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winter 2008 restaurant week -- DC

Colvin Run is not participating this year. I am a little surprised Westend (Ripert) is not participating. Hook only available for lunch.
I have a few reservations to some of the highly regarded ones of the past. what is everyone thinking?

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  1. I'm not that surprised West End isn't particpating. RW is traditionally used to create business on a normally slow week. West End is brand new and red hot, they probably are booked up throughout the month and don't need to do it for business purposes.

    Plus a lot of the really high end spots don't usually participate (ie Central, CityZen, Palena).

    Isn't Colvin Run closed? I thought I read that somewhere.

    1 Reply
    1. This time around I am thinking D'Acqua, La Bergerie and Hudson to be random.

      I am still searching for a place downtown for lunch to go with a group of colleagues. Any recommendations? We have done Butterfield 9, Ceiba, Il Mulino, Corduroy, Georgia Brown, Bombay Club, Spezie, Tuscana West, Bobby Van's, Taberna, and a few others. in the past.

      12 Replies
      1. re: hopeinmee

        I wouldn't do Hudson for restaurant week. It's not that expensive usually so the RW menu isn't really that amazing of a deal. Still, that being said, I really like Hudson.

        Butterfield 9 does RW really well and I've gone there for lunch a few times during RW. I've heard mixed reviews about Taberna for RW. Almost best just to go there during their happy hour tapas deal. I hear they only offer 2-3 things in each category and service suffers during the week. I would do a search first for past comments.

        I went to Georgia Browns for RW last year and was happy with my meal but found the noise level almost intollerable since it was packed. I had to practically yell at my bf to have a discussion.

        Also you should look at Tom Seitsema's reviews of Il Mulino and D'Acqua. With Il Mulino for sure he panned the place. If they are not good during usual service they are going to seriously suck during RW. Just my 2 cents.

        I do recommend 1789 and TenPehn for dinner and Prime Rib for lunch is an excellent deal and the food is so good.

        1. re: Elyssa

          We have in the past done Butterfield 9 for RW which had horrible service though the food was good. However it was not a memorable meal that I would sign up again for RW.

          Georgia Browns was very limiting in choices for those who do not eat pork or shellfish. The noise level is not any better during the lunchtime.

          We did Il Mulino for Summer RW and had a great experience. The food was good and the service was great. It was very easy to have a conversation. I read somewhere that it is a Zagat top rated restaurant in New York. The reviews on Zagat are positive for both the DC and NYC locations. Perhaps it depends on when one goes.

          I would also recommend 1789 so long as you eat meat. If not, the menu tends to be limiting as well.

          Thanks for the heads up on Hudson and D'Acqua.

          1. re: hopeinmee

            I booked a dinner at Butterfly 9. When did you go? I'm curious, what was so bad about the service? Do you remember what you had? I think this will be my only RW reservation and I really don't want it to suck.

            1. re: gatorfoodie

              Trust me it won't suck. I've been twice for restaurant week and at least 4 other times during regular service. My service during RW was very friendly and helpful.

              I went last year for lunch for the Jan RW. I remember a very tasty risotto and a squash soup that was very nice. Unfortunatly I don't have exact details.

              But I stand by Butterfield 9 as a great RW choice. They have had full size servings in the past and at least 5-6 entrees to choose from if I remember correctly.

          2. re: Elyssa

            Elyssa- do you recall what you had for the Prime Rib RW meal? We're going there for dinner which probably is a different menu, but just trying to get an idea... thanks!

            1. re: gyozagirl

              I had their house salad, the prime rib (which I never order but was out of this world! Really juicy, cooked to perfection and packed with flavor) and the key lime pie. For my sides we got the creamed spinach, the corn and the mashed potatoes or skillet potatoes (can't remember). All were excellent!

              1. re: Elyssa

                Thanks for the info! I'm excited to try it out (although now I'm thinking of the food you listed, probably for the rest of the day...)

                1. re: gyozagirl

                  I went to Prime Rib for RW last year and I specifically remember them ONLY offering the creamed spinach and mashed potatoes as the only sides included in the deal. I'm not a huge creamed anything fan, so I asked for sauteed spinach instead and they said they would have to charge me for a full side if I wanted to go ahead and order it, rather than swapping it out since there were no substitutions to the RW menu.

                  1. re: KWynn

                    When we went we were one of the only people in the restaurant for a late lunch. It might have been during their extended RW, I can't remember. But our waiter was wonderful and since it was my first time there and he could tell how excited I was, he brought out extra sides. I actually didn't even order the sides, he just brought me what he thought was the best. I loved everything I ate.

