DC Restaurant Buzz: Drink Cocktails for Charity, Wine Dinners & Events, Seafood Specials & More

After a brief hiatus, the DC Restaurant Buzz is back today. It’s a libation-heavy edition, including charity cocktail events, a number of different wine dinners and promotions, tap takeovers, new drink spots and much more, along with some seasonal springtime and seafood specials thrown in for good measure. Take a look.

Chefs Behind Bars on Thursday, May 28 at Stanton & Greene

On Thursday, May 28 from 6 to 8 pm, Stanton & Greene is hosting seven local chefs for a charity cocktail event benefiting No Kid Hungry.

The participating chefs include Kyle Bailey (Birch & Barley), Hamilton Johnson (Vidalia), Adrian Salazar (Mango Tree), Louis Goral (Rural Society), Doron Petersan (FareWell and Sticky Fingers Eats & Sweets), Russell Jones (Jack Rose) and Mariah Tysz (Juniper at The Fairmont Washington, D.C.).

Enjoy signature drinks from all the chefs, along with small bites from host bar Stanton & Greene, for $45 in advance, or $50 at the door. Buy your tickets online here.

The Chefs Behind Bars happy hour will be hosted by DC’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry volunteer committee, hot off the heels of the April 2015 tasting benefit that raised more than $230,000 to help feed children in need more than two million healthy meals.

RAMMY Wine Program Finalists Hosting Specials May 25 to 29

Finalists for the 2015 RAMMY Award for Wine Program of the Year have exciting promotions planned for the week of May 25-29.

Iron Gate is hosting a Greek white wine tasting on the patio on Friday, May 29 from 5:30 to 7:30pm. The tasting costs $25 per person.

At Fiola, find special “Fiola Sparkles” deals on half bottles of Krug, Grande Cuvée, Reims, Champagne NV for $150 — which is a bargain, compared to the normal $195 price.

Proof is featuring six specialty wines by the glass, never to be listed again, and discounted at one time only pricing.

The Red Hen is offering several eastern European wines by the glass at special prices, including selection from Albania, The Republic of Georgia, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia.

Enter to win a pair of tickets to the RAMMY Awards Gala by using #RAMMYSWine and mentioning @RAMWdc on Instagram with photos from the finalists.

Park Hyatt Masters of Food & Wine Events

On May 30th, from 2 to 5pm, the Park Hyatt Washingtonian will host its latest Masters of Food & Wine event. This time though, it’s taking place aboard Liberté, a 74-foot schooner departing from Annapolis and cruising around the Eastern Shore. Enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres prepared by Blue Duck Tavern Executive Chef Ryan LaRoche, along with wines and cocktails. Tickets cost $150 per person, and the experience lasts three hours.

On June 13th, visit the Park Hyatt’s Blue Duck Tavern in DC for a mini-Masters of Food & Wine event, this time inviting budding young chefs, ages 8 to 12, to don an apron and join Pastry Chef Naomi Gallego for an interactive cake decorating class. Tickets here cost $35 per child, including ice cream and snacks.

Buy tickets online for both events here.

New Spring Cocktails at Blue Duck Tavern

But there’s always a good reason to head to Blue Duck Tavern, including their new spring cocktails.

The new lineup includes Cherry Quina, with Plymouth Gin, house-made cherry tonic with Bittercube cherry bark bitters and club soda; Lose The Tie, with El Dorado Gold, Gosling’s black rum, house-infused banana rum, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, lime and orange; The Best of Everything, with Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch, Hennessy VS, NV Blandy’s 5 Year Bual Madeira and lemon bitters; Paulista, with strawberry infused Leblon Cachaça, lime, brown sugar and rhubarb syrup; Kiss From a Rose, Hornitos Tequila, Los Nauhales Mezcal, peppercorns and lemongrass wild rose syrup, as well as the Pepperoiska, with Belvedere unfiltered vodka, cilantro, cucumber, black pepper and lemon. All cocktails are priced at $15.

There are also new seasonal “mocktails” on the menu, priced at $9. These include the District Ricky, with snap pea juice, lime, brown sugar and soda; the Lavender Lemonade, with lavender tea, lemon and sugar, as well as the Soda and Spice, with house-made carrot vanilla soda and orange.

