What’s Happening in Washington, DC: May 25, 2015

Dig into some Southern fare, take on a new Thai menu, and savor some Balkan wine and cuisine in the DMV
Tupelo Honey Cafe

Tupelo Honey Cafe’s farm burger in Arlington, Virginia.

Americans are finally embracing our own regional food roots while appreciating the beauty of Asian cuisine—and dining in the DMV reflects this. There is a café in Arlington serving radical twists on Southern fare, while in Penn Quarter, an ambitious chef is exploring traditional Thai flavors using local Chesapeake region ingredients. Coincidentally, our exploding drinks scene, booze fests, and tasting calendars continue to bear out stats that show, per capita, D.C. residents consume more beer, wine, and spirits than any other city in America.  

Ambar Hosts Five-Course Balkan Wine Dinner with Neighbor Chat's Liquors
Ambar is one of those places where everybody knows your name and the friendly staff treats you like family — and the food is just as great as the welcome. On Sunday, June 7, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. you can share a “family” wine dinner featuring Balkan cuisine paired with the wine of the Thracian Valley in Bulgaria. The price is $65 per person and the five-course menu includes items from executive chef Ivan Zivkovic’s new spring menu. On hand to chat about the wine and the region are the folks from Chat’s Liquors so sign up now comrades.

City Tap House Hosts Savor Events June 3 to June 7
Craft beer fans of every stripe love May and June in the District because seasonal releases hit the market and the Savor American Craft Beer & Food Experience comes to town. This year’s main event, hosted at the National Building Museum over the weekend of June 5 to June 7, is already sold out, but you can still participate in all the fun by joining fellow brews dudes at City Tap House. Their five-day beer extravaganza begins on Wednesday, June 3 with Barrel-Aged Night and a showcase of brews aged in bourbon, brandy, and wine barrels from three breweries: Allagash Brewing Co., 3 Stars Brewing Co., and Laughing Dog Brewing Co. Thursday, June 4, is a Dogfish Head tap takeover with 40 tap lines featuring rare and seasonal brews. Friday, June 5, highlights eight to ten tap lines of Ithaca Beer Co.’s beer served with a few bites from the brunch menu like grilled Benton ham and pimento cheese sandwich, biscuits with country gravy and a fried egg, and honey goat cheese pizza. Saturday, June 6 is another tap takeover, this time with ten tap lines for Wicked Weed Brewing Co. (some of which aren’t available yet in D.C.) and ten tap lines for New Belgium Brewing Co. After all this imbibing, you’ll have to finish with a flourish and attend the Second Annual Locals Only Brunch on Sunday, June 7.

Mango Tree Taps New Chef Adrian Salazar to Create Inspired Thai Menu
Mango Tree in CityCenter is taking the restaurant in a new direction with a new chef whose focus is on fresh ingredients and subtle twists on classic Thai dishes. The new executive chef is Adrian Salazar and he has earned his role as chef since coming on board as the opening sous chef. Anxious to put his stamp on things right away, Salazar has begun working with local farmers to grow Thai eggplant for the restaurant and he is building relationships with local soft shell crab men and oystermen in order to have direct access to the freshest seafood for his specials. We can’t wait to taste his take on Thai.

Stanton & Greene to Host Chefs Behind Bars May 28
Few organizations, events, or causes are as widely supported as D.C.’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry and their hugely successful Chefs Behind Bars happy hour, which is back for the second summer. The fun happens at Stanton & Greene on Capitol Hill and includes seven of D.C.’s darling chefs creating cocktails from 6 to 8 pm. For $45 per person, guests can snack and sip while rubbing elbows with chefs 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.) as they pour potent potables.

Tupelo Honey Cafe to Open in Arlington, Virginia June 1
Hailing from North Carolina, the latest eatery to arrive in Courthouse, Arlington is Tupelo Honey Cafe. While they may be tapping into down home cooking, this is not your Southern granmamma’s food. Daring small plates include country ham wontons and goat cheese grits poppers with smoked jalapeño sauce with savory entrées like grilled lamb chops with black-eyed pea and French green bean salad. Regular brunch is served Saturday and Sunday along with a “Moonrise Brunch” from 10 pm to 1 am Friday and Saturday nights. Craft cocktails feature a range eclectic drinks as well as twists on the Old Fashioned cocktail, and monthly themed drinks specials.

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.

Related Stories
Washington, DC New Menu Report: 05/20/15What’s Happening in Washington, DC: May 18, 2015 Washington, DC New Menu Report: 05/13/15What’s Happening in Washington, DC: May 11, 2015Washington, DC New Menu Report: 05/07/15