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August Restaurant Week 2010

Does anyone know what the dates will be for Restaurant Week this summer?

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  1. I *think* it's the 22nd through the 28th, but don't hold me to it. All I'm basing this on is an email I received from J&G about it with the dates, and the reservation I subsequently made but then cancelled. I'm pretty sure it was for the 25th.

    Didn't find anything Googling it - there is surprisingly little hype this time around, no? If Kushi and/or Againn are participating, I may try to go back there. Or Estadio, since it just opened. Otherwise, I've come around to everyone else's thinking about restaurant week - it's a little overhyped.

      1. re: MakingSense

        Bethesda Chevy Chase Restaurant Week
        July 23 - Aug. 1

        http://www.bethesda.org/bethesda/beth...

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        Chevy Chase
        6200 Chevy Chase Dr, Laurel, MD 20707

        1. re: MoCoMe

          Is there any restaurant worth going to for B-CC restaurant week (where a $30 dinner is something out of the ordinary)?

          1. re: Doh

            Most of the deals even in DC really don't amount to much - at best maybe the equivalent of a free dessert. That's usually about all you get for being treated disdainfully by the help. (Which I really don't get - isn't the whole idea to attract new customers rather than alienate them?)
            I would expect Persimmon, Mortons, Tragara and perhaps even La Ferme are likely to be deals compared to their usual menu depending on the specific RW menu and your tastes. (For me, at least the first two are worth consideration.)
            Yes, Mortons is a chain, but a pretty good one if you like steak. Persimmon already offers a $30 three course dinner Sun-Wed, 5-6 pm, entire menu included. A good deal. You can already get deals at others as well at least this summer: For example, a $29 3 course dinner and glass of wine at Le Vieux or a $29 five course dinner at Chef Tonys (I have never been at either but how much of a risk can they be?)

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            Tragara
            4935 Cordell Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

            La Ferme
            7101 Brookville road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815

        2. re: MakingSense

          Now that we have dueling dates for DC Restaurant Week, can anyone chime in to nail down the dates? We know why Raids thinks his/her dates are correct. MakingSense, how did you learn about your dates?

          1. re: MakingSense

            MakingSense where did you get these dates from?

            1. re: Elyssa

              Those were the original dates for DC Beer Week. Got an email this week changing the dates for Beer Week so that it didn't conflict with DC Restaurant Week which has now been scheduled for 8/16 - 8/21.
              Gotta admit that I'm surprised that the Restaurant Association is late this year coming out with the dates. I don't work with them so have no way of knowing why the delay. It will be OK since everyone loves this event.

              DC Beer Week will be 8/22 - 8/28 with food and craft beer events all over the city. So you get two weeks of fun and great meals.

              1. re: MakingSense

                I imagine they should be announcing the dates soon, since we are basically a month out at this point.

                1. re: Elyssa

                  My guess? They usually do full page ads in local papers so they're rolling the entire thing out at once rather than in dribs and drabs. Announcing just the date at this point won't do them much good - doesn't say anything much - and will take the attention off the big announcement of the participating restaurants.

          2. Any links for participating venues?

              1. The official dates and participants have been announced: http://washington.org/restaurantwk/

                Fire up OpenTable NOW! :)

                22 Replies
                1. re: Elyssa

                  Thanks for confirming the dates! I'm looking at J & G for dinner on Sat. and then Blue Duck tavern for lunch on Sunday (although I know myself and will probably just end up ordering brunch off the normal menu). Thanks!

                  1. re: mjhals

                    I went to J & G this past winter for Restaurant Week and we had a wonderful meal. I couldn't normally afford the meal I ordered but at RW prices it was perfect. The steak was delicious, the cocktails were fun and the service was top notch. I highly recommend it.

                    Afterward make sure to head up to the POV bar on the roof for an after dinner cocktail and the best view of the city.

                    1. re: Elyssa

                      Glad to hear it; I booked J&G for RW this year. It's such a great restaurant normally and it's nice to know they don't throw in the towel for restaurant week.

                    2. re: mjhals

                      Hmmm, just got a call from BDT that they're not participating in RW on the 22nd, so I'm going to cancel that reservations. J&G on Saturday night and then BDT the next day may have been a little much anyway. Unfortunately just got a voicemail, so I couldn't ask why they're excluding one day of the week.

                      1. re: mjhals

                        Well if it is a Sunday they are only doing "Lunch" so that might qualify as "Brunch".

