Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Summer is here, and at Mie N Yu (3125 M St. NW, 202/333-6122) chef Tim Elliott has created a special Thai-themed chef’s tasting menu, Naa Raawn, which means “hot season” in Thai.

The six-course menu, offered through September, cost $65 per person and will include such dishes as roasted squid satay, papaya soup, northern corn fritters, and veal with crunchy Thai basil.

Juniper at the Fairmont Hotel (2401 M St. NW, 202/457-5020) will be serving Sunday brunch outdoors in the flower-filled courtyard as well as indoors until Sept. 2. Chef James Phillips is preparing a cold brunch and dessert buffet for $32 per person, with an entree added from the Juniper menu for an additional $10.

Jazz in the Garden is back in the Sculpture Garden of the National Gallery of Art, Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue, on Friday evenings beginning at 5 p.m. until Aug. 31. Some of the area’s best musicians in contemporary jazz, big band and modern jazz will perform. At the Pavilion Cafe, guests can order picnic baskets in advance — to be picked up at the time of the concert — by visiting Baskets cost $30 and are filled with meats, cheeses, fruit, pate and sweets. Orders must be placed by the Wednesday prior to the Friday concert and must be prepaid online. Wines are available for an additional cost. The cafe also serves a la carte.

For a special summer excursion, you can cruise the Potomac River aboard Odyssey III on Aug. 5 with Bubbles on the Potomac III: Vintage, Baby! Vintage! The charity gala is held by the concierges and affiliate members of the Washington Area Concierge Association to benefit local charities. During the cruise, guests will enjoy an evening of dinner, dancing, entertainment and a silent auction. A wine presentation will highlight the event with sparkling wines from California, New Mexico, Italy, Australia, Spain and France. Boarding starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Gangplank Marina, Southwest Waterfront, 600 Water St. SW, and the dinner cruise on the river is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m.

Tickets are available for $75 per person and can be purchased by visiting or by check by visiting For silent auction donations, contact Andrew Stover at 202/463-4550.

The Potomac River is also the venue for the Washington Wine Academy, Arlington Cinema ‘N’ Drafthouse and Capital Yacht Charters’ Thursday-evening social gathering called DC Harbor Nights Yacht Socials on the Potomac. From 7:15 p.m. (boarding at 6:45 p.m.) to 9:45 p.m., participants can enjoy an open bar, wine tasting, a buffet and live music while cruising down the river. The price is $68 per person, all inclusive. The boat sails from Capital Yacht Charters, Washington Marina, 1300 Maine Ave. SW.

Tickets can be purchased by going to or by calling 703/971-1525.

At Hank’s Oyster Bar (1624 Q St. NW, 202/462-4265) guests can take “One-Hour Flights to Italy, Spain, France and the West Coast” without leaving Washington. On Monday through Thursday, between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., guests can enjoy five-ounce pours of wines from a specific wine destination for $15. The destination varies monthly.

Crawfish season is still going strong at Acadiana (901 New York Ave. NW, 202/408-8848). Until Aug. 31, outdoor diners can enjoy a Louisiana Crawfish Boil, priced by the pound ($13 for crawfish, $17 for shrimp), featuring crawfish, potatoes, corn and a bucket of beer. The crawfish boil is served from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Wild sockeye salmon season runs until the end of September, and it’s on the menu at Oceanaire Seafood Room (1201 F St. NW, 202/347-2277). Wild coho salmon is featured until the end of August.

A summer specialty prepared by executive chef Rob Klink is coho salmon cake with lemon-dill beurre blanc. Another specialty is coho salmon tartare with fried wontons, pickled ginger, wasabi and soy.

A new American artisanal cheese menu, priced at $4 per ounce, is featured in the Park Hyatt Lounge (24th and M streets Northwest) available from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Guests can indulge in six handcrafted cheeses; they can choose one cheese or sample all six.

The cheeses are accompanied by quince paste, raisins on the vine, honey, dried fruits, flatbread and a minibaguette.

Urbana Restaurant (2121 P St. NW, 202/956-6650) has launched an all-organic wine menu called “Per l’amore della terra,” or “for the love of the earth,” with selections from regions of Italy. Bottles of the featured wines will be offered at half-price in the dining room from 5 to 7 p.m.

Diners can also enjoy creations from a special chef’s menu featuring sustainable and organic ingredients. Appetizers are priced from $9 to $11, entrees are $18 to $22, and desserts are $8.

Legal Sea Foods (704 Seventh St. NW, 202/347-0007) is offering a gluten-free menu designed for diners unable to eat gluten. Such items as a Caesar salad with crabmeat, grilled shrimp or chicken; baked lobster stuffed with gluten-free crumbs; seafood casserole; and a flourless chocolate cake are available at all the Legal Sea Foods restaurants in the area.

Morton’s of Downtown DC (1050 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202/944-5997) will celebrate “Women of Spirit” Aug. 2, at a wine dinner and auction featuring Cristina Mariani-May of Castello Banfi vineyards in Tuscany. Nominations for women of spirit are open to the public and the American Red Cross will honor the woman selected from the nominations during the dinner.

The dinner is priced at $150 per guest with a portion of the ticket proceeds and all of the auction proceeds to benefit the American Red Cross.

Pastry chef Bruce Connell of the Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar at Kennedy Center (2700 F St. NW, 202/416-8555) has created a special Phantom-themed dessert in honor of “Phantom of the Opera.” The dessert is available until Aug. 12. The Phantom bar, $13, is made of layers of chocolate buttermilk cake, coconut cream and lime ginger ganache and is served with a red hand-rolled marzipan rose, a white chocolate Phantom mask and a crunchy almond tulle music note.

Chef Peggy Thompson at Dish (924 25th St. NW, 202/338-8707) also has created something special for “Phantom.” Her dessert is called the “mask” and combines a chocolate dessert and chocolate drink. It’s available through the run of the musical — Aug. 12.

Four Seasons Hotel (2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202/944-2055) is sponsoring four cooking classes in its Capitol Cuisine Weekends. Classes are held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., cost $100 per person and include a trip to Dean & DeLuca to select ingredients and wines for the class.

On Saturday, executive chef Douglas Anderson will feature a “No Fat, No Cream” class; Aug. 4 will be a grilling class. Restaurant chef Dominique Filoni will teach “25 Ways to Look at a Tomato” on Aug. 11 and cooking fish in the style of the south of France and other savory items on Aug. 18.

It’s not too late to make a reservation for Taberna del Alabardero’s Noches de Andalucia (1776 I St. NW, 202/429-2200). The flamenco festival pays tribute to Spain’s flamenco art with a special menu and performances tomorrow through Saturday.

Guests can enjoy flamenco singers and dancers and a specially crafted menu by chef Santi Zabaleta, starting with an array of tapas, followed by traditional gazpacho, tuna with a white wine sauce, and sponge cake soaked in white wine.

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