- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Summer doesn’t officially start until Monday, but it has arrived, and the Washington Plaza Hotel (Thomas Circle, 14th Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW) is celebrating the season with WP Pool Pops — four flavored popsicles that can be enjoyed by the swimming pool from now until the end of September. Priced at $3 each, the popsicles come in three alcohol-infused flavors: strawberry, banana and pina colada, plus a virgin orange-peach. They’re available from noon to 6 p.m.

In Georgetown, alfresco dining is in. Neyla (3206 N St. NW) has set up tables and umbrellas and is serving Lebanese-style meze in an inviting courtyard. Cafe Milano (3251 Prospect St. NW) has opened its spacious patio, and Citronelle (3000 M St. NW) offers outdoor lunch and dinner on the 30th Street side, weather permitting.

Martin’s Tavern in Georgetown (1264 Wisconsin Ave. NW) is celebrating its 70th anniversary with “Drinks by the Decade,” each priced at $7.95, and Delmonico steaks for $19.95 through August. The drinks include a bourbon old-fashioned for the 1950s, scotch on the rocks for the ‘40s and a spytini for the 1930s — a nod to Elizabeth Bentley and Alger Hiss, who met their Soviet contacts at Martin’s. The tavern has been a neighborhood gathering place for movie stars, journalists and politicians for decades. And it’s still a family business. The current owner, William A. “Billy” Martin Jr., became the fourth generation to own and operate the tavern when he took over in 2001.

Drinks are in, too, at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown (3100 South St. NW), which will reinstitute the two-martini lunch for the summer months, offering classic gin and vodka martinis at World War II prices of 50 cents per drink (with the purchase of a lunch entree and a limit of two martinis per person) in its Fahrenheit restaurant. In 1933, after the repeal of Prohibition, President Franklin D. Roosevelt mixed the first legal martini at the White House, and the martini became an American classic.

June is the month for Yukon River king salmon. The magnificent fish swim 2,000 miles up the Yukon River to the Bering Sea, as compared to the Copper River salmon, which travel only 350 miles. The fish, which have been sold primarily in the Japanese market for the past 30 years, are available this month in Washington for the first time in 30 years at Oceanaire Seafood Room (1201 F St. NW), beginning in about mid-June. It will remain on the menu for about a month.

Another summer special is available at the 1789 Restaurant (1226 36th St. NW), where chef Ris Lacoste is unveiling her three-course summer special available through September for $35 per person, plus beverages, tax and gratuity. The menu will change weekly and includes such delectable dishes as scallop ceviche with avocado and tequila ice, tempura of soft-shell crab, rack of lamb with creamy feta potatoes, and blueberry lime cream pie.

As a tribute to the support of its neighbors who helped nominate the Dupont Grille (1500 New Hampshire Ave. NW) as one of five finalists in the “neighborhood gathering spot” category in the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s Rammy awards this year, the restaurant is offering to reduce by 15 percent the check of anyone living in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. In order to qualify for the reduction — which does not include tax and tip — customers need only show a driver’s license or other proof of residence in the Dupont Circle area, which includes the 20009, 20036 and 20037 ZIP codes.

In June, we celebrate Father’s Day. Chef Charlie Palmer salutes Washington fathers by offering a free copy of “Charlie Palmer’s Casual Cooking,” autographed by the chef himself, to every dad who dines at his restaurant, Charlie Palmer Steak (101 Constitution Ave. NW) on Sunday — Father’s Day. The restaurant is usually closed on Sunday, but on Father’s Day, it will be open from 4 to 9 p.m.

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