Restaurant Week

I thought I would do a public service announcement. Last week was Restaurant Week in DC. Did you take advantage of this? Restaurant Week takes place twice a year, once in the frigid cold of the post-holidays and then again in the dog days of August. Times when diners are likely to be few. For all the details, Google “restaurant week dc”. For those out of the area, many cities schedule these. A three course lunch (starter, main, and dessert) is only $20.09.

We’ve been doing this for a few years now. We have a group in our office that book lunch at some participating eatery every day of the bargain week. Not the same folks for every place. You know, some really like Italian, but aren’t so keen on Indian, whatever. I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to food; Ethiopian, Peruvian, bring it on. Pass the curried goat, would you? Some folks, eh. Meat and potatoes. If you like to explore new cuisines, like I do, it helps to know a lot of different folks. I just book for four and we always manage to fill the table. The upshot for the customer is that you get to try one of those $50 and up places at a discount price. And the restaurant hopes that if you like the meal, you will be back.

We have our favorites, places we revisit anytime we can get a deal. Our group likes any place by chef Jeff Tunks; DC Coast, Ceiba, Acadiana, or TenPenh. One or two of these seems to get revisited each time, but we try to check out places we have never been before. This year, since Monday was a holiday, we sampled Farrah Olivia in old town Alexandria. This is run by chef Morou. He was one of the competitors on the Food Network’s NEXT IRON CHEF, and he did pretty well too. I had a cinnamon cured pork roast sitting on a vegetable ragout with two artistic dabs of sauces. We also tried Il Mulino, an Italian place just around the corner from our office. There I had a piece of red snapper in a potato crust with a dijon mustard caper sauce, very nice. It had a great looking bar too. As a Noted Barfly, I have to return for happy hour. Let’s see, the red Thai curried shrimp at TenPenh, the “Peacemaker” oyster po’boy at Acadiana, and chicken curry at The Bombay Club, all really, really good.

Well, you get the idea. Events like this are a great benefit of working in Washington and make a welcome change from that styrofoam container of noodles from the grazing bar. Its only a week, budget for it both diet-wise and monetarily and you should survive. The best part of it is that you get to eat with friends, always a plus. August is coming, be ready.

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Darren Buck

Rasika, at 6th and D NW, still has RW menu going on through the 28th. Best Indian food I’ve had in a while. Get the palak chaat appetizer, it is incredible.

Ed Albetski

I sent Banaz this info, but maybe everyone reading about Restaurant Week would be interested. If you join an online restaurant reservation service called Open Table (www.open table.com) –it’s free– they will e-mail you a few weeks before Restaurant Week starts with a link to the participating restaurants. You can book your whole week right at your desk, quickly, so you get a lock on the most popular lunch times. Trying to book even the week before means getting a reservation for 1:30pm or later. I’ve been there. Also when you keep the reservations made through Open Table you get points. These can be cashed in for Restaurant Checks which can be used at the participating restaurants, a little added goodie. No, I don’t own stock in Open Table or have any connection with it, I just find it useful. Enjoy!


For those of you in Phoenix/Scottsdale Arizona – Restaurant week here is in September. I believe it’s the first week! As far as I know, it’s an annual thing here. Twice a year would be great!