Along with a number of prominent restaurants across the country, Washington's Jean-Louis and Le Pavillon are hosting culinary tributes to the late James Beard, who died last year at the age of 81. The dinners, to be held Monday, Beard's birth date, will benefit the recently established James Beard Foundation, organized to preserve the ideals and philosophy of the gastronome.

Le Pavillon's Yannick Cam plans to recreate a dinner served to Beard at that establishment in 1981 of quenelles of red snapper with lobster ravioli and filet of lamb with artichoke ravioli. Reservations for the affair, beginning with drinks at 7 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m., can be made by calling 833-3846. Black tie is suggested. The cost is $150 per person, $100 of which is tax deductible.

At the Watergate, Jean-Louis Palladin has created a 9-course (2 appetizers, 5 entrees, 2 desserts) meal, reflective of Beard's taste. Among the highlights will be coleslaw with caviar and chives; Maine lobster baked with Basque vegetables; farm-raised chicken, stuffed and fried, with tomato sauce; and a Beard favorite, "le apple pie." Reservations for the $100 dinner, which includes wine but neither tax nor tip, may be made by calling 298-4488.

In Alexandria, Ecco will feature its usual menu of seafood, pizza and pasta -- with the entire evening's proceeds to be donated to the foundation. Reservations may be made by calling 684-0321.

For information on restaurants serving special dinners elsewhere around the nation, call 1-800-628-4665.

Beard, who was as much a mentor and teacher as cookbook author, will be celebrated by cooking schools as well. Teachers or schools interested in participating in the event, in which Beard's recipes will be featured, may register with the foundation by writing to Peter Kump's New York Cooking School, 307 East 92 St., New York, N.Y. 10128 or calling (212) 410-4601. What Is So Rare as a Day in June?

Unlike other holidays, Lobster Day comes twice a year -- once each fall, once each spring -- when lobsterman Ed Rindler of Finestkind arrives direct from Maine with a truckload of fresh crustaceans. Last spring, more than 12,000 pounds of lobster were delivered to area residents at sites in the District, Virginia and Maryland.

This season, Lobster Day falls on June 14, the day before Father's Day.

There's an incentive for ordering early; the price per pound of lobster (a five pound minimum is required) is $7.50 for orders postmarked by June 1, 50 cents more thereafter, through June 7. Steamer clams are also available for $30 per peck (about 150 clams). For a complete information package, including order form, call 543-0311. Taking in Some Expert Advice

The next best thing to having your own social secretary may be an evening-long discussion with a panel of entertainment experts, May 14 at 7 p.m. at the Connecticut Avenue location of Kitchen Bazaar. On hand to discuss everything from pairing food and wine to selecting a caterer and arranging flowers will be cookbook author/food consultant Carol Cutler; Bunny Polmer and Ann Yonkers, authors of "Capital Entertaining: Caterers to Call and Places to Party in and Around Washington, D.C."; Tom Hannah of A&A Liquor; and Patrick Doyle and Edward Shanholzer of Blue Willow Florists.

To reserve a seat, send a $5 tax-deductible contribution, payable to the Anne Crutcher Professional Fellowship of Les Dames D'Escoffier, to Kitchen Bazaar, 4455 Conn. Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20008.