Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Make your D.C. restaurant week reservations

Yesterday when we landed in Philadelphia before our final connection to D.C., we saw our emails from OpenTable telling us to make our D.C. Restaurant Week reservations. So, in case you missed it, be advised: now's the time to book! You can see the complete list of restaurants and links to reservations here at OpenTable. This summer Restaurant Week is slated for August 16 (my birthday!) through 22.

If you're not familiar with Restaurant Week, the idea is that area restaurants offer three-course prix-fixe menus -- appetizer, entree and dessert -- for $20.10 at lunch or $35.10 at dinner. This year Matt and I have booked one meal so far, this time a lunch at Johnny's Half Shell, a seafood restaurant we've never tried before. That's usually our goal during Restaurant Week, to try something new.

If you're looking for ideas of places to explore, here are a few we've been to over the years during Restaurant Week and would return to again:
  • Bibiana -- Italian, D.C. (downtown)
  • Cafe Atlantico -- Latin American fusion, D.C. (Penn Quarter), and one of my all-time favorites
  • Charlie Palmer Steak -- umm, steak, D.C. (Capitol Hill)
  • Harry's Tap Room -- steak and American, Arlington (Clarendon)
  • Hook -- seafood, Georgetown, one of the best seafood meals of my life
  • Rasika -- modern Indian, D.C. (Penn Quarter)
  • Zola -- contemporary American, D.C. (Penn Quarter)

Here are some other restaurants featured during Restaurant Week, but because they are either small plates or are more affordable to start with, I'd hold off and visit during non-Restaurant Weeks. Not only should you save the new stuff for Restaurant Week, but also the more expensive stuff!
Notable restaurants:
  • Jaleo -- Spanish tapas, D.C. (Penn Quarter) with additional locations in Crystal City and Bethesda -- perhaps my most favorite restaurant in the world
  • Lebanese Taverna -- Middle Eastern/Mediterranean, D.C. (Woodley Park) and Tysons
  • The Liberty Tavern -- American, Clarendon
  • Marrakesh -- Moroccan, Dupont Circle
  • Zaytinya -- Mediterranean tapas, Penn Quarter
Now, D.C.-area people, please share: What are your favorite places for Restaurant Week?

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