- - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cinco de Mayo is alive and well in Washington, commemorating 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 as a celebration of Mexican-American culture.

At El Centro D.F. (1819 14th St. NW and 1218 Wisconsin Ave. NW), Cinco de Mayo will be celebrated Thursday with a bottomless buffet beginning at 4 p.m. and priced at $20 per person. Authentic Mexican comfort food will be served at three serving stations.

La Sandia (7852 Tysons Corner Center, McLean) is hosting a Guacamole Festival until May 21, featuring different guacamole dishes, each highlighting regional flavors along with the traditional mix of avocado, onion, tomato, chiles and salt. Diners who snap a picture of their guacamole and upload it to Instagram using the hashtag #GuacFest16 and @LaSandiaRSR will have a chance to win dinner for two at the restaurant.

Coming on the heels of Cinco de Mayo is Mother’s Day, celebrated this year on Sunday. At five of chef/owner Richard Sandoval’s restaurants, moms can enjoy a free entree. This special does not include appetizers or shared plates, and will be available with the purchase of another entree. In addition to the two El Centros and La Sandia, Masa 14 (1825 14th St. NW) and Zengo (787 Seventh St. NW) are included.

At Blue Duck Tavern (1201 24th St. NW), a selection of chocolate flowers will be mixed with real flowers on display in the pastry pantry throughout the weekend.


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Del Frisco’s Grille (1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) promises a lemon cake jar and $15 dining card for moms. And the Roof Terrace Restaurant’s (2700 F St. NW) buffet is always a Mother’s Day favorite.

At Palette 22 (4053 Campbell Ave., Arlington), artist/illustrator Christina Girardi will be on-hand to create portraits of mothers from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Portraits will be in watercolor and ink on 11-inch by 17-inch archival paper, priced at $20 each. Each artwork takes about 10 to 20 minutes to create and can be taken home upon completion.

The Hamilton (600 14th St. NW) will feature its Gospel Brunch with performances at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. The Gospel Brunch includes music by The Gospel Persuaders and an all-you-can-eat buffet of breakfast classics and Southern dishes.

14K Restaurant at The Hamilton Crowne Plaza hotel (1001 14th St. NW) recognizes May as Military Appreciation Month with “Military Mondays” by offering each Monday 15 percent off for food purchases during dinner service to all active duty, out of uniform and retired military with valid IDs.

701 Restaurant (701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) includes live jazz and outdoor seating overlooking the U.S. Navy Memorial fountain along with brunch. In addition, for the entire months of May and June, 701 is offering a “Bi-Partisan” lunch Mondays through Fridays. It’s a two-course menu, priced at $25 per person, with a choice of appetizer and entree, or entree and dessert.

Celebrating its first anniversary this week, Veloce’s (1828 L St. NW) giveaways will be announced each day of the week on social media. Included are free pizzas, a breakfast pizza pop-up on the restaurant’s front patio, a beer and pizza happy hour, and complimentary black bottom cupcakes.

Celebrate the “fastest two minutes in American sports,” the 142nd Kentucky Derby, at The Willard InterContinental hotel’s Round Robin Bar (1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) on Saturday, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The “Bonnets and Bowties” party includes 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.” The terrace of the Hotel’s Cafe du Parc has re-opened.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m., Slate Wine Bar + Bistro (2404 Wisconsin Ave. NW) will host Jacopo Pambuffetti, producer of Scacciadiavoli wines at a four-course Italian wine dinner, priced at $69. Founded in 1884, the Scacciadiavoli (scacciare means “to banish” and diavoli means “devils” in Italian) is named for an exorcist who lived in a town at the border of the property who used the wine for his rituals. The wines will be available for retail purchase at the event.

Just-opened Ottoman Taverna (425 I St. NW), Washington’s newest Turkish restaurant, incorporates traditional techniques and pays tribute to the flavors of Ottoman cuisine. The restaurant also offers Vinkara Winery red and white wines, produced from native Turkish grapes in the winery located in the village of Kalecik near Ankara.

On Saturday, May 14, Villain & Saint (7141 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda) pays tribute to the 1973 Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, New York, with three headlining cover bands. At a pre-show party outdoors from noon until 6 p.m. at the Farm Women’s Market (7155 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda) rock ‘n’ rollers will get a feast of roasted pig, burgers, oysters and local beer. The Oxymorons will provide live music. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $30 at villainandsaint.com or for $35 on the evening of the festival.

Every Sunday in May, The Bombay Club (815 Connecticut Ave. NW) will take guests on a three-course brunch journey through the regions of India, preparing authentic dishes from Goa, Rajasthan, Delhi and Punjab. The culinary adventure is priced at $29 per person, or $41 with bottomless mimosas and champagne.

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