We’re back with the latest edition of the DC restaurant buzz. Where’s the newest place to chow down? What kind of upcoming events, parties and deals should you know about? Did somebody say something about whiskey dinners? Find out here.

Yes, somebody did say whiskey dinners. It was me. So let’s start with those.

On Monday, September 22nd, Barrel DC is hosting a special downstairs event in their Elixir Bar with Bulleit Whiskey, and Diageo Whiskey Master Nick Crutchfield.

The event kicks off with a meet and greet at 6:30 including passed appetizers, with dinner at 7pm. The four-course meal comes with whiskey and cocktail pairings. Tickets cost $70 per person and are available here.


GraffiatoThe week after, head to Graffiato for a four-course beer and spirits dinner on either Monday the 29th or Tuesday the 3oth, from 7-10pm each evening. The restaurant ill be partnering up with Catoctin Creek Distillery and Devil’s Backbone Brewery. Tickets cost $97.50, including tax and tip.

Graffiato has more for you this month too, in honor of October, which is apparently now National Pizza Month. Did you know that was a thing? (In my house every month is pizza month, but I digress…)

Throughout October you can buy a special take-home pizza kit from Graffiato, in one of three house specialty flavors, such as the White House, with Ricotta, Tallegio, Fresh Mozzarella, Prosciutto, and Black Pepper Honey, or the Goodfellas, with Provolone, Meatballs, Chile flake and Parsley.

Then, on Sunday, October 5th at 6pm you can do to a special pizza cooking class with Graffiato Chef de Cuisine Jose Adorno. Tickets to the class cost $55, and include food and one of those take-home pizza kits. Reserve your spot by calling  202-289-3600.


Head around the corner to Zengo, for their latest Test Kitchen series – Test Kitchen: Los Cabos, lasting now through the end of 2014. It’s actually a partnership between the Los Cabos Tourism Board and Richard Sandoval Restaurants. Sandoval went down to Los Cabos and did some firsthand culinary exploration, crafting up four specialty dishes and two new cocktails.

For assistance, he had four of the top chefs in Los Cabos give him a hand: Esperanza, an Auberge Resort Executive Chef Gonzalo Cerda; The Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort Chef Raul Che; Las Ventanas al Paraiso Executive Chef Fabrice Guisset, as well as One&Only Palmilla Chef Larbi Dahrouch.

The Test Kitchen dishes are marked off with a “TK on the menu are are available during dinner.



Two D.C. hotels have made some new hires. At Park Hyatt Washington’s Blue Duck Tavern, Ryan LaRoche is the new executive chef, and Brad Deboy has been promoted to chef de cuisine. At The Jefferson DC, Plume restaurant has a new executive chef, Ralf Schlegel.


Del Frisco’s Grille (not to be confused with sister restaurant Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House at CityCenter) will open officially on Thursday, September 25th, becoming the first tenant to debut in Rockville’s Pike & Rose. The restaurant showcases modern American cuisine, with starters such as oysters, flatbreads, and grit cakes, along with  signature steaks and seafood entrees.

They’ll be offering brunch service as well, with red velvet Belgian waffles, crabcake Benedicts, banana and mascarpone stuffed French toast, and a build your own bloody Mary bar.


STK Sunday Funday BrunchSpeaking of brunch, STK has unveiled their new brunch, vowing to make Sunday Funday that much better.  There’s a range of dishes available, from the healthy fruit variety to the hearty brunch burger or Thai-style fried chicken variety. The bottomless drinks cost $18 for a max of two hours. Plan accordingly.

Brunch service kicks off officially on Sunday the 21st. STK will now be open from 11:30-6pm on Sunday, but closed for dinner.

On a more serious note, STK is hosting an event on September 30th to raise funds for breast cancer research. The event will take place at all of STK’s locations, and will feature dancing, donating, and a specialty “drink pink” bar featuring their signature Strawberry Cobbler with premium vodka, freshly muddled strawberries and a graham cracker crust.

The VIP cocktail party will last from 6-8pm, and regular dinner service will continue from there.

For the rest of October, STK will be donating proceeds from their Strawberry Cobbler to breast cancer research — so drink up, already!


Black Market Bistro is celebrating is 10th anniversary (lots of restaurant anniversaries these days) on September 24th with a throwback menu of favorites and classics, priced at $55 per person, with an optional $20 wine pairing. Guests will even part with special goodie bags. And if you dine on the restaurant before the party, on the 22nd or 23rd, you’ll get a goodie bag too.


The 12th annual Paella Festival takes place at Jaleo‘s D.C. area locations from October 6th-19th.

A kickoff party takes place on the 6th at Jaleo Bethesda. Tickets cost $25, with $5 from each ticket going to World Central Kitchen. The event will feature cocktails and multiple paella stations.

Throughout the rest of the festival there will be half a dozen unique paellas available for lunch and dinner.


From the aforementioned National Pizza Month to Oktoberfest, lots of good reasons to celebrate in October, including Halloween, of course. Dolcezza is taking part in the latter by offering special Halloween “coppettas” — that’s a gelato sundae, to you.

The ghoulishly delicious lineup includes The Butterfinger, black sesame gelato, crushed Butterfinger candy, toasted sesame seeds & sea salt; Caramel Apple, honey crisp apple sorbetto, Michele’s Granola and dulce de leche sauce; and the Peanut Butter Cup, house ground peanut butter gelato, crushed Reese’s peanut butter cups and a dash of sea salt.  Coppettas are priced between $7 and $8 each.


Georgetown Piano BarSo far you’ve had plenty of excuses to eat and drink, day in and day out. But when will you get your excuse to sing, am I right?

Cue the Georgetown Piano Bar, rising from the ashes of Mr. Smiths and open since Friday, September 12th. The new Georgetown Piano Bar features Hunter Lang and Spencer Bates providing entertainment all throughout the week.

Get your piano bar fix from 5pm to 2am Sunday-Thursday, and as late as 3am on Friday and Saturday. The live music kicks off at 9pm nightly, and there’s never a cover charge.

Make a nod to your favorite crooner by ordering a specialty cocktail, such as the Elton John, sugar rim, black raspberry liquor, citron vodka, lemon juice; The Sinatra, Bulleit Rye, Sweet Vermouth and a Splash of Bitters; Willie Nelson, Ginger Beer, Titos Vodka, Lemon Juice and Mint Leaves; Duke Ellington, Hendricks gin, St. Germaine, Soda Water, Lime Juice and Muddled Cucumber; and plenty more from there.