10 Fun Food Events Around DC This Weekend

On the menu: dinners from refugee chefs and a rooftop pig roast.

Photo courtesy of China Chilcano.

Come for the patio; stick around for the eats, wine, and music on Thursday at Big Bear Cafe from 5:30 to 10:30 PM. Little Donna’s chef Robbie Tutlewski will dish out a range of dishes—from oysters to blue corn tamales—for $8 to $16, while wine from Domestique and Broc Cellars winemaker Chris Brockway tend to all of your fermented needs. Baby Alcatraz, meanwhile, will spin vinyl tracks until dark.

Give your night out a purpose beyond what you eat on Thursday, Friday and Saturday when Tables Without Borders—a non-profit that assists asylum-seeking chefs—pairs refugee chefs with DC restaurants to create menus reflecting the cuisines of the visiting chefs’ countries. On Thursday, chef Qamar from Syria will work with Little Sesame at the Apollo; on Friday, chef Nejat from Afghanistan cooks at Maydan; then chef Hurriyet, an ethnic Uyghur from China, will prepare food at Himitsu on Saturday. Reservations are free (food and drink a la carte) and can be made here.

Maydan’s Chris Kambou tends the fire. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Leave the office early on Friday for Bethesda’s NoBe Market summer inauguration block party, which runs from 4 to 7 PM. Bites from Seasons52, sweets from The Orange Cow, and beer garden brews are available for purchase on-site at the otherwise free event.

Drink with a diplomatic crowd on Friday from 7 to 10 PM when the French Embassy opens its doors for an all-you-can-drink summer reception. The embassy is emphatic that this is a reception over a tasting (no savory food is served, though there is a desert bar). General admission tickets run for $50.

Spend Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday watching a movie without completely neglecting your social life at Brabo Tasting Room in Alexandria when it begins its courtyard summer film series, starting with the Wizard of Oz. Film screenings, scheduled for every weekend day throughout the summer, run at 3 PM, 5 PM, and 7 PM. Chef Sebastien Rondier sweetens the deal with a seasonal menu, which includes shrimp tarts and plenty of popcorn.

The French Embassy. Photo by Dan Chung.

Fresh, local ingredients are the crux of Blue Duck Tavern’s Saturday brunch at Park Hyatt, featuring the fruits (and vegetables) of chef-turned-farmer Mike Mustard’s labor. Ingredients are brought straight from his Maryland farm and prepared by executive chef Adam Howard. The three-course meal runs from 12:30 to 3 PM with cocktails to match. Tickets to the brunch are $100, inclusive of food and alcohol. 

If you feel like taking a more active role with your meals, join BLT Steak’s head chef Michael Bonk on Saturday for tips on sourcing fresh ingredients and the secrets behind some of the steakhouse’s prime plates—plus a tour of the kitchen. Any appetites worked up will be satisfied by a three-course lunch of popovers, steak, and petit fours. The class and course tickets are available for $128.

Leave any expectations of subtlety at the door because Gravitas is celebrating its first birthday on Sunday with a whole pig roast on its new garden rooftop, complete with a greenhouse bar. Drop by from 3 to 7 PM and get a slice of the pig, plenty of canapés, and Iberian wines. Tickets are available for $45.

Gravitas martini. Photograph courtesy of Gravitas.

DC’s obsession with seafood and patios is encapsulated in Momofuku CCDC’s first summer seafood boil on Sunday from noon to 3:30 PM. Chefs Tim Ma and Johanna Hellrigl of American Son and Doi Moi, respectively, are at the helm serving crawfish, clams, and mussels with beer towers and slushies to keep hydrated. Walk-ins only.

And heading into next week…

Take a deep dive into Criollo, a cornerstone of Peruvian cuisine that reflects its Spanish influence, on Monday at China Chilcano from 5:30PM or 8:30PM. Head chef Carlos Delgado presents a six-part tasting menu featuring ceviche, layered chicken and potatoes called causa rellena, and whole fish. Tickets to the dinner are available for $120.

Editorial Fellow