- - Thursday, October 2, 2014

There’s a lot that’s new on the dining scene. The Georgetown Piano Bar (3287 M St. NW, 202/337-1871) opened last month, bringing music to M Street with singer-songwriter Spencer Bates during the week and classically trained pianist Hunter Lang on weekends. The music starts at 9 p.m. and continues until closing time with no cover charge, and patrons are encouraged to sing along. Lyrics to many popular songs are provided; soloists are encouraged. The bar menu features beers for $6, wines by the glass for $7, and $10 cocktails.

The Madison Hotel in downtown Washington has a new restaurant, Rural Society (1177 15 St. NW, 202-587-2629), which offers beef with an Argentine flavor. Steak — which is what Argentina seems to be about — is grilled on a parrilla and served with chimichurri sauce. There’s an Argentine version of pizza called focaccia that’s served with various toppings.

Pearl Oyster Palace and Black Jack (1612 14 St. NW, 202/319-1612) introduces a late night menu Friday. The menu, which includes fried pickles, Black Jack fries and shrimp po’ boys, will be served from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Diners at Pearl Oyster can order a Dive Burger and any beer on the menu for $10 on Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bastille Restaurant (1201 North Royal St., Alexandria, 703/519-3776) is holding a Belgian Beer Dinner on Tuesday beginning at 6:30 p.m. A four-course dinner with beer pairings is priced at $69, or $49 without beer. The menu includes rock shrimp beignets, brined (and thus tenderized) pork chops with a sweet potato souffle, and a cherry upside-down cake.

Chef Javier Romero and sommelier Gustavo Iniesta of Taberna del Alabardero (1776 I St. NW, 202/429-2200) will host a wine dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday featuring the wines of a “new” Spanish region. The five-course meal includes a smoked bluefish salad, monkfish, venison and mango sorbet, and showcases the wines of Bodegas Arrayan. It’s $99 per person, tax and tip included.

For something a little stronger, there’s a bourbon tasting dinner at Boss Shepherd’s (1299 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202/347-2677) in partnership with Maker’s Mark bourbon Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The three-course prix fixe menu is priced at $59 per person (including pairings), and includes day boat scallops paired with Autumn Mint Juleps, duck breast paired with Boss Maker’s Mark Manhattan, and root beer cake paired with Maker’s 46.

Also on Thursday, the Chefs Take a Stand event will be held at the Carnegie Library (801 K St. NW) from 7 to 9:30 p.m. This combines food, cocktails and a social cause. The cause this year is the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, making a difference in the lives of women since 1994. The evening will be hosted by chef Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s “The Chew.” Multiple chef stations staffed by some of the District’s best chefs such as Ris Lacoste of Ris, Amy Brandwein of Alba Osteria and Michelle Poteaux of Bastille Restaurant, will enable a sampling of the varieties of good things to eat. Tickets are $195, which includes a VIP reception from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., or $125 for the main event only. Tickets are available at nnedv.org/tickets. For more information, contact Emily Dahl at [email protected]

They’ll be shucking (and maybe jiving) at the second annual Georgetown Shuck It Beer and Oyster Festival at Tony & Joe’s Seafood Place (3000 K St. NW, 202-944-4545) on Saturday, Oct. 18, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Highlights include freshly shucked oysters, a whole smoked pig, beef roasts, beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards, oyster shooters and live music by the Jumpin’ Jupiter rockabilly band. The $75 tab includes all-you-can-eat oysters, beer, wine, entertainment, tax and gratuity. You must be at least 21 years old to enter, and proof of age is required. Tickets are available online at #[email protected]

The noble pig and his skin are celebrated at the recently opened Penn Commons (700 Sixth St. NW), a unique sports bar for watching college teams and the Redskins on 10 flat-screen television sets. The bar is next to the Verizon Center. It features stadium-style seating and offers bar food reinvented by chef Jeff Tunks, including pulled pork hand pies and 40 American beers on tap.

Another good place for watching games is Arlington’s Fuego Cocina y Tacquileria’s (2800 Clarendon Blvd.), with its 50-foot wrap-around bar. The restaurant offers more than 100 tequilas, Mexican beer, “botanas” (small plates to share), happy hour specials and all day Sunday happy hour.

DC Coast (14th and K Streets NW) is offering a “Girls Night Out” menu just for women on Sunday nights. The prix fixe menu includes three courses and wine for $30. Start with a salad, then follow with crab cake, grilled salmon or a grilled chicken breast, and a trio of house-made sorbets for dessert.

Second Slate (1831 M St. NW, 202/466-3010) is opening in early October. The menu, created by chef Allan Javery, will feature seasonal small bites, as well as local game, poultry, beef and fresh fish. Ingredients will be sourced from local farmers. Highlights of the menu will be short ribs, scallops and foie gras, roast pheasant, pierogies, and brown ale butter chicken. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner daily, with brunch on weekends. An “oyster hour” will be available nightly from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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