- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Six top chefs will engage in battle during the DC Central Kitchen’s Capital Food Fight from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday onstage at the Ronald Reagan Building (1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) as 44 local restaurants dish up some of their favorite creations. All proceeds benefit the DC Central Kitchen. For information on the event, call Ann Nix at 202/789-5979.

On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, all six Washington-area McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants and two grills will host their annual Veterans Appreciation Event by offering all retired U.S. military veterans a free entree in appreciation for their service to our country. Veterans must show proper identification.

The Roof Terrace Restaurant at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St. NW, 202/416-8555) has reopened after a summer hiatus with a new fall menu. Chef de cuisine Karen Hayes’ menu showcases fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables in such dishes as squash risotto with apples; roasted breast of pheasant with Savoy cabbage; cumin- and pepper-seared tuna with black-eyed peas and kale; and ancho-cocoa crusted venison with celery root, brussels sprouts petals and pomegranate venison jus.

At 8 p.m. Nov. 15, the Roof Terrace is teaming up with J. Vineyards and Winery for an unusual menu paired with wines from the Russian River Valley in California’s Sonoma County. Cost is $125 per person.

Sonoma Valley wines will also be featured at a wine dinner tomorrow at Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar (223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, 202/544-8088), along with a culinary adventure. Dinner begins at 7 p.m.; cost is $130 per person.

At 2941 Restaurant in Virginia (2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church 703/270-1500), Scott Bryan, former chef of Veritas Restaurant in New York, has been tapped to serve as guest chef through the 2007 holiday season. Mr. Bryan has assumed the responsibilities of executive chef and is creating new menus to showcase the season’s ingredients.

Zola (800 F St. NW, 202/654-0999) is celebrating the launch of Operation Spy at the International Spy Museum next door, by offering a three-course prix-fixe lunch at $25 per person from 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Operation Spy allows adventure-seekers to assume the role of a U.S. intelligence officer with the assignment of locating a missing nuclear device on the verge of being sold to a rogue nation. The mission combines live action, video characters, themed environments, special effects and hands-on activities. Patrons can purchase a Spy for a Day package for $40, which includes tickets to Operation Spy followed by the three-course lunch.

On Thursdays until Dec. 16 (except for Thanksgiving), Cafe des Artistes at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (500 17th St. NW, 202/639-1786) will showcase American wines from the East and West coasts from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. For $25, guests will receive one admission to the Ansel Adams and Annie Leibovitz exhibit and two glasses of selected American wines paired with fruit and cheese.

Il Fornaio (11990 Market St., Reston, 703/437-5544) is featuring the food and wines of the Piedmont Region in Italy from Nov. 5 to 18. Barbera d’Alba, Barbaresco and Moscato d’Asti are among the featured wines. Gnocchi alla Piemontese; cannelloni alla Montanara; roast pork loin rolled with figs, sage and roasted garlic; and Fontina cheese ravioli with porcini mushroom sauce will be some of the special dishes.

November marks the peak of Spain’s fishing season, and Taberna del Alabardero (1776 I St. NW, 202/429-2200) is celebrating the month with a special seafood menu that will replace the regular menu. The November Simply Seafood menu will feature such dishes as Basque tuna and potato stew; seared scallops with smoked potato cream puree; sea bream baked in rock salt; seafood paella; and squid ink paella with baby octopus.

The Colonnadeat the Fairmont Hotel Washington (2401 M St. NW, 202/457-5000) has introduced a Chocolate Lovers’ Brunch every fourth Sunday of the month. The brunch adds a dozen assorted chocolate dishes to the Sunday brunch buffet, including white chocolate pancakes; rack of lamb with chocolate pan jus; milk chocolate pumpkin mousse; 10-layer chocolate cake; and dark chocolate cherry bread and butter pudding. The prix fixe buffet brunch, offered from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., is $65 for adults, and $30 for children 5 to 12.

The Fairmont will be holding its annual tree-lighting ceremony in the hotel’s Crystal Garden and lobby beginning at 5 p.m. Nov. 29, with WTOP Radio’s Man About Town Bob Madigan as master of ceremonies. The Georgetown Visitation Madrigals will perform holiday classics; children will enjoy holiday cookie decorating; members of the Marine Corps Reserves will perform a presentation of colors; and Santa Claus will make a special appearance. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served.

