- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The evenings are getting cooler at last, and the trees should be turning any day now, unless our long dry summer has just made them turn brown. Fall is definitely in the air, and restaurant menus are changing to reflect the new season.

At Marjorie Merriweather Post’s beautiful Hillwood Museum and Gardens Cafe (4155 Linnean Ave. NW), Guest Services corporate chef Claude Broome has redesigned the cafe’s menu to include Russian borscht, an autumn vegetable salad, quiche of the day and a seafood brochette featuring shrimp and marinated artichoke hearts. Afternoon tea is served from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and a children’s menu is available. Reservations are recommended for the cafe (202/243-3920); all guests at the cafe must have Hillwood Estate reservations (202/686-8500).

The 16th annual Taste of Bethesda — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday — expects more than 35,000 people to attend, sampling foods from 50 restaurants and listening to the live entertainment on four stages. Admission is free; tickets will be sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5 — a food serving costs one to three tickets. The site is along Norfolk, St. Elmo, Cordell, Del Ray and Auburn avenues in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle.

Dino (3435 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-686-2966) is featuring Italian cheeses this fall. Four-year-old Parmigiano Reggiano; aged provolone, cora robiola incavolata (a soft-ripening cheese wrapped in cauliflower leaves); Ragusano (a sheep’s milk cheese from Ragusa, Sicily); torte mascarpone Peck (an Italian triple-cream from Milano’s famed delicatessen, Peck); and ubriaco amarone (a cheese aged in the grape pressings after the wine has been made), will be appearing on the restaurant’s menu.

Chrysalis Vineyards (23876 Champe Ford Road, Middleburg, Va.; 540/687-8222) is hosting its October harvest festival with the 5th annual Norton Bluegrass Festival in Middleburg on Oct. 8 and 9. The wine tasting — $10 per person — will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Added attractions are local craft vendors, bluegrass musicians and country barbecue to pair up with a wide variety of Norton wines.

Speaking of wine, Oct. 6 is the date for the last Cady’s Alley Wine & Design event. From 6 to 9 p.m., free cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, as well as live musical entertainment, will be provided by the participating shops.

Oct. 8 is the date for the annual Taste of Georgetown Festival, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. About 30 area restaurants will be participating, including Citronelle, 1789 Restaurant, Clyde’s Old Glory, Cafe Bonaparte and Chez Mama-san. Fifteen of Georgetown’s shops and displays by local artisans also will be part of the festival on Wisconsin Avenue between M and South streets, and on the grounds of Grace Episcopal Church, 1041 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit the homeless outreach efforts providing psychiatric care, shelter and meals through the Georgetown Ministry Center.

Chef Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve (110 S. Pitt St., Alexandria) together with 50 chefs from around the country, will cook a Taste Benefit for Share Our Strength Oct. 17 at the National Building Museum. All of the proceeds will go to the regions affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Restaurant Eve will be celebrating Halloween with mini sugar cookies-pumpkin miniatures. The staff will be wearing Venetian masks. In the Chef’s Tasting Room, rabbit fricassee will be served in pumpkins. In the bistro, there will be house-made pumpkin ravioli with mascarpone, sage and pine nuts.

Another Katrina benefit will take place next Wednesday when the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington is sponsoring Dine for America. The funds raised by the event will benefit hurricane victims and their families via the Red Cross. Such restaurants as Zola, Red Sage, Potowmack Landing, Bistro Bis, Bangkok Joe’s, and Oceanaire Seafood Room, as well as the cafes at the National Gallery of Art and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, will give 10 percent of their sales on that day to the benefit. Some restaurants, like Glory Days Grill of Fairfax and Sesto Senso will donate 20 and 25 percent of their proceeds, respectively.

On Oct. 23, Hexagon will hold its third annual roast and toast, this year honoring WTOP’s Man About Town, Bob Madigan, as the celebrity of the year. The affair will take place from 6 to 10:30 p.m. in the 18th-century Halcyon House, 3400 Prospect St. NW. Tickets begin at $175 per person for the reception, dinner, entertainment and silent auction.

All proceeds from Hexagon shows are donated to a Washington-area charity chosen by the organization’s directors. Contact Ann Lung for Friends of Hexagon at 301/585-7133 or Pat Feely at 703/517-4221.

IndeBleu (707 G St. NW; 202/333-2538) now serves lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. The menu includes some delicious dishes, such as tandoori shrimp on cauliflower risotto; chilled yellow tomato soup; and tandoori lamb lollipops (thin but meaty lamb chops) with green lentil ragout.

Eat hearty and enjoy the season.

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