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RW DC 2009

It's 2/16-2/22 and the open table is open for reservations. In my quick perusal I'm not finding any great deals. $35.09 for three course prix fixe dinner is about the same as many offer year round in pre-event and earlybird diiners.

What have you found that lights your fire?

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  1. There's a mistake on the list. Both The Oval Room and its sibling Rasika are listed as participating in the promotion for lunch only. No so. Both restaurants are under the same management and said folks supplied the wrong information to the RW organization. In fact, they'll be participating for both lunch and dinner. (They have not made a decision about extending their RW menu for an additional week. They did so at the last Winter RW, but did not do so for the more recent Summer RW.)

    Incidentally, I'm not management, but I learned this after having conversations with management.

    1. I'm probably going to try Equinox. It's one of my favorite restaurants and I can rarely afford it, so regardless of what's on the menu I'm sure it will be delicious and a great deal.

      I also made a reservation at D'Aqua. I've never been and I'll give it a try depending on what's on the RW menu.

      1. Very excited to try Vidalia. Don't think we could ordinarily afford it. Also are doing Tallula but don't know if that's anything special of a deal.

        2 Replies
        1. re: littlew1ng

          Tried Vidalia's tasting menu at lunch last week - app, ent, dess= 20.00. It was great. Also had a mint julep. Going back as soon as I can. Our waiter, Moses, provided exceptional service even though we were not eating at full price.

          1. re: littlew1ng

            I tried Vidalia last year at dinner for Restaurant week and was really not that impressed. Most of their "famed" items were an upcharge which was a little disappointing (I would think that most restaurants would want to show off their hit items in order to bring more patrons)..for me it wasn't memorable

          2. We are going to Charlie Palmer. I've heard Farrah Olivia is great for RW.

            1. I've done DC Coast, Rasika, Dino, Sushi Ko and Ruth's Chris and I enjoyed all of them. This time I'm booking DC Coast, Passionfish and Equinox. I mean, even Obama has been to Equinox!

              7 Replies
              1. re: xpatticakesx

                If you haven't been to Ruth's Chris before, go. It's excellent.

                1. re: Gigi007

                  I booked at Adour. However, on Friday when I booked, there were still lots of openings. Is there something I am missing about their potential for RW?

                  1. re: daves_32

                    You haven't indicated whether you'll be eating lunch or dinner. Unless you know something we don't know, Adour is not listed as particpating in Winter RW at dinner. Suggest you check the list of participating restaurants for RW before making an expensive mistake. There's a link within Open Table to the list of RW participants.

                    1. re: Indy 67

                      Well, I THOUGHT I was eating dinner. I was looking at the Washington Restaurants website and missed the lunch only designation. oops! They don't have any lunch availability. Thanks for the clarification! My friend has a Taberna reservation for that night anyways.

                      1. re: daves_32

                        Don't go to Taberna for RW. It notoriously gets horrible reviews during Restaurant Week. I love the restaurant very much but have never eaten there during RW since I've heard that they really drop the ball. They only offer 2 options in each category and quality and service seriously declines for some reason during that week.

                        Do yourself a favor and go the following week during the tapas happy hour.

                        1. re: Elyssa

                          I actually went to Taberna, by accident, for last summer's RW (without a reservation; as I said, it was by accident) -- and found it really good. At first I was upset to find myself there, if we'd planned I'd have gone somewhere else, so it was a very nice surprise.

                          Service was great. There certainly was a limited menu, but it was more than two choices (there were three of us and we each got different things). I've only been there for tapas happy hour, so I can't compare with their normal dinner menu, but for me it was nice to try different dishes, and we all enjoyed what we ordered very much. (What I really remember was the gazpacho.)

                          I don't have much RW experience, and I'm sure there better RW choices. I'm not saying that I'd recommend it over someplace else -- but it turned out very well for us, so I wouldn't warn anyone away from it, if it's where they want to go. And since it has a bad reputation, it might be less of a zoo than other places....