New Underground Cocktail Bar The Speak Opens

the speak dc speakeasySeth McClelland has opened up The Speak, an underground cocktail bar which debuted this week on K Street. Find a seasonal wine and beer list, along with craft cocktails. What you won’t find is food – the only nosh is Lay’s potato chips.

You’ll have no choice then but to focus on the well-made libations, and the prohibition era decor for the 100-person basement bar. Find classics such as a Negroni or Moscow Mule, but plenty of new takes, such as the Bobby Burns, Scofflaw, New York Sour and Old Cuban. All cocktails on the menu cost $11, beers cost $5 and vodka shots are priced at $8.

The Speak is located downstairs at 1413 K Street NW. The bar will be open until 2 am Tuesday-Thursday, and 3 am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Cashion’s Eat Place Going Groovy for the 1960s For Next Decades of Cocktails Night

Head to Cashion’s on Sunday, June 7 for the latest installment of the Decades of Cocktails series, this time getting groovy for the 1960s. Bar Manager Dustin Beruta and Roofer’s Union’s Erin Goodman will take over the bar from 10 to midnight, while Chef John Manolatos will take the kitchen back in time, offering a special menu of 60s-inspired snacks.

Goodman has created her take on a classic Blue Hawaiian cocktail – the China Cat Sunflower. Goodman combines a housemade Port City Maniacal Hops tincture (using citra and centennial hops) with One-Eight Vodka, El Dorado Blanco Rum, Orange Curacao, Fresh Pineapple and Lime Juices, and Simple Syrup, for a current take on the tiki classic.

Beruta is reviving the old Three Martini Lunch tradition, throwing back to a more sophisticated time when business executives could enjoy leisurely afternoon cocktails during the work day. Beruta has created a trio of miniature (2 oz.) variations on classic martinis, all served on a tray in mini martini glasses:

Goldfinger: Absolut Elyx Vodka and house Rhubarb-Infused Dolin Dry Vermouth. Shaken, not stirred.

Silver Bullet: Deepwells Dry Gin, stirred, and poured into an Uncouth Vermouth Serrano Chile and Lavender Vermouth-spritzed glass.

Aquavit Martinez: Gambe Ode Celebration Aquavit, Yzaguirre Rojo Reserva Vermouth and Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur.

Chef Manolatos has created a special menu of nostalgic snacks, such as Madison Avenue Deviled Eggs with Caviar ($9), “Stuffed Celery Sticks” with braised local Celery, Gorgonzola and Pancetta ($7), Shrimp Cocktail with house-made Cocktail Sauce and Avocado ($12), “Chicken a la King” with braised Poussin, Carrots, Peas and Chicken Veloute over Biscuits ($11), and Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon with Baguette ($13).

Next, it’s the 1970s on July 12th with Rico Wisner of Ambar (drinks) and Brad Walker of Boundary Stone and Sam Adkins of Sally’s Middle Name (food); and the 1980s on August 2nd with Duane Sylvestre of Bourbon Steak and Megan Coyle of Hank’s Oyster Bar.

701 Restaurant Hosting Wine Dinner with La Follett Wines May 28th

Join 701 Restaurant and La Follette Wines on Thursday, May 28th at 7 pm for a four-course wine dinner priced at $95 per person. Winemaker Greg La Follette will orchestrate pairings of La Follette’s North Coast Chardonnay, Manchester Ridge Pinot Noir, Sangiacomo Pinot Noir, and Van Der Kamp Pinot Noir.

Food includes a first course of old bay poached shrimp with charred avocado, celery slaw and fried peanuts; followed by a sunflower seed risotto with morel mushroom jam, parmesan and spring herb pesto; an entree of dry aged New York strip loin with root vegetable gratin, royal trumpet mushroom and caramelized pear butter; and a “variations of chocolate” dessert.

Ambar Hosts Balkan Wine Dinner June 7th

Ambar is hosting a Balkan wine dinner with their neighbors from Chat’s Liquors, on Sunday June 7th from 6 to 7:30 pm. The five-course meal will feature Balkan wines, focusing on pairings of unique and affordable wines imported from the Thracian Valley region of Bulgaria. Guests will sample Bulgariana Cabernet Sauvignon, Thracian White Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah, and the Imperial Red Blend.