At Eamonn’s A Dublin Chipper (728 King St., Alexandria, 703/299-8384), children who try codfish and chips, will get a free mini ice cream cone with the “crumbliest, flakiest milk chocolate in the world.” The ice cream is free to all children, even if they won’t try the cod.

As the holiday season approaches, Circle Bistro’s catering team (One Washington Circle , 202/293-5390), led by executive chef Brendan Cox, has an array of options for a buffet party at the hotel. Main courses include crusted pork loin with cider jus, roulade of free range turkey with cranberry compote or a rack of beef ribs. For $48 per person, guests can choose one main course, two accompaniments and one dessert from a catering menu. Other options, such as two main courses with three accompaniments, are available.

Those wishing to entertain at home for Thanksgiving and Christmas without cooking can take advantage of Mo to Go at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (1330 Maryland Ave. SW, 202/787-6868). The Mo to Go meals will feed up to 10 persons and range in price from $180 to $250. Each item comes with warming instructions and leftover suggestions. The turkey dinner includes, among other dishes, a mushroom and winter truffle ragout, sauteed brussels sprouts, herb-roasted parsnips, apple and almond frangipani tart, as well as a roasted turkey. Prime rib of beef and ham dinners are also available. Thanksgiving orders must be placed by Nov. 16; Dec. 18 is the deadline for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Orders can be picked up at the hotel from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 22, Dec. 24 and 25. Pick up location and directions will be provided upon order confirmation. Executive chef Anthony Reynolds of the hotel’s Cafe Mozu will be preparing special buffet lunch and dinner for Thanksgiving for $78 for adults and $35 for children.

A four-course fixed-priced Thanksgiving menu will be prepared at the Morrison-Clark Restaurant (1015 L St. NW, 202/898-1200), priced at $75 for adults and $25 for children under 12. Dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Executive chef Janis Mclean’s menu will feature dishes such as wild mushroom consomme with potato gnocchi; local free range herb-roasted turkey or grilled wild rockfish; corn bread and pecan stuffing; chocolate bread pudding with caramel anglaise; and a trio of apple treats.

Beginning tomorrow from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and continuing every Thursday through winter, Morrison-Clark is offering its Big Chill specialty cocktails and complimentary hors d’oeuvres served fireside in the Victorian mansion’s drawing room.

The Washington-area Legal Sea Foods restaurants, in addition to their traditional Thanksgiving menu to be served from 2 to 9 p.m. Nov. 22, are recommending a baked stuffed lobster in lieu of turkey. The lobsters have a shrimp, scallops and buttery cracker stuffing.

Ashok Bajaj’s restaurant family will tempt diners with a variety of Thanksgiving treats:

• At Ardeo (3311 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202/244-6750), a three-course dinner will be served featuring seasonal choices that include a fallen Gorgonzola souffle.

• Rasika (633 D St. NW, 202/637-1222) is adding dum ka turkey, a turkey breast marinated with caramelized onions, cashew nuts, yogurt, garlic and ginger, to its menu.

• Two Thanksgiving specials will be added to the Bombay Club (815 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202/659-3727) menu — tandoori turkey and turkey Firdausi, a turkey breast filled with minced meat, nuts and spices.

• The three-course Thanksgiving menu served from noon to 8 p.m. at the Oval Room (800 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202/463-8700) features starters such as raw Nantucket Bay scallops and main courses ranging from organic turkey to slow-baked salmon and flat-iron beef.

Thanksgiving begins with brunch at the Blue Duck Tavern (24th and M streets NW, 202/419-6755) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a fixed price, three-course menu ($80 per adult, $40 per child). Dinner, served from 6 to 10 p.m., will feature an $80 three-course menu whose main courses include suckling pig with bourbon peaches and Maine lobster potpie, as well as roast turkey.

Cafe Milano, (3251 Prospect St. NW, 202/333-6183, www.cafemilano.net) will add Italian flavors to its six-course Thanksgiving dinner, but the regular menu will also be available. The prix fixe Thanksgiving dinner costs $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity; for children 6 to 12, the price is $30; hours are 3 to 10 p.m. The six courses are:

Turkey consomme with parsley canederli (dumplings)

Porcini mushroom guazzetto (a stew) with chestnuts and turkey sausage

Pumpkin gnocchi in a butter and sage sauce

Roast turkey stuffed with sage and meat, and accompanied by walnut green beans and mashed celery root and potatoes

Pineapple carpaccio with cranberry sorbet

Pumpkin cheesecake with cinnamon caramelized chestnuts and amaretto liqueur sauce

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