Hanukkah begins Sunday night, but Washington’s celebrations start Saturday and run throughout the week. DJs, dreidel competitions and latke feasts are featured at the more interesting and offbeat events around town.
Ivy and Coney’s second annual celebration of the Festival of Lights thumbs its nose at that better-known holiday pop-up bar a few blocks north: The Miracle on Seventh Street sports giant panda decorations this year, so Chai-vy and Cohen-y has adopted Rusty, the red panda who once escaped from the National Zoo, as its inspiration.
“The theme will highlight how both the Jewish holiday and Ailurus Fulgens (the scientific name for the red panda) have played second fiddle to their more popular brethren,” said a news release about the bar. The Shotnorah, which allows eight customers to take shots simultaneously, “will be even better” than last year, promises co-owner Josh Saltzman. Look for Manischewitz cocktails; a special menu of housemade latkes and sufganiyot; and a number of special events, including nightly menorah lightings, a dreidel-spinning competition and a nighttime bike tour of the monuments. Dec. 1 through Dec. 26, closed Dec. 25. Free admission.
Latkes and More Pop-Up at the Green Zone, Dec. 2 and 5
The Green Zone specializes in food and drink of the Middle East, especially Lebanon and Iraq. At this special two-night pop-up, they’ll offer special Hanukkah snacks, including latkes (both classic and Ottoman-style zucchini versions) and sufganiyot, as well as atayef, the cheese-stuffed pancakes eaten by Lebanese and Syrian Jews. Doors open at 5 p.m. both nights. Admission is free, and food and drinks are priced individually.
Hanukkah at Spider Kelly’s, Dec. 3-4
Spider Kelly’s is a popular place for Hanukkah celebrations. On Monday, the Young Jewish Professionals of Alexandria and Arlington are taking over the Clarendon venue from 6:30 to 9 p.m. for a party with an open bar, kosher hors d’oeuvres and an interactive menorah lighting. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. The following night, Rodef 2100, the young professionals group of Falls Church’s Temple Rodef Shalom, is organizing a game night with pool, darts, shuffleboard and a dreidel competition. The party runs from 7 to 9 p.m.; arrive after 6 for an optional happy hour mixer with icebreakers and games. Tickets are $18 in advance and $24 at the door, which includes one drink and light refreshments.
Chef Alex Levin, the pastry chef for sister restaurants the Riggsby, Alta Strada and Tico, hosts “an evening of lights, latkes and libations” at Georgetown’s Casolare. The all-you-can-eat menu includes latkes — with applesauce prepared by Washington Post Deputy Food Editor Bonnie Benwick — and desserts made by Mark Furstenberg of Breadfurst. (A cash bar will be available.) DJ Nes Gadol provides the tunes, and rabbis will light the candles at 8 p.m. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. $25; children aged 12 and younger admitted free.