Pop-ups and events are in full swing around D.C., and this selective guide includes everything longer-term pop-ups and one-off events.
Oyster Shucking and Wine Pairing Classes at Seamore’s
The Deal: The sustainable seafood spot in Clarendon debuts a summer series on the art of shucking oysters. The two-hour class showcases four types of local and East coast oysters alongside four Old World wine pairings (and one glass of choice at the end), with oyster experts on hand to provide technique tips, demos, and pairing intel about flavors and textures of each bivalve.
Where: Seamore’s, 2815 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia
Dates: Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. (May 30; June 27; August 1; August 29; September 26; and October 17).
Cost: Each ticket ($95) includes take-home oyster knives and cut-resistant gloves
Pink Dream Lounge at Top of the Gate
The Deal: The Watergate’s iconic rooftop embraces Barbie all summer with a private lounge full of pink parasols, pillows, and sparkling views of the Potomac River. The package includes cotton candy in a giant martini glass, a flamingo punch bowl filled with its Sparkling Sunset cocktail, a magnum of Veuve Clicquot Rose, and charcuterie board. Advanced reservations are required. Say password “Barbie Land” to enter.
Where: Top of the Gate; 2650 Virginia Avenue NW
Dates: Sunday to Thursday from 4:30-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until midnight; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Taste of Motown
The Deal: The South’s top vegan chef and cookbook author Adjoa Courtney, aka Chef Joya, takes her meat-free skills on tour with a new multi-city pop-up dedicated to the greats of Motown. A two-night pit stop in D.C. includes a seven-course menu featuring the Jackson 5 “gumbo z herbes,” The Marvelletes croque madame mac with tomato jam, and The Temptations roasted apple pie with salted lattice and whipped cream, among others.
Dates: Friday, June 30 and Saturday, July 1; the venue address and details will be shared with ticketholders the night before the event.
Chef’s Table with Amy + Friends
The Deal: Centrolina chef Amy Brandwein invites fellow top chefs to come cook four-course dinners for charity at her Italian restaurant at CityCenter DC. Each guest chef will select the cuisine of the night, and proceeds from each 26-seat seating will go toward a charity of the guest chef’s choice.
Where: Centrolina, 974 Palmer Alley NW
- June 6: Seg Luangrath (Thip Khao)
- June 14: Sunny Baweja (Lehja)
- June 28: Pichet Ong (Chang Chang)
- July 13: Kevin Tien (Moon Rabbit)
Cost: Tickets are $175 (excluding tax, tip and alcoholic beverages.) Reservations for the inaugural dinner with chef Jocelyn Law-Yone can be made on Resy, with proceeds donated to local nonprofit Imadi. More chefs and dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
In addition, Brandwein is hosting a Culinary Excursion in Umbria, Italy from July 19 to 26. The trip with her general manager, who’s a native of Umbria, will include truffle hunting, olive oil mill tours, gelato lessons and tastings, and culinary demos.
Martini Flights at Immigrant Food
The Deal: Immigrant Food at Planet Word debuts a martini pop-up for spring. Colorful coupes include a Garden Party (Citadelle Jardin D’ete with cucumber-infused elderflower liqueur), Mezcapolita (mezcal with agua de jamaica), Kakala Folau, named after a poem by Tongan poet Konai Thaman (vodka with pineapple and basil), Caribbean cold brew (Jamaican spiced rum and espresso), and Grapes on a Plane (grapefruit-flavored Malfy Rosa, crème de violette, maraschino liqueur, and fresh grapefruit juice).
Where: Immigrant Food, 925 13th Street NW
Cost: The $23 flight includes a pick of three martinis.