To eat, start with a mezze platter including a chef’s selection of Balkan meats; Prokelj Sa Slaninom, Brussels sprouts with bacon, and topped with a lemon and garlic yogurt; Manastirska Piletina, almond crusted chicken with walnut, green apple, chive and wasabi mayonnaise; Grilovane Kobasice, homemade sausage; and for dessert, a reforma cake with walnuts, Dolcela chocolate icing and passion fruit espuma, served with baked apple ice cream.

City Tap House Hosts Tap Takeover with Wicked Weed Brewing & New Belgium Brewing June 6th

Switching from cocktails and wine to beer, join City Tap House on Saturday, June 6th, for a tap takeover with Wicked Weed Brewing and New Belgium Brewing from 7pm to close.

They’ll feature 10 draft lines dedicated to each brewery, including some exclusive offerings for the market. Also expect to find some special food pairings on the menu, including fried pulled pork mac & cheese with BBQ ranch, and a North Carolina pulled pork shoulder sandwich.

Macon Bistro Launches Sunday Supper Series

Macon Bistro

Recently appointed Chef de Cuisine Jenna Pool has reunited with Executive Chef Daniel Singhofen and will lead the Sunday Supper experience at Macon Bistro & Larder in Chevy Chase.

The dinner series will debut on Sunday, June 7, and will feature a three-course prix fixe at $55 per person. It’s an intimate experience enjoyed at two eight-seat tables adjacent to the kitchen, with Pool introducing each course as it’s served.

The menu will focus on fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Each Sunday there will be two seatings, at 6pm and 8pm.

Joe’s Offering Buttermilk Fried Soft Shell Crab

joes dc soft shell crab

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab is getting into the fun with soft shell crabs this season. They’re offering a buttermilk fried soft shell crab for both lunch and dinner for $14.95. You can also get it on a sandwich with fries for $17.95.

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace Hosts Bottom Blue Catfish Fridays

Due to the recent surge in population of invasive Blue Catfish, the Chesapeake Bay is facing a major threat to its ecosystem. Species such as Blue Crab, Rockfish and Flounder are now struggling to survive due to the invasion of the Blue Catfish, which feeds on native Chesapeake fish and wildlife.

With that in mind, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace chef owner Jeff Black will be offering a Bottomless Blue Catfish special every Friday beginning June 5th. The Beat the Blues and Save the Bay special, which will be available for $23, includes a bottomless serving of cornmeal crusted fried catfish with guest’s choice of spicy cole slaw or bacon braised collard greens, along with hushpuppies with cayenne aioli, and a pint of local Denizen’s beer.

Dragon Creek Oyster Festival at Bastille

Join Bastille for a patio party on May 27th from 6 to 8pm featuring Dragon Creek Seafood & Oyster Company. Bruce Wood, owner of Dragon Creek, will be shucking his fresh Chesapeake oysters while they last, along with an available feast from the menu, including peel and eat shrimp, clams and other seafood, paired with Champagne, Muscadet and beer.

Met Bethesda Hosts Lobster Wednesdays

MET Bethesda Lobster Roll

The new Met Bethesda, located in the Westfield Montgomery Mall, is offering a special promo starting on June 17th. Join them on Wednesdays for Twin Lobster Wednesdays, with four different lobster dishes available at $24.99.

The lineup includes the Twin Maine Lobsters, steamed or grilled; Salt & Pepper Fried Twin Maine Lobsters, served with stir-fried vegetables and a house-made ponzu sauce; Lobster Roll with freshly shucked Maine lobster and green leaf lettuce, served on a buttered roll, and the Lobster Mac n Cheese with four cheese and buttery bread crumbs.

The dishes are available every Wednesday through September 2nd, starting at 5pm each week.

