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Jan 4, 2008 11:39 AM

Iowan Excited About Restaurant Week

I'll be in DC from Jan 11 - 16th and am SO excited to have the opportunity to try a couple of places for Restaurant Week. I'm staying at the Palomar in Dupont Circle, but am familiar enough with the city to be comfortable with the Metro. How are my choices so far? Both Oya and Dino are doing Restaurant Month, so that's why I booked them before the 14th.

Friday night - Oya at 9:30 because I don't get in until 7:00

Saturday night - Dino at 8:00 - I figured a nice glass of wine, some cheese and pasta would really hit the spot after a long day exhibiting at a conference!

Monday night - Corduroy at 10:00 (the only time available) - is it still worth it? Everyone raves about RW here, but if there is a decent option earlier, I'm open!

Tuesday night - Tosca, again a late reservation at 9:00 - so the same question as for Corduroy.

Thanks DC hounds - I promise to report back!


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  1. I think you made 4 solid choices---all different vibes, cuisines, and locations. I haven't been to Corduroy or Tosca but have heard excellent things, especially for Restaurant Week. I have my reservation at Corduroy on Monday night, but earlier in the night.

    I couldn't get into Tosca.

    I think it really depends where else you can get a reservation. I've have really good experiences at TenPehn for RW and if you like steak I highly recommend Prime Rib and have heard great things about Charlie Palmer from friends who went this past summer during RW.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Elyssa

      Elyssa, did you try calling Tosca? I had resv's for this coming Friday night at 8:30 for 2...called this morning and they were able to bump it up to 4 for me. Worth a shot!

    2. I'm from Iowa so I'll come help! :)

      I've done both Corduroy and Tosca for RW and think they are great choices -- especially Tosca. Assuming they stay the same -- both had full menus with limited upcharges. I had a similar reservation at Tosca -- the 9 pm slot -- and it went really well. My boyfriend and I each had a glass of wine, and the three courses were perfectly executed and efficient -- we were out the door by 10:15 but the timing was so great that we didn't feel rushed at all. Tosca is also a good RW choice as it is normally pretty pricey!

      We also had a good experience at Corduroy but I had 2 options with upcharges (of course). I can't recall the dessert that everyone raved about but they were out by the time we were there, which was the only disappointment.

      (Just a note -- watch out for the "scene" at Oya--its not my favorite in the neighborhood because I always end up feeling a little out of place. But, since its open late, its probably one of your better options)

      7 Replies
      1. re: DCLindsey

        Thanks much to both of you! I'm most concerned about the lateness of the Corduroy reservation, and am debating a switch to TenPenh (it's one of the places we've always wanted to try) which has a much more reasonable 8:30 reservation available.

        I do love a good steak, but that's one thing we do fairly well here in the Midwest (but Charlie Palmer's menu looks good and simple!).

        And Lindsey - could you elaborate a little more on the Oya scene? I'll be heading over after a long series of flights (as you know, you can't fly direct to anywhere from Iowa) and will be by myself - the last thing I want is to feel like the frumpy Midwesterner! LOL

        1. re: iowagirl

          Oya is very trendy. It almost feels like the icy cave in the Superman movies with a wall of fire...but in a cool way. But certainly not a laid back, traditional vibe.

          That being said I really enjoyed my meal there when I went this past summer. They had their "Anniversary Special" which was basically an extended RW special. I had a delicious fish dish, a really good sushi appetizer (which surprised me because I am often times weary of sushi in non-Japanese/sushi establishments) and a nice sorbet. The service was friendly and the vibe was certainly something different for me and I enjoyed it.

          It adds a little something different then what you have in the rest of your group of restaurants.

          While I've never had RW there, I've heard good things, you might want to try PS7 instead. It's still pretty chic and trendy but in a much more relaxing and comfortable way. Beautiful space with a fun, inventive menu.

          Finally a place that has consistently been delicious, Restaurant Week or otherwise, is Butterfield 9. This is much more subdued and relaxing and cozy...not trendy at all but certainly not stuffy. It might be my choice after a long plane ride since I know I am going to be taken care of and treated to a lovely meal.

          1. re: iowagirl

            I have loved TenPenh regularly and for Restaurant Week it continued to be really good I would look at the menu it is a lot of fish and some spice, I also though really enjoy Corduory for RW, but at 10:00 I would be grumbly and hungry and would not enjoy a meal.

          2. re: DCLindsey

            We had a similar experience at Corduroy during RW last winter--they ran out of the dessert we wanted. And we had an earlier reservation (7 or 7:30) so this was inexcusable. Nonetheless, we're giving it another chance this time around...

            1. re: KWynn

              Thanks so much, everyone. I'm going to go ahead and stick with Oya for Friday night (mostly due to the fact that they're doing RW for the whole month - I work for a university, so the more deals, the better!) I also went ahead and booked Butterfield 9 on Sunday - according to their website, RW started the 7th, so it's a perfect opportunity to give it a try.

              So now I have:

              Butterfield 9
              ???? (I decided that Corduroy at 10:00 just wasn't smart)

              I'm going to make good use of my 5 nights and promise a trip report!

              Thanks again!


              1. re: iowagirl

                Ceiba and DC Coast have 9 pm reservations on Monday available. (Have you looked at to make reservations? - it lets you easily search and "stalk" places to see if anything comes available). I've been to DC Coast during non-RW and had a great time. As you are from Iowa, the seafood may be a wecome change.

                If you did use opentable to book Corduroy, I suggest giving them a call. I've asked places how to get RW reservations and some have indicated that they save spots for call ins. Or maybe you could sweet talk your way into an earlier one.. :


                A totally different approach would be to pick a non-RW place, as its a lot less likely to be packed. RW isn't always a great value, so you still get a good meal without blowing the bank. For example, Hook isn't doing RW for dinner so will be less crowded.

                Another comment: I don't know how Oya would be by yourself. Its "clubby" enough that I don't think of it when I think of a place to out grab something by myself. (the people watch is typically good though!) Elyssa or someone else may know better than I -- is there a dress code/line later in the evening? I've walked by and there has been a bouncer-type outside.

                There are a lot of places near where you are staying that I've been to by myself comfortably. One that pops into my mind is Montsouris, virtually across the street, which is French-bistro. It doesn't get the stunning reviews of some of the other DC area bistros, but it would be super close to the Palomar, and would simplify your evening.

                1. re: DCLindsey

                  Thanks, Lindsey - I've actually used Opentable for all of my reservations so far. (love that service!) I was actually considering Ceiba as it's always intrigued me. I may just go ahead and grab that 9:00 res.

                  Sounds to me like Oya might be too much for me on Friday night - I love the idea of something close to the Palomar and a bistro type vibe would be much more my style.