The Deal: New Kitchens On The Block returns to Mess Hall in June with previews from anticipated restaurants before they open. Participants in the 9th annual food festival include:
- A to-be-named Mediterranean restaurant by Matt Baker (Gravitas, Michele’s)
- Mahal Afro-Filipino BBQ by Jerome Grant (Sweet Home Café, Dacha Restaurant Group)
- San Pancho by David Perez and Carolina McCandless (Cielo Rojo)
- A to-be-named Korean BBQ eatery by Kevin Tien (Moon Rabbit)
- Elena James by Colin McClimans and Danilo Simic (Opal, Nina May)
- Alfreda by Russell Smith (The Source, CUT by Wolfgang Puck)
- Mallard by Hamilton Johnson (Honeysuckle, American Son)
- Two Nine by Zach Ramos and Amy Phan (Ama Ami)
- Urai by Ben Plyraharn (Newland, Maketto)
Guests will enjoy beer by Right Proper Brewing Company and cocktails from District Made Spirits. Previous editions gave diners a first taste of Michelin-rated places like Maydan, Oyster Oyster, Cranes, and Jônt, along with Call Your Mother, The Salt Line, Unconventional Diner, Lucky Buns, and Daru.
Where: Mess Hall, 703 Edgewood Street NE
Dates: Saturday, June 10, with two separate two-hour sessions; 12 to 2 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.
Cost: Tickets start at $99
Elena James Pop-Up @ Nina May
The Deal: Shaw’s New American neighborhood gem Nina May debuts a Friday lunch pop-up to tease out its next project opening in Chevy Chase later this year. Co-owner Chef Colin McClimans and Danilo Simic envision Elena James as an all-day destination for seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients. The pop-up preview showcases highlights like Chesapeake Bay brandade croquettes with habanero buttermilk dressing, lemon wedge and dill and burrata cheese with confit leeks with charred onion vinaigrette, garlic pesto, and fresh baguette. Mains include crispy soft shell crab with caper remoulade, celeriac slaw and chili oil and nettle-stuffed roasted chicken with grilled ramps, confit sunchokes and chicken jus. Its springtime patio is decked out with colorful flowers, green vines, and new bench seating, tables and chairs.
Where: Nina May (1337 11th Street NW)
Dates: Kicking off Friday, April 21 and running every Friday through early summer from noon to 3 p.m.
Cost: The menu featuring both a la carte items and a chef’s course menu (four courses for $35 per person).
Lost Sock Coffee x Anxo Cider
The Deal: After roasting coffee next door since 2016, Lost Sock just debuted a pop-up breakfast cafe inside Brightwood Park’s Anxo Cidery. Situated in the space occupied by Brightwood Pizza & Bottle, Lost Sock offers a morning-to-midday menu of espresso drinks, single-origin options, and seasonal lattes alongside a selection of pastries, baked empanadas, breakfast sandwiches, and its whole bean lineup. Lost Sock maintains a standalone cafe in Takoma Park and recently wrapped a pop-up run in Dupont’s Phillips Collection.
Where: 711 Kennedy Street NW (inside Anxo Cidery)
Dates: Hours are Tuesday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the kitchen closes at noon. That’s when Brightwood Pizza starts slinging pies and a selection of ciders, beer, and wine.
Swiftie Sundays at Show of Hands
The Deal: D.C.’s obsession with Taylor Swift continues with a weekly party at Show of Hands to honor the music and cocktail influence of the superstar. The Roost’s cocktail bar on Capitol Hill celebrates the pop icon every Sunday night with cocktails, wines, beers and spirits themed around her song lyrics and track titles. Think: “Wine Stained Dress” (gin, Gentian, lemon, red wine float) and “Red Flushed Gold Rush” (bourbon, red bitter, honey, lemon). Dance to Swift songs in a dedicated space behind the bar.
Where: Show of Hands (inside the Roost), 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue SE
Dates: Every Sunday night
Tonari’s “Hole in the Wall” Pop-Up Dessert Bar
The Deal: Daikaya Group’s Tonari rolls out a dessert-only feast featuring five courses, including an opening cocktail and riff on Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s molten chocolate cake. Set up on the second floor, the seven-seat sweets bar puts its pastry-making chefs on full display. The name is an ode to Japan’s original wafu Italian restaurant Kabe No Ana, which translates to “hole in the wall.” Tonari’s fanciful tasting menu up top replaces its normal lineup of savory dishes. Daikaya Group’s pastry chef Mary Mendoza, best known for inventing the doffle and her decadent chicken-fat chocolate cakes at Bantam King, also runs the kitchen on the first floor of Tonari.
Where: Tonari, 707 6th Street NW
Dates: Fridays and Saturdays, with seatings between 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Price: Five courses for $55 (includes three drink pairings; the drinks menu also includes half-bottles of Champagne