              2. re: gyozagirl

                The Prime Rib remains one of the great and often overlooked restaurants in the DC area. Still requiring men to wear a dinner jacket, the prime rib served a mean martini prior to the Reagan White House. You of course can order the prime rib in different cuts and sizes and it will be perfect with fresh ground horse radish. The crab cakes are super (and I am originally from Baltimore), the veal oscar, crab imperial, and veal chop, all outstanding. Greenstein potatoe skins are a house specialty. Oysters on the half shell will be perfectly shucked and wonderful. I don't know what you can order during RW but no matter what you get, it will be memorable, classic cooking done perfectly with top quality ingredients served by well trained professional waiters.

            2. re: hopeinmee

              D'Acqua was the only dinner I was disappointed in Fall 2007 RW. Three choices for main dish and appetizer. Two of which was pasta. The fish dish was not exciting.

              1. re: LisaSew

                I second that. D'Acqua isn't worth the time or money for restaurant week, as they seem to exert minimal effort.

            3. Actually, I tend to avoid RW alltogether. But if you are going to go, pick a restaurant that you have never been to and have wanted to try. After all, now is your chance. I'd recommend going to ones that are offering their entire menu (sometimes with a small upcharge for the more expensive entrees) since that gives you a better feel for the restaurant and (duh) more choices. Corduroy, Dino, Circle Bistro, Notti Bianche, Bistro Bis, Zola, Tosca, and Mendocino Grille all offer an extensive menu for RW.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dinwiddie

                I agree. I fully support the idea of restuarant week and think it is an excellent way for diners to experiment. But the results have to be taken with a grain of salt. The menu is limited at many places and the kitchen and the servers are very busy. Try for a restaurant that offers its full menu and try to go early before the rush. Personally, I avoid all restuarants participating in RW.

                1. Colvin Run isn't participating because it is closed.

                  1. Kind of an off topic question, but I could use my fellow DC hounds input....

                    My New Year's Resolution this year if to be dry through late February. I really want to go to some RW dinners, but is it completely rude and inconsiderate of me to go and not order anything to drink?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: gatorfoodie

                      No, I don't think so get some iced tea or water with lemon or even splurge for sparkling. I don't think anyone at RW would care about that...

                      1. re: gatorfoodie

                        There are many people that don't drink alcohol or simply don't wish to do so on ocassion. It would only be rude for the server to question your wishes. Enjoy and don't feel self-conscious in the least.

                        1. re: gatorfoodie

                          Not at all. Many times I haven't ordered anything to drink. If you feel like the waiter is losing out on the wine/drink based tip, then just tip extra for good service.

                        2. Daves 32: Kinkead's is participating. Although I am not a fan, it is highly regarded any many enjoy their seafood.

                          1. Hook has the RW menu on the website. It's not identical to the regular menu, but it's quite extensive.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: jumpingjack

                              I wonder if the crudo that they are offering during RW as an appetizer is their normal size crudo or bigger. Because when I went I got the crudo trio and each type was just a small bite, certainly not enough to share and a single crudo would not at all be a full size appetizer. I would certainly ask before ordering just to make sure you are getting your money's worth. That being said...I loved the crudo when I ate dinner at Hook. I found it fun and full of flavor.

                              I also highly recommend the Artic Char and Bluefish.

                              1. re: Elyssa

                                I ate at Hook for RW in August. For the first course, we had the crudo trio- each a small bite of yumminess. I find it odd that the website says only one crudo that would definitely not be enough to qualify as an appetizer- I would call ahead and ask. I also highly recommend Hook. It was hands down one of my favorite meals last year. I am trying to come up with an excuse to go again soon.

                            2. anyone been to agraria or farrah olivia for restaurant week? i have reservations, but i haven't been able to find menus...

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: hungeegirl

                                I went to Farrah Olivia last year (or maybe the year before?) for RW and really enjoyed it. They offered the full menu with just a few items at an up-charge. I haven't been back during non-RW since I do think that the portions are small for the menu price, but the RW option is certainly a good deal there and everything we ate we really enjoyed.

                                1. re: KWynn

                                  thanks! anyone got any info on agraria? :)

                                  1. re: hungeegirl

                                    I went in Summer 2006 and had a wonderful meal. It was not too crowded. The only thing I remember was the salad and chicken were both very good and everything tasted very fresh. The service was great. There was no rush as with some other restaurants. (I Ricchi informed me when I arrive last winter for RW that they had to have my party out in 90 minutes as another party was coming in immediately afterwards for the table. We had an 8 p.m. reservation on a Saturday night.)

                                    1. re: hopeinmee

                                      I had a similar horrible experience at I Ricchi for RW a few years ago. They practically rushed us out the door. It was my first time eating there and I haven't been back since. If the food was that uninspiring during RW and they were that rude, I can't imagine how they would treat me during regular service.

                              2. I thought Colvin Run was closing.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Ronnaf

                                  As stated above, Colvin Run has closed for good and therefore is not participating in Restaurant Week.

                                2. I've put together a list of participating Va. restaurants with menu and extension information. http://houndstoothgourmet.com/dc-rest...