The HotPlate: Dining for a Cause

Posted March 10, 2004 at 3:30pm

If you’re planning to eat out for lunch or dinner today, head to one of the numerous Capitol Hill and area restaurants participating in Dining Out for Life, and a portion (or all) of your bill will go to Food and Friends, a nonprofit organization that provides meals and groceries for people in the metropolitan area living with HIV, AIDS and other serious illnesses.

On Capitol Hill, Banana Café and Piano Bar, Mr. Henry’s and Taverna are participating for lunch and dinner by donating 25 percent of sales. Café Berlin, Starfish Café and Ellington’s on Eighth are participating for dinner and also donating 25 percent.

Near the Hill, Ristorante Tosca is donating 100 percent of lunch and dinner sales to the charity, and Andale is donating 50 percent.

Ella’s Wood-Fired Pizza, Brasserie Les Halles and Poste are also taking part with 25 percent donations.

As added incentive, all diners will be entered to win two roundtrip airline tickets anywhere in the United States

courtesy of American Airlines. For addresses and a complete list of participating restaurants, visit www.foodandfriends.org.

The Nominees Are … The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington has announced its nominees for the 2004 Rammy awards, and several Capitol Hill-area eateries are in the running.

The public will decide the winners of new restaurant of the year and three new categories: neighborhood gathering spot of the year, power spot of the year and hottest restaurant bar scene.

Bistro Bis and Zola are nominated for hottest restaurant bar scene, and Charlie Palmer Steak got two nominations for best new restaurant and power spot of the year. Downtown’s Ceiba and Matchbox are also nominated in the best new restaurant category, and the Caucus Room also got a nod for power spot.

For a complete list of nominees, visit www.ramw.org. Voting on the Web site begins May 16.

Seeing Green. Capitol Hill’s Irish pubs are gearing up for their biggest holiday of the year — St. Patrick’s Day. Finn Mac Cool’s on Barracks Row will have music all day starting at 10 a.m., and WMAL will broadcast live in the morning from the restaurant’s upstairs.

The Dubliner, at F and North Capitol streets, will open at 10 a.m. and host three bands on two stages for an entire day of live music. Beef stew and corned beef and cabbage will be featured on the menu. Next door, Kellys’ Irish Times will open around 10:30 a.m. and will have a solo guitarist. Both the Dubliner and Irish Times will have a $10 cover charge.

The Guinness will be flowing at Fadó Irish Pub on Seventh Street Northwest. The bar will open at 8 a.m. for breakfast, and the Irish Accents will play from 3 to 11 p.m. with a $10 cover starting at 2 p.m.

Although he’s the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick was actually born in Scotland, so the Flying Scotsman, Capitol Hill’s newest pub, is celebrating the Scottish way. Instead of green, the beer will be blue, Scotland’s national color. Two dollars will buy you a blue Budweiser, and Guinness and Harp will be $5. A special menu will feature potato soup, corned beef and cabbage sandwiches and shepherd’s pie. There’s no cover charge.

Spring Is Here. Equinox Restaurant is celebrating the vernal equinox March 19 with a four-course meal complemented by Jed Steele wines and live jazz.

The evening begins at 7 p.m. with champagne cocktails with rhubarb and lemon and a seasonal canapé reception. Among other spring-inspired dishes, the menu includes wild halibut with spring peas and spicy lobster sauce, grilled boneless quail salad, stuffed saddle of spring lamb, and Key lime soufflé with raspberries and ginger syrup.

The meal costs $90 per person plus tax and gratuity. Call (202) 331-8118 for reservations.

Feliz Cumpleaños. Taberna del Alabardero is turning 15, and to celebrate the restaurant is hosting the executive chef of the original Taberna del Alabardero in Spain, who will prepare a special menu March 24-26. The menu will reflect Spanish cuisine’s evolution during the past 30 years with dishes such as monkfish with prawns, warm goat cheese salad with vegetables and honey-walnut vinaigrette, and stuffed artichokes with quail eggs and foie gras. Call (202) 429-2200 for reservations.