Break out your lederhosen and dancing shoes! From Sept. 16 through Oct. 15, Café Berlin (322 Massachusetts Ave. NE), will host its annual Oktoberfest.
For the celebration’s Pig Roasts—slated for Sept. 24 and Oct. 7—an entire Spanferkel (pig) will be roasted outside. Start with jumbo pretzels with zesty mustard dips, Schweinehaxe (roast pork knuckles), Bayerischer Wurstsalat (Bavarian style salami with garnishes), Kartoffel Pfannkuchen (potato pancakes), Goulasch Suppe (goulasch soup), Rotkohl (red cabbage), Sauerkraut and much more. Bavarian brunches are planned for three Sundays: Sept. 17, Oct. 1 and 15. Oktoberfest draft beer will flow to toe-tapping oom-pa-pa German folk music. Guests can also expect giveaway’s from favorite breweries.
Since 1985, Café Berlin has showcased authentic Teutonic fare and gemütlichkeit to Capitol Hill residents, Congressional staffers and visitors alike. German-born owners are chef Rico Glage and Clytie Roberts-Glage.
Oktoberfest, by the way, commemorates the Oct. 12, 1810 wedding of Bavarian prince Ludwig to Princess Thérèse of Saxe-Hildburghausen. In Munich, the festivities usually run from late September through early October. For Café Berlin’s exact hours, special menu and reservations (highly recommended!) visit www.cafeberlin-dc.com.
At the Navy Yard, Atlas Navy Yard Brewery & Tap Room (1201 Half St. SE), is throwing its own Oktoberfest Sept. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. The celebration will showcase Atlas’ special Festbier, which is lighter than traditional Oktoberfest beer. Guests will also enjoy draft beers, wine, spirits, German food and polka music. For tickets and more information visit www.atlasbrewworks.com.
Paris on the Wharf
Peter and I experienced a delightful taste of Paris when we lunched at Bistro du Jour (99 District Square SW). The spacious outdoor dining area was bustling with locals and visitors alike. Our amenable host, Destiny, warned us that the two remaining tables were in the sun. No problem.
As we settled in, we took in the nearby channel, the water sparkling and yachts bobbing in the late summer sunshine.
Choosing from Bistro’s comprehensive French wine list, I sipped a pleasant French rose, while designated driver Peter quaffed a refreshing strawberry lemonade.
From the lunch menu I selected quiche Florentine with a side salad. The spinach filling was light and fluffy, although the crust was slightly soggy, a common problem with quiche.
Peter chose Salad Nicoise, which tasted almost as good as my own more authentic version. Although the Bistro’s $21 salad included chunks of slightly over-cooked fresh tuna with green beans, black olives, and hard-boiled eggs, it lacked such traditional ingredients as new potatoes and capers. However, it did include small pieces of sardines and cornichons.
Other options included tuna carpaccio, egg-white omelets with zucchini and goat cheese, Belgian waffles with apples and Chantilly cream, cheeseburger L’Americaine.
Inside is Mah-ze Dahr bakery, a lovely patisserie dispensing myriad croissants (I love their chocolate!), banana bread, brioche cinnamon rolls, scones, doughnuts and more. Plus all kinds of coffee and tea.
Dinner brings such Gallic classics as moules frites, coq au vin, bouillabaisse, steak au poivre, and Dover sole.
Our lunch for two came to about $65 including tax and tip. All and all, a delightful trip to France. Bistro du Jour is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
And this just in: Bistro du Jour is opening an offshoot at 20 Massachusetts Ave. NW, inside the brand-new Royale Sonesta Capitol Hill hotel. Watch for details. Meanwhile, for hours and more information on the Wharf’s Bistro visit www.bistro-dujour.com.
Hot on H
Things are heating up in the Atlas District as Dumpling Hot Pot Beyond arrived July 4 at 1216 H St. NE. The zesty newcomer focuses on Shanghai and Szechuan cooking including homemade noodles, pork won tons, beef dumplings. dan dan noodles, steamed garlic-vinegar rice noodles. There’s also dim sum. But the star of the kitchen is the bubbling hotpot, presented in a handsome blue vessel. Dumpling Hot Pot’s bright, airy décor is simple yet eye-catching. Management is working on an alcohol license, and plans are afoot for a sake bar upstairs. For updates and more information visit www.dumplinghotpotbeyond.com.
Nearby, Sticky Fingers Diner, the vegan retro chic bakery and bar, at 406 H St. NE, is extending summer with a “seaside” pop-up. The plant-based boardwalk-themed menu offers homemade soft pretzels, popcorn balls faux “beef” brisket made with seitan, and cotton candy. To drink: wine cooler slushies, boozy floats and strawberry lemonade. The funky Jersey Shore décor follows the playful theme with blow-up beachballs, pink flamingos and “pesky” seagulls. For hours and more information visit www.stickyfingersdiner.com.
Mezeh Mediterranean Grill is moving into 333 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, the site formerly occupied by Rolands of Capitol Hill, which closed at the end of 2021. Expect this fast casual eatery to arrive sometime in September. For updates visit www.mezeh.com.
A tasty addition to Eastern Market’s weekend outdoor vendors is Chia Catering, a family operation dispensing homemade Turkish food. We’ve sampled the home made borek—sausage-shaped filo pastry filled with savory ground lamb (you can also opt for spinach/cheese or ground beef). We also ordered dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with pine nuts and cinnamon-scented rice), hummus, simit (sesame-studded bread) and baklava. You’ll find Chia Catering most Saturdays near Rumsey Aquatic Center. www.chiacatering.com.