Explore the bustling 14th Street and Penn Quarter restaurant scene with Chef José Andrés and friends while supporting an amazing cause, and all for an incredibly reasonable price, at the fourth annual Dine-N-Dash on Wednesday, June 15 from 6-10 p.m.
The event, a benefit fundraiser for the chef and ThinkFoodGroup owner’s international non-profit World Central Kitchen, is seriously the best ticket in town, with a $125 wrist band (leave the wallet at home) allowing you access into 30 of the area’s most popular restaurants, including four food trucks, each serving six signature dishes and four heavenly cocktails. You do the math.
Bump up that wrist band to the $300 VIP level and you’ll gain access to five additional VIP-only restaurants, including a pop-up by Chef Erik Bruner-Yang, a pre-event reception with Andrés, and an exclusive after party with Andrés, Éric Ripert and more celebrity chefs. And when you purchase your tickets, you get to choose the restaurant you start at; helping spread out the 3,000 or so expected guests for a one-night-only party that is as lively and energetic as Andrés himself.
On Tap was invited to get a sneak peek at this year’s Dine-N-Dash during a May 1 event, perfectly placed on a rainy Sunday afternoon. We started at Oyamel with their mouthwatering guacamole freshly made in front of our eyes, and passed delicious bites and rows of tasty margaritas.
World Central Kitchen Development and Communications Director Kevin Holst greeted the crowd with an overview of Dine-N-Dash and background on Andrés’s nonprofit work. Then, much like a museum docent and with impressive ease, Holst guided the group to our next location, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, where from a breathtaking view, we sipped on chilled wine and feasted on delicious bites, including some amazing crostini and fantastic madeleines.
And then in true Dine-N-Dash fashion, we were ushered out to our next location, boarding a party bus for 14th Street and Italian hotspot Ghibellina. There, we feasted on mouthwatering ramp arancini and smoked brisket sliders, while getting our now slight buzz taken further with tequila-focused Pepe Primavera cocktails and rye-heavy Fruitto Del Sangue drinks.
Then, it was off to the final stop on our mini Dine-N-Dash, Masa 14, where we were brought upstairs to the DJ and gorgeous bar, ready and waiting, with “Masa Mules” and strawberry lemonades (adult version, folks). Trays of edamame, pork buns and crispy shrimp were passed around to feed the crowd, and the room was alive with music and conversation, emulating what one can certainly expect during the actual Dine-N-Dash this month.
With the 14th Street neighborhood new to this year’s event, this will be the first Dine-N-Dash for Barcelona Executive Chef Adam Greenberg, who started heading up the busy restaurant eight months ago.
“I’m going in really blind to this thing, so it should be pretty exciting,” Greenberg tells On Tap. “The good news is our event coordinator has been in DC a long time and she knows this event and how it works, so we’ll be organized and ready to go. I just picture this room being completely full.”
Those who stop at Barcelona for Dine-N-Dash can expect gazpacho shooters, ceviche cups, ham and cheese croquetas, pork belly skewers and mini churros with spiced chocolate, along with the always delicious sangria and another tasty cocktail. And if the weather is nice, Greenberg says you can expect him out on Barcelona’s front patio, similar to Sundays, with the massive paella pan, but instead cooking squid ink fideos.
“What I like about events like [Dine-N-Dash] is it will be chaos, but that’s part of the fun for everyone. It will be loud and exciting and we’ll have this big paella pan going with the heat, so it’s all part of the show,” he said.
Greenberg says he hopes Dine-N-Dash guests take away a sense of what each restaurant brings to that particular community.
“I want people to leave here knowing we have great food and are trying to offer something different. Estadio has awesome food too, and we are not trying to compete for the best tapas bar on the street. We are just trying to do what we do well and they do what they do well, and hopefully there is one night a week you want to go there and one night of the week you want to come here.”
At the end of the event, guests can vote on their favorite Dine-N-Dash restaurant, with Oyamel taking the top prize the last three years running. At the core of it all, though, is the amazing work World Central Kitchen is able to do through the funds raised.
Participating Restaurants and Food Trucks
BOE Restaurant & Bar: 777 9 th St. NW, DC; www.boewdc.com
China Chilcano: 418 7 th St. NW, DC; www.chinachilcano.com
Cuba Libre: 801 9 th St. NW, DC; www.cubalibrerestaurant.com
Del Campo: 777 I St. NW, DC; www.delcampodc.com
The Dolci Gelati Truck: www.dolcigelatitruck.com
Jaleo: 403 7 th St. NW, DC; www.jaleo.com
Mango Tree: 929 H St. NW, DC; www.mangotreedc.com
Oyamel: 401 7 th St. NW, DC; www.oyameldc.com
Pepe Mobile Sandwiches: www.joseandrescatering.com/index.php/pepe/
Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company: 2418 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC;www.rocklands.com
Sei: 444 7 th St. NW, DC; www.seirestaurant.com
Zaytinya: 701 9 th St. NW, DC; www.zaytinya.com
Zengo: 781 7 th St. NW, DC; www.richardsandoval.com/zengodc
Arepa Zone Food Truck: www.arepazone.com
Barcelona: 1622 14 th St. NW, DC; www.barcelonawinebar.com
Birch & Barcley: 1337 14 th St. NW, DC; www.birchandbarley.com
Doi Moi: 1800 14 th St. NW, DC; www.doimoidc.com
Estadio: 1520 14 th St. NW, DC; www.estadio-dc.com
Ghibellina: 1610 14 th St. NW, DC; www.ghibellina.com
Masa 14: 1825 14 th St. NW, DC; www.richardsandoval.com/masa14
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace: 1612 14 th St. NW, DC; www.pearldivedc.com
Policy: 1904 14 th St. NW, DC; www.policydc.com
Swizzler Food Truck: www.swizzlerfoods.com
Taylor Gourmet: 1908 14 th St. NW, DC; www.taylorgourmet.com
Cork Market and Tasting Room: 1720 14 th St. NW, DC; www.corkdc.com
DBGB Kitchen and Bar: 931 H St. NW, DC; www.dbgb.com
Erick Bruner-Yang VIP Pop-up: www.maketto1351.com
Proof: 775 G St. NW, DC; www.proofdc.com
Sotto: 1610 14 th St. NW, DC; www.sottodc.com