Have you been salivating for some exciting new restaurants, but tend to stick to your old favorites? If so, ditch that grocery list during Washington DC's Restaurant Week and head for the city! Destination DC and the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington are proudly presenting the 16th bi-annual Washington, DC Restaurant Week from August 16-22nd. You can try some interesting food at neighborhood restaurants around the area and, in the process, add some new favorites to your list.
Restaurant Week occurs twice a year during the winter and summer - during the slower seasons. During these weeks, many of D.C.'s finest restaurants are offering awe-inspiring, multi-course meals prepared especially for this gourmet event, at drastically reduced prices. Lunch is just $20.10 for a three-course meal, while dinner is $30.10. This price enables you to get hooked on a pricey Ruth's Chris steak in Fairfax, Tysons, or one of two DC locations at a bargain price.
Even in our challenged economy, the list of restaurants has grown again. This August, 30 more restaurants are participating, bringing the total number to just over 200. This means you'll have more places to take your palate to visit. Since choosing restaurants to visit can be a difficult decision - you're probably wondering where you're going to get the most bang for your buck.
So here's a plan. Washington is a city of neighborhoods and cultures. Restaurant Week offers a great opportunity to try the ethnic restaurants tucked away in the various neighborhoods of DC. Even if you are a "steak and potatoes" type of diner, you can find a place that pleases your palate in a new location. You can mesh your food quest with finding new neighborhoods. I'm betting that if you eat at a place once and love it, the next time you'll be back to see what else is in the neighborhood.
In our next blog, we'll go into more detail about some interesting neighborhood spots you might find, but for now, consider this. Plan your outing with a meal in mind. Suppose you are bound for a sporting event, festival, or concert in Penn Quarter and plan to start or finish the day with a meal at a new resturant. You'll have dozens of choices but here are a few alternatives:
Hungry for seafood? Try Legal Seafood in 7th or go beyond the pasta and sample D'Acqua at 801 Pennsylvania for Italian seafood.
Hungry for Continental? Go Spanish at La Tasca or Jaleo on 7th. Go French at Bistro d"OC on 10th or Ova on 7th for French with an Asian flair. Or sample the world at IndeBlue on G St. NW.
Hungry for Mexican or Latin? Rosa Mexicano at 7th at F, Café Atlantico on 8th, or Ovamel on 7th should fill the bill.
Websites such as DC Foodies.com offer reviews of many places you might want to try, while many places make their Restaurant Week menu online to help you plan your culinary destination. Additionally, here are some brief pointers to use as a guide when choosing restaurants:
- Avoid "special" menus unless you know exactly what the restaurant is offering (and it actually sounds interesting to you). Otherwise, go for restaurants offering most - or ideally all - of their normal menu for the best deals.
- Confirm with the restaurant when making a reservation that they are in fact participating in D.C. Restaurant Week.
- When choosing a restaurant, consider whether or not they always have a deal similar to the Restaurant Week offer.
- Some restaurants participate in DC Restaurant Week for extended periods - sometimes as long as the entire month! You might consider booking reservations at these restaurants outside of the Restaurant Week period.
Here's something else to keep in mind - although Restaurant Week occurs during the slow restaurant season, due to reduced prices, participating restaurants are extremely busy and tend to get very crowded, very quickly. To avoid disappointment or a wait, you can make online reservations through OpenTable.com, where your reservations are FREE and confirmed instantly 24 hours a day. No matter where you choose to dine, chances are that if you visit any one of them during this week, you won't be sorry!
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