9 Fun Food Events Around DC This Weekend

On the menu: ping pong, a late-night Filipino party, and whiskey tasting in an igloo.

Toki Underground is hosting another dumpling-and-wine pairing class this week. Photo courtesy of Toki Underground.

It’s Winter Restaurant Week, now through Sunday, with hundreds of eateries across the Washington area serving $22 lunches and brunches, and $35 dinners. How to pick? Here are our recommendations for the top new restaurants and fun brunches.

If you’re into whiskey, the Brixton is hosting a small-batch launch of Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey on their second floor this Thursday. Taste it pure in a $5 shot or try it in a $6 Manhattan. A Kilbeggan distillery representative will be on-site to walk you through the different notes of the small-batch rye.

You might know celebrity chef Carla Hall from ABC’s The Chew, but have you personally tried her Southern comfort food? This Thursday starting at 6:30 PM, Hall will serve a five-course wine dinner with dishes straight from her new cookbook, Carla Hall’s Soul Food, at the Fourth Estate Restaurant at the National Press Club. Tickets are $95.

The cover of Carla Hall’s new cookbook, which Hall will bring to life this Thursday at a special dinner. Photo courtesy of the Fourth Estate Restaurant.

Spin, downtown DC’s new ping pong bar, will open their doors with a live ping pong show featuring Olympians and national pong champs on Thursday. The grand opening party starts at 7 PM, with unlimited use of the ping pong tables and access to the new food and cocktail menu. Tickets are $10, and all proceeds go to the 826DC organization. Look for more events over the weekend, including free ping pong classes on Saturday from 1 to 3 PM.

Join guests chefs at Daikaya on Friday for a late-night party at 11 PM celebrating Filipino food and culture. For one night, the regular menu will be padded with dishes like chicken skin chicharron, crispy pork pata, sisig stuffed squid, and coconut custard dessert. The menu is a la carte, and there’s no entry fee.

This Saturday, the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton‘s head mixologist Robert Taylor will teach cocktail amateurs how to whip up the perfect winter libations. Snack on light appetizers while checking out your take-home recipe cards ($35 per person).

Bourbon Steak is turning ten years old, and hosting a weekend of luxe festivities with visiting  San Francisco-based restaurateur Michael Mina to celebrate. On Saturday, Mina and a team of Bourbon Steak chefs (past and present) are serving a five-course dinner with paired wines ($200.9o per person). And for the first time on Sunday, the restaurant will serve brunch ($75 per person, all-inclusive), complete with a DJ, bloody Mary fountain, and Moet mimosas. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to No Kid Hungry. Reservations are strongly recommended.

A new whiskey launch at Brixton. Photo courtesy of Mykl Wu/Brixton.

Eight top DC bartenders from spots like Hank’s Oyster Bar and Service Bar go head-to-head on Sunday from 3 to 6 PM at Capo Deli and Speakeasy. The Shake Off party, sponsored by Silencio mezcal, is a benefit for the Human Rescue Alliance, and the winner will be crowned “Top Dog” (the audience can vote for their favorite sample, and can also purchase themed cocktails at the bar). Celebrity culinary judges include Amy Brandwein of Centrolina and Kith and Kin’s  Kwame Onwuachi. Purchase tickets in advance for $20, or at the door for $30.

If you haven’t been to Toki Underground‘s Common Cru food and wine sessions yet, now’s your chance. On Sunday, students/guests will learn how to make delicious dumplings, Toki-style, then how to pair them with three different winter wines that won’t break the bank. Tickets are $55.

And heading into the week…

Catalan vineyard Parés Baltà is making a special US stop at Estadio for a five-course natural wine dinner on Monday. The certified biodynamic/organic wines made by two female winemakers will be paired with dishes like garlic shrimp and hangar steak with truffle vinaigrette. Tickets are $99 per person.

Chef Eric Adjepong, a current Top Chef contestant, is leading a West African street food cooking class at CulinAerie this Tuesday from 6 to 9 PM. Try your hand (and sample!) dishes like grilled prawns with piri piri (chili pepper) sauce, jollof rice, and beef suya kabob. The registration is $95 per person.

Travel from one igloo to another at the Watergate Hotel this Wednesday from 5 to 7:30 PM while you taste-test your way around the globe through different whiskies. Sample Crown Royal from Canada, Tullamore Dew from Ireland, or the Macallan from Scotland. Tickets are $75.

Editorial Fellow