Fish & Chips Around the District

More seafood specials and spotlights … several spots around the District are showcasing Fish & Chips for the season…

At Penn Commons, Fry-day night is celebrated at 10pm with a Wisconsin Fish Fry, featuring beer-battered fish with sides of fries, coleslaw and house-made tartar sauce. Sister restaurant District Commons is offering beer battered fish with the District Common ale by Atlas Brew Works, served with chips and sweet pickle remoulade.

Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in Arlington is offering Mexican-style fish & chip specials like the Pacifico beer-battered local Blue Catfish with yucca fries. The special dish comes with Valentina Salsa Picante, direct from Guadalajara.

Acadiana is offering thinly sliced catfish lightly coated with cornmeal and golden fried, offering a delicate crunch. Served with hearty, thick fries and smothered in a tangy house-made tartar sauce.

New Seasonal Lineup from DC Harvest

DC Harvest is presenting a brand new seasonal menu from snacks and cocktails to main courses in the dining room.

New cocktails include Springthyme – Green Hat Navy Strength Gin with grapefruit, thyme, dry vermouth and Riesling; Rising Sun – Pritchards Silver Rum, Leopold Bros. Maraschino liquer, grapefruit and lime; Pink Headed Stepchild – basil infused vodka, lime, ginger beer and Peychaud’s bitters; and Virginia Kolsch and Creek Happy Hour special–a VA duo of can of Champion Killer Kolsch beer and shot of Catoctin Creek Rye.

Happy hour snacks include Pepperoni Parmesan “Doughnuts” with creole mustard and micro herb salad.

For entrees, find new dishes such as Wild Chesapeake Bay catfish with grilled asparagus, carrot basil puree and pistou sauce; cornmeal crusted Langenfelder farms  bone-in pork chop with herb farroto, carrots and pickled green tomato/cucumber relish; Roseda Farms  house-made, house-Hickory smoked boneless short ribs with cheddar grits and grilled asparagus; Homemade Semolina Garganelli with baby Swiss chard roasted carrots, basil and creamed leek sauce finished with toasted breadcrumbs; spelt linguine carbonara with house cured Cherry Wood Smoked Bacon, duck egg and pea shoots; and pan roasted scallops with a trio of peas; English peas, snow peas, and pea shoots, finished with Chermoula sauce.

Cava Grill’s 9th Location Opens in Fairfax on May 26

In its first opening of 2015, with four more on the way this summer, Cava Grill will debut in Fairfax on May 26. Enjoy free lunch from 11am to 2pm, or free dinner from 6 to 9pm, with encouraged donations to their nonprofit partner City Blossoms.

Later this summer, Cava Grill will debut at Reagan National Airport and in Ashburn, and then head out west, with two Cava Grills in Los Angeles, CA set for the fall.

Cava Grill Fairfax is located at 11046 Lee Highway.

Mango Tree Names Adrian Salazar New Executive Chef

Mango Tree DC General Manager Robert Hall is pleased to announce that Adrian Salazar has been appointed executive chef of Mango Tree DC, open since the start of the year in the chic new CityCenterDC.

Since his promotion, Salazar has wasted no time enhancing his reputation as a local sourcing and farm-to-fork fanatic, having persuaded local farmers to start growing Thailand aubergines for Mango Tree. Next month he plans to visit Chesapeake Bay’s oyster and soft-shell crab fishermen to foster a closer relationship and get the inside track on the best and freshest seafood, with a view to offering two or three locally-sourced seafood specials to Mango Tree diners daily.

Salazar first came to Mango Tree’s attention during his 2013 stint at Zaytinya, as sous chef working with Michael Costa at Jose Andrés’ bustling Penn Quarter landmark. Then in December 2014, he was tapped to join Mango Tree as sous chef for the restaurant’s January 2015 launch, becoming a vital member of its opening team.

Salazar said when he dared to dream, it was that one day he might be renowned for helping advance the art of Thai cuisine in the manner of Andy Richter of Pok Pok or David Thompson of Nahm.

Author: Jake Emen

I’m Jake, and I’m your host on this journey. I'm the man doing the eating and the talking around here. I’m a writer based outside of Washington, D.C., and I'm also talking whiskey, local events, travel, and other assorted misadventures. Follow me on the Tweet Machine - @ManTalkFood, or send an email to jake [at] mantalkfood.com.

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