This year, Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year fall on the same day, with Mardi Gras coming two days later. This happy coincidence will create some unique dining events in Washington. Here are some of the more unusual offerings:
To set the stage for a romantic Valentine’s dinner, DC Coast (www.dccoast.com) is holding a cooking class for gentlemen only on February 6 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The class instructs the gents on how to prepare a romantic multi-course meal with wine pairings. Recipes, of course, are included in the $75 cost.
February 13 at 5 p.m. are the date and time chosen for making “whoopie pies” at M Bar in the Renaissance Washington DC, Dupont Circle Hotel. The interactive cooking class will demonstrate how to make heart shaped whoopie pies and long-stemmed chocolate dipped strawberries. Sweetheart drink specials will be available for purchase. Cost is $15. Call 202/775-0800 for reservations.
“Love a Spy” packages are available every Friday and Saturday night through the month of February. Priced at $100 per couple, this special offering includes late night access to the International Spy Museum’s Operation Spy. The hour-long event combines live-action, video, themed environments and special effects to help transport each guest into the role of a U.S. intelligence officer on an international mission. The package includes a Love Potion Z cocktail, entry to the Museum’s permanent exhibit and dinner for two at Zola (wwww.loveaspy.org). For reservations, call 202/654-0944. Zola will offer a four-course menu on Valentine’s Day itself, priced at $55 per person.
What could be more romantic than a cruise on the Potomac on Valentine’s Day, either for dinner or for brunch. The Odyssey and the Spirit of Washington, located on the Southwest waterfront, offer a table for two, a rose and champagne. Dinner cruises on Friday and Saturday, February 12 and 13, from 7 to 10 p.m. are priced at $79.90 and $109.90, respectively. The Valentine’s Day cruise from 6 to 9 p.m. is priced at $129.90. The February 14 brunch cruise on the Odyssey goes from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is priced at $63.90; on the Spirit of Washington, lunch is $39.90. For reservations, call 866/302-2469.
If you prefer to celebrate the Chinese New Year, Zengo (781 7th St.NW, 202/393-2929) is celebrating the Year of the Tiger with holiday menu specials symbolizing wealth, luck, longevity and abundance. Vegetable egg rolls (wealth), steamed scallop dumplings (luck), Hokkien noodles with bell pepper and asparagus (longevity) and crispy skinned Peking duck for two (abundance) are some of the special dishes, priced between $12 and $38, available both at lunch and dinner from February 14 to February 28.
At Ceiba (www.ceibarestaurant.com), Mardi Gras will be celebrated from February 12 to February 16, beginning at 3 p.m., with the flavors, culture and sounds of Brazil. Brazilian delights will be served at the bar and in the lounge. On Tuesday evening, February 16, samba dancers will entertain guests.
Another Brazil inspired culinary tour is the “Carnaval weekend” at Café Atlantico (405 8th St.NW, 202/393-0812) from February 12 to February 14, which combines the two holidays with a romantic and sensual culinary tour of the tastes of Brazil. The Mardi Gras inspired Valentine’s Day menu features six-courses and a Carnaval Love Potion. Dinner is priced at $85 per person.
Stay tuned for more Valentine’s Day options.