- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Philoptochos, the ladies’ society of Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, has baked, kneaded, cooked and fried more than 2,500 pieces of spanakopita, 4,500 pieces of baklava and 3,000 pieces of diples (honey curls) since 1960 for the annual Greek Festival, the Washington area’s largest and oldest.

The church ladies are busy baking, kneading and cooking more, for this year’s festival will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 17 and noon to 9 p.m. Sept. 18 and 19 at the church’s 3-acre festival area at 16th and Upshur streets Northwest.

Besides the Greek music and marketplace, the church’s cookbook, “Our Odyssey Into Cooking,” will be available at the festival. A la carte and dinner entrees cost $2 to $10, and credit cards are accepted. Admission and parking are free. The 86-year-old church was founded by a small group of Greek immigrants at Sixth and C streets Southwest.

The Washington summer is ending with a sweet note: Krispy Kreme has opened at 1350 Connecticut Ave. NW, beside the south entrance of the Dupont Circle Metro station.

When the “Hot” light is on in the trademark “Hot doughnuts now” sign, it means the doughnuts have just been made and are still warm. Krispy Kreme offers 15 varieties, including the signature glazed doughnuts, which, the company claims, are made from a secret recipe created more than 65 years ago.

The D.C. store — Alexandria and Rockville already have Krispy Kremes — is open from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until midnight Friday and Saturday.

Chef Frank Morales at Zola (800 F St. NW; 202/654-0999) has introduced a dessert of four miniature cupcakes accompanied by a shot of chilled espresso buttermilk. Priced at $7, the vanilla and chocolate cakes are topped with vanilla, raspberry and chocolate butter-cream frostings. The chef also has a s’more fondue for two, priced at $10 per person. The fondue of dark chocolate is served with bite-size Zola grahams, strawberries, bananas and house-made marshmallows.

Not only are desserts in, but dessert martinis are, too. The International Bar at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle NW; 202/842-1300) is offering a “dessert la vanille” martini beginning today. The drink is made with Godiva white chocolate, Grey Goose vodka and Island Oasis ice cream. It’s served blended with ice in a martini glass decorated with dark chocolate sprinkles. Pure decadence.

Another sweet martini will be served in the fall at Maggiano’s (5333 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202/966-2593). Called “Key lime martini,” the drinkable dessert is made with Stoli Vanil, Key lime syrup, sweet-and-sour mix and half-and-half.

Food, dancing, vendors, church tours and activities for adults and children await guests at the 11th annual Middle Eastern Food Festival on Saturday and Sunday at Holy Transfiguration Melkite Greek Catholic Church, 8501 Lewinsville Road, McLean.

A $10 roasted lamb dinner will be served at 7 p.m. Saturday and at 4 p.m. Sunday. Activities include dance instruction, demonstrations of traditional Arabic folk dances, and backgammon and chess tournaments.

The hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. For information, call 703/734-9566 or visit www.holytransfiguration.org.

Through mid-September, Firefly (1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW; 202/861-1310) chef John Wabeck is featuring eight refreshing rose wines from France, Spain, Australia, California and Greece, priced from $18 to $38 per bottle. September is still one of Washington’s hot months, and roses are lovely cool wines for hot nights and days. “Roses aren’t to be overly analyzed,” the chef says. “Throw a bottle or two on ice and head for your favorite getaway.”

Andale (401 Seventh St. NW; 202/783-3133) celebrates Mexican Independence Day Sept. 13 to 18. To honor this holiday, chef Alison Swope has created a special menu, including empanadas filled with fresh crabmeat simmered with tomatoes, garlic and cilantro, and chiles en nogada — a roasted poblano chili stuffed with a blend of shredded pork garlic, tomato, raisins, almonds and spices in a creamy walnut sauce. The chiles en nogada are traditionally served on Independence Day as they have the colors of the Mexican flag: a green chili, white sauce and red pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top.

The chef also will be appearing at 5 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Penn Quarter Farmers Market, Eighth and D streets NW, to demonstrate the preparation of chiles en nogada.

On Sept. 18, Andale will offer a special three-course luncheon for $30, during which there will be a pinata-making demonstration.

Sept. 17 is the date for celebrating the Jean-Louis Palladin Foundation interns, featured in the October issue of Gourmet Magazine, with a seven course dinner at the Four Seasons Washington (2800 M St. NW). The star-studded roster of participating chefs, the city’s finest, includes Jeff Buben of Vidalia, Bob Kinkead of Kinkead’s, Cesare Lanfranconi of Tosca, Ann Cashion of Cashion’s Eat Place, Todd Gray of Equinox and many others. The black-tie dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.; the price is $250, all inclusive. For reservations, call 202/944-2055.

On Sept. 27 at the hotel’s Seasons restaurant, Executive Chef Douglas Anderson will create a superb four-course dinner to complement the champagnes of the house of Krug. Each course will be accompanied by a different champagne, and the dinner will feature a performance by a member of the Washington Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. The dinner costs $200, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made at 202/944-2055.

Kobrand Corp. and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts are hosting An Evening Worthy of Kings and Tsars on Sept. 27 at the Fairmont Washington, 14th and M streets Northwest.

The evening is private tasting of Taittinger champagne from the house of Taittinger in Reims, France, and organic caviar from Tsar Nicoulai Caviar’s sturgeon farms in California.

Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger will discuss the art of making champagne, and the founders of Tsar Nicoulai will explain the subtler points of caviar. Call 866/KOBRAND, or visit www.kobrandwines.com.

At Sushi-Ko (2309 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202/333-4187), chef Koji Terano is introducing a fall menu. New dishes include smoked-salmon salad with an exotic vinaigrette, pan-fried chicken dumplings, an assortment of green vegetables marinated in a soy broth and a ceviche of three fish prepared three ways.

Now that the election campaign is in full swing, in a bipartisan spirit, Charlie Palmer Steak (101 Constitution Ave. NW; 202/547-8100) is offering two three-course lunch menus, each representing a presidential candidate. Priced at $20.04, the menus will be offered until the election on Nov. 2.

The menus feature interpretations of some of the candidates’ favorite foods and home-state signature offerings. Each dish has been paired with a wine from the candidate’s state, and wines selected to complement each menu are available for $6 per glass.

The Salute to President Bush menu features heirloom tomato gazpacho with rock shrimp and avocado tartare, grilled hanger steak, soft corn polenta and Key lime pie.

The Salute to John Kerry menu reflects the candidate’s New England heritage with such dishes as littleneck clams with leek and white corn broth, cod with braised Swiss chard and mustard greens, and Boston cream pie for dessert.

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