restaurant has partnered with a variety of local producers for the event.

New Kitchens on the Block (NKOTB): Mess Hall will give foodies a chance to bypass the grand opening lines and taste seven new restaurants before they open. On Sunday, NKOTB participants can get the first bite of upcoming culinary projects with signature dishes from chefs like Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Smoked & Stacked and Rooster & Owl’s Yuan Tang. There’s also unlimited cocktails and craft beers by Green Hat Gin and Vanish Brewing. General admission is $65 and VIP is $95. You can purchase tickets for either the 12 to 2 pm session or the 3 to 5 pm session.

A festive farewell: Say “goodbye for now” to longterm Thai pop-up Alfie’s, which concludes its run on Sunday (a relocation is in the works). Chef Alex McCoy hosts a party to celebrate with a Right Proper tap takeover and special seven-course menu ($70 per person). Get tickets online; availability is limited.


Briana A. Thomas is a local journalist, historian, and tour guide who specializes in the research of D.C. history and culture. She is the author of the Black history book, Black Broadway in Washington, D.C., a story that was first published in Washingtonian in 2016.