D.C. culi­nary scene springs to life in May as­sort­ment of spe­cial events

The Washington Times Daily - - METRO - CORINNA LOTHAR

The “fastest two min­utes in Amer­i­can sports” take place on May 6. It’s Ken­tucky Derby Day. You can cel­e­brate the 143rd Ken­tucky Derby in the Wil­lard Room of the Wil­lard In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Ho­tel (1401 Penn­syl­va­nia Ave. NW) with an af­ter­noon of Maker’s Mark mint juleps, an open beer and wine bar, a South­ern-style buf­fet, a live jazz en­sem­ble, casino-style games and a con­test for the best derby bon­net and fan­ci­est bow tie. The Bon­nets & Bow Ties event takes place from 4:30-7 p.m. Tick­ets cost $99 per per­son. For reser­va­tions, call 202/942-7000.

Af­ter Bon­nets & Bow Ties, the Race to the 200th Cup be­gins. Upon sell­ing 200 mint juleps in the Round Robin Bar, The Wil­lard will re­lease 100 lim­ited-edi­tion com­mem­o­ra­tive mint julep cups. Th­ese hand­crafted pewter cups pay trib­ute to the mint julep first in­tro­duced to Wash­ing­ton by Ken­tucky states­man Henry Clay in the ho­tel’s bar in the 1840s. The pur­chaser of the 200th mint julep will re­ceive the first com­mem­o­ra­tive cup.

The ho­tel’s Mother’s Day brunch buf­fet will take place on May 14 in the Wil­lard and Crys­tal ball­rooms. Seat­ings are at 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Brunch tick­ets are priced at $110 for adults and $55 for chil­dren.

On May 6, Red’s Ta­ble (11150 South Lakes Drive, Re­ston) will host a din­ner fea­tur­ing craft beers from lo­cal 3 Stars Brew­ing Co., which has re­leased more than 40 dis­tinc­tive beers to date. The four-course din­ner will be paired with fea­tured beers in­clud­ing Clouds Farm­house Pale Ale and Zom­bie Date Night Im­pe­rial Porter. Din­ner is at 7:30 p.m. and is priced at $65 per per­son.

Cinco de Mayo com­mem­o­rates the Mex­i­can army’s vic­tory over French forces at the Bat­tle of Pue­bla on May 5, 1862. To­day, the date is rec­og­nized in the United States to cel­e­brate the cul­ture and ex­pe­ri­ences of Amer­i­cans of Mex­i­can an­ces­try. Espita Mez­ca­le­ria (1250 Ninth St. NW) cel­e­brates Cinco de Mayo from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. by of­fer­ing a lim­ited re­lease of Chamomile Sai­son, “a crisp, re­fresh­ing beer with a beau­ti­ful flo­ral note on the back end” that was cre­ated in part­ner­ship with 3 Stars Brew­ing Co.

Sum­mer cook­outs will be held on the se­cond Satur­day of each month through Sept. 9 at Glover Park’s Town Hall (2340 Wis­con­sin Ave. NW). Fea­tured events are a craw­fish boil on May 13, a pig roast on June 10, a crab feast on July 8, a clam­bake on Aug. 12 and the ul­ti­mate tail­gate on Sept. 9. The cook­outs, priced at $30 per per­son, in­clude un­lim­ited food, beer and wine, served from 5-9 p.m.

May is Na­tional Burger Month. nopa Kitchen + Bar (800 F St. NW) will show­case a unique burger each week. Priced from $14 to $16, the burg­ers will be served with a side of french fries and a choice of draft beer or a glass of house wine. New burg­ers will in­clude a crispy soft-shell burger BLT, and a mush­room and an­cient grain burger.

On Fri­day and Satur­day nights, nopa is of­fer­ing a “Din­ner for Two” menu priced from $70 per cou­ple. The menu, which changes weekly, fea­tures a com­posed dish (pro­tein, car­bo­hy­drate and side) for two peo­ple.

Sakerum (2204 14th St. NW), a new Latin-Asian restau­rant, is of­fer­ing a so­cial ci­gar night on its 50-seat rooftop ev­ery Mon­day from 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Af­fi­ciona­dos can en­joy a ci­gar un­der the stars along with Latin-Asian small plates and a se­lec­tion of spir­its. Guests can bring their own cigars (there’s an $8 cut­ting fee) or pur­chase one from the restau­rant’s ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion.

Good news from the Pal­isades: The Bel­gian restau­rant Et Voila (5120 MacArthur Blvd. NW) has re­opened af­ter a ren­o­va­tion. Owner/chef Clau­dio Pirollo pur­chased the build­ing next door and turned Et Voila into an up­dated restau­rant with new dishes, a light-filled en­trance and bar, a com­mu­nal ta­ble and, later this sum­mer, a mar­ket space.

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