What’s Happening in Washington, DC: March 23, 2015

Cocktails crafted by chefs, dogs are going to yappy hour, and you can help end childhood hunger

ENO Wine Bar will host cherry blossom-themed wine and chocolate tastings in Washington, D.C., with confections sourced from Chouquette. 

We know that dedicated foodies explore their cities on their bellies and revive themselves with an array of potent potables, so every week we highlight unique or edutaining food and drink events that appeal to your inner Gourmet. March has been packed with culinary happenings and it looks like April and May are going to be just as appetizing. There are cocktails to sip, wine tastings, cooking classes, and even a happy hour dido can attend. So loosen your belt, grab a friend, and get ready to nosh like a glutton.

Chefs Behind Bars

The boom in craft cocktails has enriched our local bar scene and now some of D.C.’s chefs want to get in on the fun. Chefs Behind Bars is being held on May 21, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. and it’s a lounger’s dream come true. Your host is chef Zack Mills from Wit & Wisdom Tavern in Baltimore, and for three hours you can enjoy cocktails prepared by top local chefs with stunning views of the city as a backdrop. It’s all happening on the rooftop at Liaison of Capitol Hill. For just $40, you can tickle your taste buds and support Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program. One in five children struggle with hunger in our country and this program is working to end childhood hunger “by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.”

Cherry Blossom Wine Flights, Chocolates, and a Rosé Tasting

ENO Wine Bar is celebrating the arrival of spring and the National Cherry Blossom Festival with two exciting vinous events that wine lovers will find edutaining and tasty. The first event, scheduled Wednesday, April 1, from 6 to 8 p.m., is a cherry blossom-themed wine and chocolate tasting that honors the Japanese Yoshino cherry tree. Guests may choose to order wine and chocolate as separate tastings or as pairs. The wine and chocolate pairs start at $12 for one, $16 for two, and $20 for three parings, and the price for just the Cherry Blossom Wine Flight is $20 per person. The stand-alone flight includes Bedell Sparkling Cabernet and Merlot Rosé 2011 from Long Island, New York; Breaux Vineyards Cabernet Franc and Merlot Rosé 2013 Loudoun County, Virginia; and Big Cork Merlot 2012 from Maryland. The chocolates are $4 per morsel and include delectable selections such as vanilla sea salt caramel, cherry caramel, and dark cherry. Local chocolatier, Chouquette, provides the chocolate tasting and owner, Sarah Dwyer, will be on site to educate guests about the limited edition cherry chocolates decorated with images of Washington monuments and Yoshino cherry trees.

On Sunday, April 5, from 6 to 8 p.m., they are hosting an enoversity class entitled “Budbreak” -Celebrate Spring with the World’s Favorite Rose Wines. The cost is $50 per person and the lineup of wines includes the 2013 Paradise Springs "Nana's Rosé,” from Clifton, Virginia; the 2013 Le Pas de L'Espalette Ze Roze, from Languedoc, France; and the 2013 Kivelstadt "Twice Removed,” Rosé of Mourvedre, from Sonoma County, California. Be sure to review the entire enoversity schedule to see what other classes are next.


Official on Friday, March 20, spring finally made an appearance. Despite the fluctuating temperatures, Washingtonians are welcoming any chance to be outside without wearing five layers, gloves, and a balaclava—and Republic in historic Takoma Park is glad to help. Their patio is now open, weather permitting of course, for the season and they will be offering Sunday open mic nights and live music under the stars. But that’s not all. Yappie Hour, their popular happy hour that’s gone to the dogs, is back starting April 12. Yappie Hour runs from 3 to 5 p.m., and following that, every fourth Sunday of the month throughout spring and summer. Humans can sip $5 Salty Dog cocktails and Fido can nosh on free treats provided by Big Bad Woof, Pup Strut, and Takoma Dogs.  

Taste of the Nation DC

Make sure you file your taxes early this year so you can attend Taste of the Nation DC worry-free. This annual tasting event is held to raise funds for No Kid Hungry (100% of the funds from this event go to support No Kid Hungry) and it’s a D.C. food-lovers’ favorite. This year, Taste of the Nation will be held on Thursday, April 13 from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the National Building Museum in Penn Quarter. Your host for the evening is Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian, so come join her to sip and sample the night away, and rub elbows with some of the District’s top chefs, food purveyors, mixologists, sommeliers, and celebrities. Food celebrity and fine dining fans can expect the usual suspects including Robert Wiedmaier of Marcel’s, Mike Isabella of Graffiato, Bryan Voltaggio of Range, and some of DC’s best restaurants will be serving fab food and drink. To keep things fun and casual, there will be live DJ entertainment, cookbook signings, and the chance to win luxury goods at the auction. You can purchase tickets online in three categories and prices:

·         VIP Plus: $225 per person from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m.

·         VIP: $170 per person from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m.

·         General Admission: $120 per person from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.

Washington City Paper’s Best of DC

If you were one of those kids who couldn’t wait to read the “Most Likely To” or “Best of” lists in your yearbook, then you will love Washington City Paper’s Best of DC Celebration being held at The Carnegie Library on Thursday, April 9 from 7 to 10 p.m. Every year, thousands of their readers vote on who their favorite local people are, and choose the best places and services in more than 300 categories. This event is the culmination of the voting process and announces the winners in categories as varied or quirky as “Best Place to Take a Foodie” or “Best Place to Buy Vinyl.” Buy tickets online in two categories: General Admission tickets for $65 per person, and VIP tickets $100 per person from 6 to 10 p.m. Each ticket entitles you to indulge in small bites from 50 DMV restaurants, cocktails from 10 of the region’s best mixologists, a beer tent featuring local breweries, distilleries, food trucks, and live music on multiple stages—and part of the proceeds from ticket sales benefit local charities Brainfood and Girls Rock!

Summer Whitford is the D.C. City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal and the DC Wine Examiner. You can follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva.

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