What's the word on the D.C.-area food scene lately? Here are some of the bits and pieces for easy digestion. Crescent City comfort food comes to Arlington

Who dat on the corner of North Courthouse Road and 15th Street in Arlington? Why, honey, it's well-known pastry chef David Guas, his very own self behind the line in his new digs at Bayou Bakery. And, ohmylord, he's cookin' up gumbo and jambalaya and crawfish etouffee along with his scratch cakes and pralines.

Tucked kitty-corner into an office building, the restaurant is a homey hangout where you can lounge on leather sofas or sit at formica-topped tables. Lots of affordable small plates like the pork and rice stuffed sausage, boudin, or the spicy pimento cheese ... served Big Easy-style with Triscuits. For a quick pick-me-up there's the chicory-infused cafe au lait to go alongside your straight-from-the-fryer sugar-dusted beignets. On your way out, work your Crescent City mojo with a little paper bag of his PorKorn. It's peanut-caramel popcorn made with Allan Benton's Tennessee bacon. Good night, Irene!

Tuscan treasures pair up with haute cuisine

The prestigious Capital Wine Festival 2011 at the Fairfax Hotel at Embassy Row kicked off its second year with a reception last week showcasing wines from Italy, California and Oregon. It was an insider's first tasting as some of these vintages will be featured in the upcoming wine dinners at the hotel. Poggio al Tesoro of Bolgheri and the San Polo Winery of Montalcino will kick off the first night of the eight-week series on Feb. 2. The wineries' legendary vintners, Marilisa Allegrini and Leonardo LoCascio, guide the evening's tasting and dinner with their super-Tuscan sangiovese and exquisite brunello.

Recent hire Mark Timms, executive chef at the hotel's posh Jockey Club, will create the dinners for all eight evenings. Timms, who recently auditioned for Bravo's upcoming Rocco DiSpirito cooking show, tells me he's "excited to bring sexy fun back." Must be a new vibe for the old-guard hotel.

Celeb chefs share the love

Speaking of feeling the love, a pantheon of beloved chefs raised money for Martha's Table and D.C. Central Kitchen. Alice Waters, food activist and gourmand, Jose Andres, known for his bicoastal collection of restaurants and PBS show "Made in Spain," and one of the country's leading cookbook authors, unabashed Francophile and recipe historian Joan Nathan, invited some of the city's most terrific chefs and mixologists to kick off the first of their 15-series nights called Saturday Night Sips and Sunday Night Suppers.

Owen Thomson of Cafe Atlantico, Jeff Faile of Palena, Dan Searing of Room 11, and Gina Chersevani of PS7's shook, blended, stirred and poured cocktails while tasty plates were created by Will Artley of Del Ray's Evening Star, Antonio Burrell of Masa 14, K. Vinod of Indique Heights, Bourbon Steak's new chef, Adam Sobel, Garret Fleming of Eatonville and Graham Bartlett of Zengo. Cheers to the truffled scallop seviche with sea urchin roe and American paddlefish caviar with candied Thai chiles from Masa 14, and the Peter's Point Oysters with homemade kimchee and soju vinaigrette from Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak in the Four Seasons Georgetown.

"I think we're in a place of changing the world," said Waters, addressing the cause-committed crowd. "All you have to do is connect."