- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 26, 2008

SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Chef Mike Isabella of Zaytinya (701 Ninth St. NW; www.zaytinya.com, 202/638-0800) will give a demonstration of roasting lamb Greek style at 11 a.m. April 13 at the Freshfarm Market at Dupont Circle, 20th Street and Massachusetts Avenue Northwest. Mr. Isabella also will offer tips on cooking lamb at home.

This is part of Zaytinyas two-week Greek Easter festival; the Orthodox Easter falls on April 27 this year. April 24 through 27, Zaytinya will be selling — by special order — tsoureki, the traditional Greek Easter bread. Reservations are required for the April 22 festival opening when complimentary wine and minimezze are passed from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The special Greek dishes available during the festival cost $9 to $12.

On April 29, Zaytinya will offer a four-course wine dinner, $75 per person. Dishes include melon salad and chilled swordfish marinated with Meyer lemon, chili, basil oil and micro verbena for the first course; artichoke avgolemono and a crispy squash blossom with lamb mialo for the second; roasted baby spring lamb, oregano potatoes, and pea shoots lemonata for the third; and for dessert, baby banana katifi with Greek honey, and also apricot yogurt. Four Greek wines accompany the courses.

Bangkok Joe’s (3000 K St. NW; www.bangkokjoes.com, 202/333-4422) will celebrate Thai New Year from April 14 through 20, when the Festival of Pouring Water starts the new year and guests can discover their fortunes by shaking the Ziem-Zee, a container of Thai fortune sticks.

Many Washington restaurants are preparing specials for the National Cherry Blossom Festival March 29 through April 13. For a list of the restaurants featuring festival specials — and the recipes — go to www.washington.org/cherryblossom and click on Cherry Blossom Cuisine. In the tents around the Tidal Basin, visitors to the festival can sample such Japanese dishes as beef and chicken yakitori, teriyaki bowls with ichiban rice or udon noodles for $7 or maki rolls with mixed vegetables, cucumber, avocado or squash for $5.

Westend Bistro (1190 22nd St. NW; www.WestendBistroDC.com, 202/974-4900) has added Saturday lunch and Sunday brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Brunch dishes include a lamb, potato and artichoke hash in a baked egg casserole; stuffed French toast with roasted apples, mascarpone and Vermont maple syrup; and a quiche with broccoli rabe and sausage.

Taberna del Alabardero (1776 I St. NW; www.alabardero.com, 202/429-2200) is hosting a Flamenco Festival tomorrow through Saturday. The Son Flamenco group will entertain diners with song-and-dance performances at special seatings each evening. New executive chef Dani Arana’s special five-course menu is priced at $75 and includes such dishes as hake terrine, pork tenderloin in puff pastry, and house-made rice pudding.

On Monday, Taberna will have a 6:30 p.m. sherry-tasting dinner ($90 per person) in partnership with Gonzalez Byass wineries. The menu includes Serrano ham, octopus brochette and monkfish Andalusian style; and braised veal cheeks in vanilla sauce with pureed potatoes. Each course is paired with a different sherry.

Sunday is the date for the oyster fest at Hank’s Oyster Bar (1624 Q St. NW; www.hanksrestaurants.com, 202/462-4265). From 1 to 4 p.m., guests can feast on a variety of oysters with a selection of beers. Representatives from oyster farms and beverage brands will discuss the oysters and beer pairings. Tickets, $65, are required.

Hank’s Oyster Bar in Alexandria (1026 King St., 703/739-4265) salutes Virginia’s annual Garden Week (April 19 through 27) with new dishes.

Pastry chef David Guas of Damgoodsweet Consulting Group (815-B Lee Highway, Arlington, www.damgoodsweet.com) is offering two cooking classes. From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, it is Straight From the Garden, making fun and easy sweets using vegetables and herbs such as carrot cupcakes, thyme zucchini poundcakes, pine-nut-rosemary brittle, and lemon curd. The April 12 class makes zesty, bold, rich, salted, creamy and spicy sauces, such as burnt orange, salted caramel, bittersweet chocolate and port-pepper syrup. Cost is $75 per person. To sign up, go to [email protected]

On April 4, the Hay-Adams Hotel (16th and H streets Northwest; www.hayadams.com, 202/220-4853) commemorates the 10th anniversary of its annual sake dinner with an evening pairing East-meets-West cuisine with chilled sake to complement the dishes.

