- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The big June event is the Rammy Restaurant Awards Gala at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Partial proceeds from the June 25 dinner will be used to assist restaurant workers displaced by Hurricane Katrina and will also benefit the Restaurant Association’s Washington Education Foundation, which helps area high school students develop careers in the restaurant and hospitality business. Tickets for the gala are priced at $200 for association members and $250 for nonmembers. For information or reservations, call 202/3311-5990.

There’s still time — until Sunday — for the public to vote for favorites in the following categories: hottest bar scene; neighborhood gathering place; and favorite restaurant of the year. To vote, go to www.ramw.org.

Giant soft-shell crabs and Alaskan spot prawns are back at Sushi-Ko (2309 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202/333-4187). The whale crabs, which come from Florida, have a limited season. The prawns, which can reach a size of five inches long, arrive on Fridays from Alaska and are available on weekends only.

The shrimp head is fried, and the rest of the shrimp is served as sashimi. The crabs are lightly dusted with potato starch and flash-fried to achieve a light, crisp exterior.

National Papaya Month is celebrated in June at Fogo de Chao (1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202/347-4668). The restaurant is offering guests a complimentary papaya cream — Fogo de Chao’s signature dessert — from June 5-9. The offer is good for one papaya cream per table during lunch hours of 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In Arlington, Willow Restaurant (4301 N. Fairfax Drive; 703/465-8800) has opened a new brick-paved patio and is serving spring dishes and cocktails utilizing freshly squeezed juices. To inaugurate the new patio, the restaurant is beginning a series of wine dinners showcasing American and Italian varietals.

The first wine dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. June 13. Dinner, priced at $95 per person including tax and gratuity, begins with appetizers followed by a five-course feast with paired wines.

Colvin Run Tavern (8045 Leesburg Pike, Vienna; 703/356-9500) is offering a special three-course “Before the Curtain Rises” dinner priced at $39 per person. Patrons who select the special menu are asked to complete their meal before 6:45 p.m. The pre-theater menu has four or five choices in each category, including such dishes as crispy Thai fried squid with green papaya salad, roasted chili rubbed pork loin, Alaskan halibut with zucchini fries and key lime mousse.

Brunch is available all over town this spring, including Dino (3435 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202/686-2966) from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Italian-oriented menu includes such dishes as pane francesi and uove fritte, a combination of fried eggs, smoked mozzarella, beans and salsa.

Dupont Grille (1500 New Hampshire Ave. NW; 202/939-9596), is co-hosting a brunch fundraiser at 11:30 a.m. June 11, sponsored by Jury’s Washington Hotel and Slow Food, which promotes food and wine culture while defending food and agricultural biodiversity.

Part of the proceeds from the four-course menu, available for $45 all-inclusive, will benefit the Washington Youth Garden, which offers hands-on learning experience through its year-round programs teaching plant science, food and nutrition through gardening activities.

Hank’s Oyster Bar (1624 Q St. NW; 202/462-4265), now a year old, serves a casual brunch with an a la carte menu on weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The menu by chef-owner Jamie Leeds features such dishes as crab cake eggs benedict, smoked salmon platter and lobster roll with coleslaw.

On Sundays at the Bombay Club (815 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202/659-3727), brunch guests enjoying traditional Indian cooking are entertained by a pianist between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Indian dishes are also on the brunch menu at Tandoori Nights (2800 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington; 703/248-8333) from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, where dishes include an Indian omelet cooked with onions, tomatoes, cilantro and jalapeno.

Cafe Atlantico (405 Eighth St. NW; 202/393-0812) features a Latino Dim Sum brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Menu highlights include a selection of 28 small dishes, priced from $2.50 to $9, highlighting Latin American and Caribbean ingredients.

The recently opened Indigo Landing (1 Marina Drive, Alexandria; 703/548-9027) serves Low Country brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, priced at $30 for adults and $15 for children under 12.

Brunch is served from stations, including a soup and salad station featuring oyster stew; a breakfast and omelet station; a Low Country carving station; and a hush puppy and fish fry station.

The restaurant, with sweeping views of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, is by the Mount Vernon trail; complimentary bike stands and biking trail maps are available.

Charlie Palmer Steak (101 Constitution Ave. NW; 202/547-8100) now has Sunday dinner hours — from 5 to 10 p.m. Just in time for June’s National Steakhouse Month, Morton’s (3251 Prospect St. NW; 202/342-6258, and 1050 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202/955-5997) is releasing “Morton’s Steak Bible,” a $30 cookbook that includes recipes and inside lore from the 70 restaurants in the Morton’s chain. The book is by Klaus Fritsch, co-founder of Morton’s steakhouses, and Mary Goodbody, food writer and cookbook editor.

The book includes a chapter with recipes for Morton’s sauces, dressings and condiments.

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