The Hot Plate: Prost!

Posted October 1, 2003 at 3:04pm

The Oktoberfest celebration in Munich wraps up this Sunday, but it’s not too late to drink and eat Bavarian-style in D.C. Several area restaurants are offering Oktoberfest specials throughout the month.

Get your Oktoberfest fix on Capitol Hill at Café Berlin, which is German-owned and operated. The restaurant is offering Engel beer from Bavaria and a traditional Bavarian menu. Feast on specialties including potato soup, roasted pork loin, a Munich butcher’s plate, grilled pig knuckles served with home fries and sauerkraut, and apple strudel with vanilla sauce.

Gordon Biersch is offering a special menu and its Festbier for the fall season. The full-bodied, rich, bronze lager is styled after beers typically served during Oktoberfest.

The restaurant’s Oktoberfest menu includes jaeger schnitzel, chicken rouladen, sauerbraten and a plate of German sausages served with sauerkraut mashed potatoes, caramelized apples and braised red cabbage.

Café Berlin is located at 322 Massachusetts Ave. NE, and Gordon Biersch is located at 900 F St. NW.

Spanish Holiday. The tapas craze doesn’t show signs of stopping anytime soon, and when La Tasca opens at 722 Seventh St. NW this fall, D.C. diners will have yet another place to share the small plates.

La Tasca, a Spanish tapas bar and

restaurant with locations throughout the United Kingdom, is breaking ground for the first time on this side of the pond. The first restaurant opened in 1993 in Manchester, England. The Seventh Street location is expected to open at the end of October.

La Tasca, which means “inn” or “tavern” in Spanish, specializes in tapas and paella. The restaurant will also offer a selection of Spanish wines, beers and sangria.

Taste of Elegance. For the second year in a row, Taste of DC will offer a fine dining pavilion where participants can watch cooking demonstrations by top chefs and taste their signature dishes.

From Oct. 11 to 13, the 80-seat pavilion will be set up on 10th Street Northwest, south of Pennsylvania Avenue. Each day at noon, 2 and 4 p.m., a chef will demonstrate how to prepare a signature entrée, and diners will receive a serving of the dish. Participants will also get a copy of the chef’s recipe.

Nine chefs from some of the area’s best restaurants will participate.

Morou from Signatures will kick things off at noon Oct. 11 when he prepares fermented pineapple cured venison. For Sunday’s noon session, Santi Zabaleta of Taberna del Alabardero will prepare poached bacalao (codfish) with sun-dried peppers, onion and shrimp. And Frank Morales of Zola will make crispy glazed duck and mission fig salad on Monday.

Advance reservations are recommended. Tickets are $10.50 and include a reserved dining time, a serving of the featured dish and wine, beer or a soft drink. For a complete list of participating chefs and to buy tickets, visit www. tasteofdc.org.

New to this year’s festival is a wine tasting area, which will be located on Woodrow Wilson Plaza. Wines from around the world, including Australia, Chile and Italy, will be available for sampling. Featured vineyards will each offer three or four wines. Tastings will cost $1 and glasses $4.

From the Vine. Schneider’s of Capitol Hill is hosting a tasting of Oregon wines at Charlie Palmer Steak at 7 p.m. Oct. 11.

Tastings will include Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Adelsheim, Bergstrom and Chehalem vineyards and the reserve Cabernet from Frog’s Leap Winery in Rutherford, Calif.

Charlie Palmer Executive Chef Bryan Voltaggio is designing a five-course meal to complement the wines.

Charlie Palmer is located at 101 Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets cost $100 and can be purchased from Schneider’s by calling (202) 543-9300.

Meal Deal. Chef Geoff’s is offering a three-course meal coupon for $29 through Dec. 1. The “Fall Flavors” deal allows diners to choose any salad or soup, any entrée and any dessert off the menu. Go to www.chefgeoff.com to print out the coupon, which is good for up to 10 guests.

Chef Geoff’s Downtown is located on 13th Street Northwest between E and F streets.