Executive chef Peter Schaffrath’s five course, kaiseki-style dinner (a tasting menu that focuses on fresh seasonal ingredients presented in a striking manner) costs $180 per person and starts at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required. The sakes will be selected by Rie Seno, one of two women designated a “sake samurai,” who is coming from Japan for the dinner.

Chef-magician Savino Recine will present a dinner and magic show at his Primi Piatti (2013 I St. NW; www.primipiatti.com, 202/223-3600) April 5. The five-course menu and magic show are priced at $75 per person and are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Willow Restaurant (4301 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington; www.willowva.com, 703/465-8800) celebrates Delectus Winery’s products with a special five-course dinner created by chef Tracy O’Grady at 6:45 p.m. April 7. Priced at $125 with wines, the menu includes cheese agnolotti with oven-dried tomatoes, seared crusted sea scallops, and roasted lamb loin.

April 15 is income tax day, and Zola (800 F St. NW; www.zoladc.com, 202/654-0999) will help make the day a bit less painful with a tax-free $20 lunch and dinner that will include an appetizer, entree and dessert at the bar. The restaurant will provide IRS extension forms, calculators and No. 2 pencils and also offer a new drink, the IRS Raspberry.

Zola also has a new bar menu, divided into three sections: “I Feel Like Sharing” (new small plates from $8 to $14); “It’s All Mine” (sandwiches from $11 to $17); and “Zola TV Dinners” (modern interpretations of classic American staples available at the bar during the evening and in the dining room at lunch, from $17 to $24).

April 15 also is the date of the first Jacqueline Rodier Culinary Arts Awards dinner in association with the Wine & Food Society Scholarship Fund, with the participation of chef-restaurateurs Jeffrey Buben, Yannick Cam, Roberto Donna, Brian McBride, Michel Richard and Robert Wiedmaier. The five-course dinner will be held at the Park Hyatt Hotel (24th and M streets Northwest) with a reception at 7 p.m. and dinner at 7:30. Admission is $250 per person.

The dinner is for the benefit of achievement awards in the study of the culinary arts; the $10,000 20087 Jacqueline Rodier Culinary Arts Award for New Professionals will be presented. Checks should be made payable to Wine & Food Society Scholarship Foundation Inc. and sent to Henry Greenwald, 10103 Devere Court, Silver Spring, MD 20903.

Indigo Landing (1 Marina Drive, Alexandria; www.indigolanding.com; 703/548-0001) has reopened with new executive chef Ernesto Pabico in the kitchen. The menu features all-natural beef and chicken and sustainable seafood. Jazz will be featured Wednesday evenings and at Sunday brunch.

Alison Swope of Restaurant K (1700 K St. NW; www.restaurantkbyalisonswope.com, 202/974-6545) is offering a three-course summer savings menu for $29.95 on Friday and Saturday nights through summer..

At the Caucus Room (401 Ninth St. NW; www.thecaucusroom.com, 202/393-1300), diners can order the Two-Course Feast for $35: a choice of soup or salad and a selection of six entrees. Theatergoers who show tickets when dining at the Caucus Room receive complimentary valet parking that evening.

The Roof Terrace at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St. NW; www.kennedy-center.org/visitor/restaurant_terrace.cfm, 202/416-8555) is introducing its new spring menu in mid-April, featuring wild Alaskan salmon, rhubarb, mango and asparagus.

Proof (775 G St. NW, 202/737-7663) is offering a late-night menu from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday in the bar and lounge. Chef Haidar Karoum’s menu features such items as foie gras scrambled eggs, tuna tartare, shrimp tempura and spicy meatball sandwich, complemented by selections from Proof’s 40 by-the-glass wines.

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