Food News Calendar

Chef Eric Ripert of Westend Bistro

Restaurants around town are offering up a plateful of events. From culinary classes to food festivals, the local dining scene is freshening up for spring.

Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert has introduced new menu items, which it debuted at a hugely successful tasting night last February 17. The new mouthwatering plates include a chicken-fried pork belly appetizer, black walnut and cauliflower soup and a succulent triggerfish.

Citronelle will host a five week wine series, starting with Wine Profiling, Saturday February 26 from 1 – 3 pm. The restaurant, located at 3000 M Street NW, will continue the series March 18, April 30, May 12, and conclude on June 18. Classes are $100 individually, with deals varying on how many classes you sign up for. Reserve a space by calling 202 625 2150.

The Herman J. Wiemer Winemaker Dinner at Chef Geoff’s Downtown will take place Tuesday March 22 at 7 pm. Fred Merwath, winemaker and owner of Herman J. Wiemer Vineyard, will be the featured speaker at the dinner. The menu features five courses each paired with a featured wine. Chef Geoff’s Downtown is on 13th Street between E & F NW. Tickets are $69 and can be purchased at

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana will celebrate the fourth annual Tequila & Mezcal Festival March 14 through 27. Oyamel, 401 7th Street NW, will be offering premium tequila and mescal, served in flights, and specialty cocktails. Stop by Oyamel from 4 – 6 pm March 15 – 24 to enjoy complimentary samples of tequila and mescal. A celebratory menu will also be available during the festival, incorporating the spirits.

John Engle will return to Brasserie Beck and take on the position of Chef de Cuisine. Engle, most recently at Mussel Bar in Bethesda, will be serving up the brasserie’s signature mussels, along with other Belgian favorites. 1101 K Street NW.

Open Kitchen’s next spread of cooking classes will be going on February 27 – March 1. The hands-on classes cover everything from cupcakes to the cuisine of Venice. The classes run for three hours and range from $79 to $89 per class. Details on the classes can be found at

The Source by Wolfgang Puck launched its new Presidential Menu Tasting on Presidents Day, which featured all of the dishes enjoyed by President Obama and the First Lady during their January dinner at the restaurant. The special menu will continue during regular business hours in the main dinning room of The Source, 575 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

HomeMade Pizza is now open at 1826 Wisconsin Ave. NW. The take-and-bake pizza shop makes everything with fresh, all natural ingredients. Stop by the new store February 23 and 24 for the launch party and take part in fresh produce giveaways and free pizza.

Even more pizza is hitting the area when Pizzeria da Marco opens its doors at 8008 Woodmont Ave. in Bethesda on March 28. The pizzeria will feature authentic Neapolitan pizza cooked in a handcrafted wood-burning oven.

Fourteen Alexandria restaurants participated in the Cherry Challenge earlier this month. Restaurant chefs competed with cherry-inspired dishes, drinks, and desserts. This year’s winners were no strangers to the competition. For the third year in a row Temp Restaurant placed in the finals, taking the win in the starters category with their Insalata di Ceresa e Mela di Fuji. Murphy’s Irish Pub and Restaurant won the entrée with their three-time winning Duck a la Cherry. Sweet Cherry Rye from Food Matters took the prize in drink, and an ice cream from Dishes of India won dessert. Each person who ordered the dish or menu item was given a ballot to judge the item on taste, presentation, and creativity.

The half beef, half pork smoked sausage has long been considered the District’s signature dish. Domaso will be hosting its first annual Top Dog Half Smoke Challenge, Sunday May 1 at 3pm. Ten area chefs will be presenting their interpretation of the local favorite. Admission is $20 per person and includes samples of all ten half-smokes, a signature Skyy Vodka cocktail, tax and gratuity. Domaso will be donating 100 percent of the proceeds to Brainfood, a non-profit youth development organization based in DC that helps build life skills and promotes healthy living. The restaurant is located at Hotel Palomar, in Arlington, VA.

Support the rebuilding of the Fauquier Livestock at the Cattlemen’s Hoedown, February 26 at Barrel Oak Winery. The benefit runs from 6-9pm in Delaplane VA. The night will feature a live and silent auction, wine and appetizers. Tickets are $25, reservations can be made at 540-364-1572.

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