Appetite: 4 Dates to Circle for January

The new year brings with it a passel of new things for food and beverage lovers to do around town. Here are some events that shouldn’t be missed.

Port City Brewing Doppelbock Release, Jan. 5

In the next installment of Port City’s lager series, the brewery releases its hearty, heady doppelbock for the inaugural weekend of the new year. The malty, deep-hued lager is a formidable companion on a chilly evening, as is Port City’s new fire pit, which will be roaring all night (weather permitting). Grab a meal at the Borinquen Lunch Box, which will pull up around 5:30, and stay to listen to music at 7. 3-10 p.m. 3950 Wheeler Ave.

Osteria Marzano Italian Cooking Class, Jan. 6

Channel your inner Italian and take a lesson from Chef Carmine Marzano as he teaches how to make some homestyle favorites. From grissini breadsticks to braised beef agnolotti pasta to a decadent chocolate amaretto custard and more, you’ll come away with some new culinary tricks up your sleeve. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 6361 Walker Lane. $85 per person.

Date Night Game Night at Lena’s Wood-fired Pizza, Jan. 9

Have the dark, cold days of winter gotten you a bit down? Spice up the week with a game night at Lena’s, and bring your sweetheart along. The pizzeria will have a variety of games to bring the two of you closer together — or perhaps further apart depending on who’s a sore loser. While you’re there, order Lena’s famous giant meatball to share or divide and conquer with the likes of a Panini and individual pizza. 4-11 p.m. 401 E. Braddock Road. Reservations recommended.

History by the Glass at Gadsby’s Tavern, Jan. 19

Learn all about the genesis and history of the hot toddy alongside mixologist Branden Beasley at this event in what is arguably Alexandria’s most storied tavern. This event isn’t a spectator sport; lift a glass of a hot beverage or two throughout the evening while learning about how the beverage intersects with Alexandria and American history. Nibble on an appetizer or two along the way. 7-9 p.m. 134 N. Royal St. $50 per person.

Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at Email her any time at

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