- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 26, 2006

October seems to be a month for celebrating. Matchbox (713 H St. NW; 202/289-4441) is planning a monthlong Oktoberfest beer-pairing menu on Sundays. The special menu includes such pairings as White on White (Eggenberg Pils or Dogfish 60 Minute India Pale Ale paired with prosciutto white pizza) or Be a Rebel … Eat Red Meat (Rogue Dead Guy Ale paired with grilled filet mignon served with horseradish potatoes, asparagus and Gorgonzola cognac cream). These Sunday hours are noon to 11 p.m.

Oceanaire (1201 F St. NW; 202/347-2277) honors National Seafood Month by showcasing healthful gourmet seafood preparations, including Carolina grouper with lavender honey glaze; wild Chesapeake rockfish with lemon-grass broth; eggplant-wrapped wild sea scallops; and wild Carolina wahoo “katsu style” with a salad of roasted red pepper and grilled red onion.

At Primi Piatti (2103 I St. NW; 202/223-3600) chef-owner Savino Recine is offering an artistic three-course menu celebrating the return of the Cirque de Soleil show “Corteo,” playing Oct. 26 through Nov. 19. The $35 menu will be available before the 8 p.m. show and after the 4 p.m. weekend performances on the site of the old D.C. Convention Center. Mr. Recine has created the Dancing Clown, a flaming lemon beverage that is ignited table-side. It’s made with Galliano, Absolut Citron, fresh lemon juice, sugar and rum. He will entertain his guests with a magical performance on Saturday evenings during the run of “Corteo.”

Bangkok Joe’s (3000 K St. NW; 202/333-4422) chef-owner Aulie Bunyarataphan is giving her guests a new array of her signature dumplings, rolls and won tons, as well as new savory dishes inspired by recent trips to her native Thailand. The occasion is the restaurant’s third birthday. The new menu includes crispy chicken and sweet potato won tons, Peking duck spring rolls, mini Thai crab cakes and soft lobster rolls.

Oct. 7 is the date for the 17th annual food and music festival in Bethesda. Taste of Bethesda takes place in the Woodmont Triangle (Fairmont, Norfolk, St. Elmo, Cordell and Del Ray avenues) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fifty restaurants and four stages will feed and entertain the public. Admission is free, and tickets will be sold on-site for tastes of the different foods. Servings cost one to three tickets, priced at $5 for four tickets. The event takes place three blocks from the Bethesda Metro Station on the Red Line, with lots of free parking in downtown public garages. Entertainment will include all types of music, from jazz to Latin funk. For information, call 301/215-6660.

The Oval Room (800 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202/463-8700) is offering a Saturday night special: BYOB Wine Night with no corkage fee. Guests are invited to bring their own wines to enjoy with the cuisine of newly appointed chef Anthony Conte, formerly executive sous chef at Jean Georges in New York. Mr. Conte also offers a $65 per person four-course menu, which he will customize with 48 hours’ notice. Diners, of course, are not required to bring their own bottles and may order from the selection of the Oval Room wines.

Chef Trent Conry of 701 Restaurant (701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202/393-0701) is celebrating the smoking ban set to go into effect at the end of this year by featuring a variety of distinctive smoked items for lunch and dinner on a rotating basis through December. Medallion of pork paired with a smoked orange reduction, house-smoked chicken salad and Kurobuta pork loin with roasted bananas and smoked orange-chipotle sauce are a few of his smoky items.

The restaurant’s bar will feature a smoky Californian Paraiso syrah as well as a flight of three intensely smoky malt scotches for $12.

The Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian is serving its fall menu in the Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe. The new menu is divided into areas — Northern Woodlands, South America, Northwest Coast, Meso America and the Great Plains. It includes such unique dishes as persimmon-glazed saddle of venison, sweet-potato cazuela with dried berries, seafood and quinoa stew, and buffalo shank braised in red wine.

At Zaytinya (701 Ninth St. NW; 202/638-0800), chef Jose Andres will welcome acclaimed Greek cookbook author Aglaia Kremezi upon her return visit. From Oct. 13 through 20, dishes from Miss Kremezi’s cookbook “The Foods of the Greek Islands” will be featured on Zaytinya’s menu. Boutari wines from Greece will be featured along with Miss Kremezi’s dishes.

Eight wines from Washington — the state, not the District — will be featured at a dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse (Tysons Corner; 703/883-0800) at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 12. Two wines will be served at each stage of a four-course meal. The price for dinner is $150 per person.

On Oct. 16, Redskins players will be on hand at Morton’s Steakhouse in Georgetown (202/342-6258) to autograph team memorabilia. Guests are invited to come and chat with the players and fellow fans over complimentary filet sandwiches.

The complimentary seminars on Italian wines and cheeses offered by the Curious Grape (4056 28th St. Arlington; 703/671-8700) continue during October with the Veneto on Oct. 3 and 7, Tuscany on Oct. 10 and 14, central Italy on Oct. 17 and 21, and the south on Oct. 24 and 28.

Bastille (1201 N. Royal St. Alexandria; 703/519-3776) is open for business. The creation of chefs Christophe Poteaux and Michelle Garbee, formerly of the Aquarelle; restaurant in the Watergate, the menu of the new restaurant is Franco-Mediterranean and includes small plates and full-size entrees.

October ends with Halloween, and at the 1789 Restaurant (1226 36th St. NW; 202/965-1789), chef Nathan Beauchamp will serve some hair-raising delights with an undisclosed five-course tasting menu priced at $45 per person. The menu may well include beef tongue and veal sweetbreads, but the ingredients of some dishes will be withheld until the end of the meal.

SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

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