October means Halloween, and there are plenty of Treats (and not so many tricks) at Washington’s restaurants.
Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, is an ancient holiday, both in pre-Christian and pre-Hispanic origins. The Christian version, which celebrates the night before All Saints’ Day, November 1st, dates back two thousand years. The Celtic new year, Samhain, began on November 1, and was celebrated the night before as the end of summer and the harvest. The Catholic Church made November 1 All Saints Day, with October 31st as All Hallows (that is, saints) Day. The legends of costumes, tricks and treats goes back to Celtic times.
In Mexico, it’s a three-day celebration. Families clean and decorate graves and picnic at family gravesites with food and drink, toys for dead children and tequila for dead adults. An outdoor Mass is said, announced with fireworks.
At Addie’s (11120 Rockville Pike in Rockville, MD, 301/881-0081) there will be oyster eating contests and a best costume contest at the annual Oyster Roast on Sunday, October 30. Addie’s chefs will prepare oysters four ways (roasted, fried, shucked and barbecued), barbecued chicken, chili, hot dogs, beer and wine. Incwell and Sean Chyun & the Deceivers will supply live music. Pumpkin decorating and a silent auction will be part of the festivities, which run from noon to 5 p.m., rain or shine. Tickets are priced at $40 in advance and $50 at the door, with children under 12 $20. Profits from the event will go to support Washington Nationals Diabetes Care Complex.
Station 4 (1101 4th St.SW, 202/488-0987) is celebrating Halloween with a True Blood themed costume party on Friday, October 28 through Monday, October 31.Diners are encouraged to come in costume for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant. Specialty cocktails will be available for $6, as well as beer and wine specials, including Transylvania wine for $4. The regular dinner menu will be avaiable from 5 to 11 p.m., along with a number of special dishes.
Speaking of oysters, Hank’s Oyster Bar and Lounge (1624 Q St.NW, 202/462-4265) is offering an array of seasonal cocktails for the entire month of October, priced at $11.
Mexico’s Day of the Dead is being celebrated until November 2 at Oyamel (401 7th St.NW, 202/628-1005), with special dishes from the region of Michoacan, home of Mexico’s famous forests. Special dishes range in price from $4 to $10, and specialty cocktails are priced from $11 to $12.