- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Italian style

The Capital Grille, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, is continuing its five-course Italian-fare dinner through April 5. The price is $49 per person.

The Italian dishes are a departure from the chain’s usual traditional American offerings but are being served to mark the restaurants’ partnering with Tuscan winemaker Castello Banfi for the U.S. debut of its 2005 Belner O Sangiovese di Montalcino.

Menu highlights include creamy porcini mushroom soup; swordfish roasted in parchment paper with white wine, roasted tomatoes, oil-cured olives and capers; herb-marinated, dry-aged tenderloin with garlic, roasted tomatoes, red peppers and cipollini onions; and black truffle mac and cheese.

The phone is 202/737-6200.

A touch of Spain

Washington chef Jose Andres, the man behind the menus at Cafe Atlantico and the Minibar there, Jaleo, Zaytinya and Oyamel, is working with Restaurant Associates to transform the Garden Cafe in the National Gallery of Art’s West Building into Garden Cafe Espana beginning May 4.

The transformation coincides with two new exhibits at the National Gallery: “Luis Melendez: Master of the Spanish Still Life” (May 17 through Aug. 23) and “The Art of Power: Royal Armor and Portraits From Imperial Spain” (June 28 through Nov. 1). The Spanish menu will be available until Sept. 27.

The offerings - which will include gazpacho, tortilla de patatas, Spanish cured meats and cheeses such as serrano ham, Manchego cheese, Spanish olives and piquillo peppers - will be paired with wines. Recipe cards for some items will be available to Garden Cafe patrons with their meals.

- Richard Slusser

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