                          1. re: mselectra

                            Perhaps they have reformed their ways :)

              2. i just made dinner reservations to Rasika and lunch reservations at Taberna del Alabardero... I hope it turns out well

                1. Anyone care to update this with the Best/Worst list -- factoring in 2008 experiences? (The last Best/Worst list was posted prior to the Winter '08 RW list, afaik)

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: beema

                    I really enjoyed 1789 last year. For me, I really enjoyed the restaurants that didn't limit your choices. 1789 was one of them. The ambiance was really nice and the waiter was attentive yet not smothering. Not only that..the food was outstanding. I also really like Tosca Ristorante--same deal. You could pick anything on the menu.
                    Really didn't care for Vidalia. Was actually disappointed since it was my first stop during restaurant week--and the upcharges for their " hit" items. Ruth Chris' was a great deal. The usually great steak and sides. Dessert was limited..but who really goes for the dessert after a steak dinner. Lastly I went to Ceiba--which again--open menu was excellent. If you like Red Snapper,...their whole Red Snapper dish is excellent. This year I'm going all out all week..can anyone give me thumbs up or down on the following?:
                    Farrah Olivia, Equinox, Capital Grille, Grille at the Morrison House, Taberna del Alabardero, Black Salt, The Prime Rib, Cafe Atlantico
                    Lastly..anyone has any experience with Corduroy?

                    1. re: saelufoodie

                      The Prime Rib is delicious during RW. If you liked 1789 and Ruth Chris I think you will really like Prime Rib.

                      I'm interested in hearing about Equinox for RW as well since that is where I am going.

                      Is Corduroy participating in RW this year? I thought I didn't see it on the list for some reason.

                      1. re: saelufoodie

                        I totally agree with your assessment of Ruth's Chris. Consistently great deal for RW. Regarding the other restaurants you mentioned, Equinox gets a thumb up. I've also heard good things about the Prime Rib, and hope to go there for RW too. I don't recommend going to Taberna for RW. Not really a great deal, and people I know who went last year were disappointed.

                        1. re: Gigi007

                          For Equinox, how many options do they give you for each course? Someone told me they thought it was only 2 choices in years past. I personally don't mind since it is one of my favorite restaurants and I usually can't afford it. But I'm going with a friend and we usually try to go to restaurants during RW that have multiple choices. (We like the variety :) )

                          1. re: Elyssa

                            Hi Elyssa, just saw your post. I can't recall exactly how many options there were for RW courses last year (the thing is I've been to Equinox 2 or 3 times since...). I tend to think it was 3, but it might have been 2 for the appetizers/desserts. Anyway, I do recall that it was an excellent experience and don't recall the RW meal being any different from other occasions.

                            1. re: Gigi007

                              Good to know. I sent them an email asking about the menu but have yet to hear back.

                              I'm excited to dine there...it's been about 2 years since my last meal there.

                    2. I enjoyed Vermilion's Winter RW meal very much. B. Smith was OK, Extra Virgin in Shirlington was pleasant, Rasika was great. So far I am going to Taberna (though you are scaring me with that one!) for lunch and Vermilion for dinner this time

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: maoj

                        Cancelled Taberna (due to Pentagon Metro closing yesterday) and went to Willow instead. It was great. Several choices per course, everything we tried was excellent. The artichoke bisque appetizer was yummy, and my husband loved the lamb burger, but in the end it was the cake that stole the show. Red Velvet was the cake of the day and I have never had better.

                      2. We're doing TenPenh again, after a nice experience there for a previous RW. I usually try to go somewhere new, but none of the places I haven't tried yet really appealed to me (or have a bad RW reputation).

                        We also liked Farrah Olivia for RW last year.

                        1. So we are no longer going to Charlie Palmer because we had to change our reservation from Saturday to Friday due to a prior commitment and CP had no availability on Friday. We usually try to go somewhere new, as well as somewhere that we wouldn't usually go to. So based on those factors, we chose the Oval Room. Their RW menu looks great and offers 4-5 choices for each course. Anyone familiar with Oval Room during RW?

