DC Restaurant Buzz: Oyamel Day of the Dead, Isabella’s Pepita pops up at G, Taste of DC & Bethesda, Second State

There’s lots of good booze news right now in D.C., but there’s always plenty of restaurant buzz too. Here’s our latest roundup, ranging from new restaurants and grand openings, to special celebrations and offerings, and much more.

Second State: New Farm-to-Table Restaurant

second state restaurant

Reese Gardner is opening Second State, which will replace the former Mighty Pint at 1831 M Street, NW. Gardner, a Pennsylvania native, decided to name his latest restaurant Second State as Pennsylvania was the second state to ratify the Constitution. The aim is to create an intimate neighborhood restaurant with a menu featuring seasonal American small bites along with featured prime cuts of local game, farm-raised poultry, beef and fresh fish to accompany family-style sides.

Every ingredient will be sourced from local farmers within a three-hour drive from DC, with an emphasis on farms in Pennsylvania.

The bar program at Second State will have a culinary approach, also incorporating fresh, local, seasonal ingredients found in  homemade syrups and mixers, along with freshly squeezed juices for cocktails, and a large selection of 30 white and dark rye whiskeys.

Trummer’s on Main Hosting James Beard in Virginia Rising Chefs Dinner – October 9th

James Beard in Virginia Rising Star Dinner

Trummer’s on Main in Clifton, Virginia, hosts a special James Beard dinner event, with six Virginia Rising Star Chefs showcasing local cuisine.

The lineup includes Chef Bertrand Chemel, 2941 Restaurant; Chef David Dunlap, Ashby Inn; Pastry Chef Caitlin Dysart, 2941 Restaurant; Chef Austin Fausett, Trummer’s on Main; Chef Dylan Fultineer, Rappahannock; Chef and Owner Tim Ma, Maple Ave Restaurant and Water & Wall; Mixologist and Owner Stefan Trummer, Trummer’s on Main.

This massive dinner will feature a cocktail reception kicking off at 7:30 pm by Stefan Trummer and Catoctin Creek Distillery followed by six-courses of creative fare representing the bounty of the Virginia agricultural landscape.

Tickets to the dinner are $175 per person, and all proceeds from the event will benefit the James Beard Foundation. Tickets may be purchased online here.

Taste of Bethesda – October 11th

Taste of Bethesda is back this Saturday, October 11th. More than 40,000 attendees will be on hand to sample food from about 50 area restaurants, while enjoying live music and entertainment throughout the day.

Admission is free, while taste tickets cost $5 for four. How many tickets you need at each stand will depend on what they’re offering. Taste of Bethesda lasts from 11am-4pm.

Taste of DC – October 11th-12th

Not one to be outdone by little ol’ Bethesda, Taste of DC is back on October 11th as well, with festivities also lasting through the 12th, and more than 70 D.C. restaurants taking part.

There’s also a beer garden showcasing over 50 beers, as well as a Wine Walk, with more than 100 wines for sampling. On Saturday, you can also take in the 4th Annual Ben’s Chili Bowl World Chili Eating Championship, including Joey Chestnut, and Sonya “The Black Widow”, and on Sunday, you can attend the Heritage BBQ Cochon 555, with five local chefs each making six dishes utilizing whole heritage bred pigs.

The competing chefs are Scott Drewno of The Source by Wolfgang Puck, Erik Bruner-Yang of Maketto, Kyle Bailey of Birch & Barley, Joe Palma of Bourbon Steak, and George Pagonis of Kapnos. General admission tickets to this cost $100.

There are also a variety of ticket packages available depending on how many of the events you’re planning on attending.

Georgetown Piano Bar’s Official Grand Opening Party – October 16th

Georgetown Piano Bar

Georgetown Piano Bar opened a few weeks ago, but the grand opening party takes place next Thursday, October 16th. The event benefits the ALS Association, and is officially entitled the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Grand Opening Party.

All night long, 100% of the proceeds from Samuel Adams beer sales, and signature martinis will go to the local chapter of the ALS Association. You’re even encouraged to bring video of yourself doing an ice bucket challenge to share, so finally, your fantastic effort won’t go wasted.

Oyamel’s Annual Day of the Dead Celebration & Kickoff Party – Starting October 20th

Oyamel Day of the Dead party

Chef José Andrés and his team at Oyamel are gearing up for the 8th annual celebration of Day of the Dead, from October 20th through November 2nd, with a huge range of special dishes and cocktails. On the 20th, there’s a kickoff party from 6-9:30 pm. Tickets cost $60 and are available online here.

After that, all of the specialty dishes and drinks will be available for lunch and dinner through November 2nd. Beyond the great food, they’ll have some fun with the drinks too, with offerings such as El Santo contra los Zombies and The Witches Attack.

G by Mike Isabella Morphing to a Pepita Pop-up – Starting October 30th

G by Mike Isabella is hosting a week-long pop-up of Pepita, Isabella’s planned Mexican joint which opens in Ballston in 2015.

Pepita takeover dates will include October 30th-31st, November 1st, 4th-5th, and 7th-8th.

Check out the Pepita menu with a $40, four-course meal including dishes such as posole verde with pork belly, green chile, cabbage; al pastor tacos with pork shoulder, pickled pineapple, jalapeno; crispy mahi mahi tacos with chipotle, avocado, cabbage, lime; and empanadas with chihuahua cheese, charred tomatillo salsa. Pepita’s cocktail lineup will also be available to order separately.

On all of the above dates, dinner is available from 6-9:30pm.

Mio Introduces a Mofongo Cart in Honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month continues through October 15th and Executive Chef Roberto Hernandez of Mio Restaurant is unveiling a new Mofongo Cart in its honor. Mofongo is Puerto Rico’s famous fried plantain dish, typically made with fried green plantains mashed together in a pilón, with broth, garlic, olive oil and pork cracklings.

Mio will showcase three different versions, Classic with Green Plantain; Yucca and Green Plantains, and the Tri-Mofongo, Green and Sweet Plantains and Yucca.  The Mofongo dishes are each priced at $15 for a generous portion which is made-to-order and served tableside.

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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