                          I really wanted to try Farrah Olivia but they had no availability :-(

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: joann.hill12

                            You should try CP for lunch if you can. I hear great things about their RW menu. I'm going to try to eat at their bar for lunch during Restaurant Week if I have a meeting up on the Hill and am nearby.

                            Anyone have experience trying to get a seat at the bar during RW?

                            1. re: Elyssa

                              I have done the bar at Vidalia for lunch during the RW last summer. It was great and since I was alone, it was a perfect situation!

                              1. re: Elyssa

                                Thanks Elyssa. Unfortunately can't do lunch at all and my husband does not want to do a weeknight so our option is only Friday night....therefore, the Oval Room. I'll have to post a review...
                                Will def try CP in August!

                                1. re: joann.hill12

                                  I've booked Ruth's Chris based on past years' fabulous experiences during RW. I'm also going to give the Tabard Inn a try for RW; I haven't been there for RW before, but have gone for brunch. I love the atmosphere and the food. Has anyone experienced Georgia Brown or The Prime Rib for RW?

                                  1. re: Gigi007

                                    I haven't been for RW, but I've been to Georgia Brown's and all of us just thought it was ok. I think it's a bit overrated. If you want good southern food, both Acadiana and Vidalia are participating in RW. Not sure if either still has availability...and if you're choosing between the two of them, I would go with Acadiana.

                                    1. re: joann.hill12

                                      I agree Georgia Brown's is overrated-and a bit too institutional for me (lacking in character.) But ok place.

                                    2. re: Gigi007

                                      I went to the Prime Rib for RW for lunch 2 years ago. It was awesome! It was my first time there. I don't normally order prime rib, but their version was delicious. The service was good as well. It's a fun place to go because it's so old-school DC.

                                      I didn't go to Georgia Brown's during RW but I went during Dine Out For Life which is similar. The food was good (I always think the food is good there) but the place was packed and VERY loud. My bf and I were practically shouting at each other.

                                      1. re: Elyssa

                                        Thanks everyone for the feedback on Georgia Brown's and the Prime Rib.

                                        I think I'm going to pass on Georgia Brown's for RW. I am thinking about making a lunch reservation at the Prime Rib. Right now I've already booked Ruth's Chris and the Tabard Inn for dinner. I guess I can eat meat a few times a week and will survive.

                                2. re: joann.hill12

                                  I tried the Oval Room for RW two winters ago and have to say I was underwhelmed. While all the food we had tasted excellent, the portions were VERY tiny. (Perhaps they're always that way?) But I think the relatively snooty service bothered me more than the food. While I admit RW allows us "commoners" access to spots we might not normally try, several of the waiters made it clear that my friend and I (in our late 20's) didn't make their cut. As far as food taste though, it was a treat.

                                  1. re: ainara

                                    Hmmm...thanks for the feedback ainara. I think we're going to stick with the Oval Room since the places available that we want to go to are limited. I'll make sure to report back...hopefully the snooty service has been addressed since then!! (And let's hope the portions have gotten bigger since then!) :-)

                                3. We have reservations to PS7. Does anyone have any opinions on their offerings?

                                  No restaurant week menus on their website.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: DCNatFan

                                    IMO PS7s offers one of the best restaurant week menus around. It is pretty much their entire normal menu. Also, the quality of both food and service are unchanged during RW, which is sometimes difficult to find.

                                    1. re: dcfoodie13

                                      I 110% agree with DCFoodie on this one. I went to PS7 for Restaurant Week last summer and had not only an incredible meal but top-notch service. They really know how to do RW right. They had normal size portions, a full menu, drink specials, and the manager even stopped by our table to see how things were going. I have been to PS7 multiple times for regular service and could see no difference between what they were doing during RW and the rest of the year---a great sign.

                                      This is one of the many reasons why they are one of my new favorite restaurants in DC.

                                      1. re: Elyssa

                                        Also, they're extending RW by a week...the offer is available through Feb 28. I'm on their email list and saw this a few weeks ago so snagged a reservation for the second week.