                      2. re: mjhals

                        I believe Blue Duck Tavern is only participating in Restaurant Week, Monday - Friday. Regular brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday.

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                        Blue Duck Tavern
                        1201 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

                      3. re: Elyssa

                        Okay, this time I'm booking Birch & Barley for a weeknight dinner, J&G for Friday lunch, and RIS for Saturday night dinner. I'm so glad she decided to participate! I feel like brand new restaurants still try for restaurant week.

                        Rasika was pretty much completely booked already, naturally.

                        1. re: Raids

                          I'm sticking to lunch reservations this year. Ever since the price for dinner creeped up to $35 I find that it ends up being expensive to go to more than 1 dinner during the week.

                          I have made reservations at Bibiana, Oval Room, and Zola. Has anyone been to any of these restaurants for Restaurant Week? Any thoughts on these 3 restaurants?

                          I went to Bibiana in March and LOVED my meal there, so I thought it would be nice to try it again at a more affordable price. The Oval Room is one of those places that I haven't been but always mean to try out. And Zola is a restaurant I haven't been to in a looong time but always enjoyed it.

                          I was hoping to get to Kellari since they are right across from my office and is usually considered an expense account restaurant. Unfortunately they are only offering dinner this year.

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                          Bibiana
                          1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

                          1. re: Elyssa

                            Just went to Bibiana a few weeks ago and they have a pre-theater menu (3 courses) for $30 which is an excellent deal.

                            We had a stellar meal there and I still think about the salted caramel gelato.

                            -----
                            Bibiana
                            1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

                            1. re: Jeserf

                              the Bibiana menu looks pretty boring - the pre-theater one is better. Ugh. We have accidental reservations at rasika. Anyone know if we can eat off the regular menu there during RW or should I cancel them? (we eat vegetarian, so our dinners there are usually the same price as RW or less)

                              -----
                              Bibiana
                              1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

                              1. re: Jeserf

                                I would call to make sure they will have the regular menu before heading over there.

                                1. re: Elyssa

                                  yeah, I'm going to wait to see what is posted. Otherwise, I'll cancel the reservation.

                                  1. re: Jeserf

                                    I just saw the Coco Sala menu and it looked pretty veggie friendly.

                                    1. re: Jeserf

                                      Some colleagues and I hit Rasika for RW. The entire menu was also available.

                                      This was my first time dining at Rasika, and I thought the food was very good. The highly touted crispy spinach lived up to expectations, and the breads were great. Even dessert -- I got the carrot halwa -- which I rarely bother with at Indian restaurants, was good.

                                      -----
                                      Rasika Restaurant
                                      633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

                                  2. re: Jeserf

                                    See I thought the Bibiana menu looked great...especially because there are so many items that are normally on the regular menu on the RW menu. I don't like when restaurant clearly create a whole new menu with cheaper cuts of meat etc just for RW. If at all possible, I like getting a taste of what a restaurant normally offers, just for a more affordable price.

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                                    Bibiana
                                    1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

                                2. re: Elyssa

                                  We had Bibiana reserved on Tuesday at 8, but just had to cancel due to a rained out softball game make-up, if anyone is interested (table for 2). Replacing it with Siroc on Thursday, their RW menu looks great (I love their poached pear for dessert and it's on the menu).

                                  -----
                                  Siroc Restaurant
                                  915 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

                                  Bibiana
                                  1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

                                  1. re: mjhals

                                    Just got back from Siroc (had to re-reschedule), and I cannot recommend it highly enough! Seriously, their pastas never disappoint, and tonight was no different even though they were pretty bustling with the RW crowds. I had the crab cake to start, which was good, and a small enough portion that you won't be too full to enjoy the rest of the meal. Husband had the potato torte which I preferred slightly over the crab cake- it just had amazing flavor and richness. I had the lobster stuffed rigatoni which was absolutely amazing, I'm already thinking about when I can go back and have it again. Good sized portion of rigatoni stuffed with chunks of very fresh, very sweet lobster meat and a little fennel. Finished with a very light and smooth (not thick) tomato sauce (with a little cream?) Really excellent dish. Husband had braised short rib agnolotti, which was excellent as well, would have paired so well with a hearty red wine (he prefers beer). And I love their poached pear for dessert. Service was excellent, on pair with their normal service, even though they were extremely busy with RW, Highly recommend for RW and beyond that, I think it's some of the best Italian in the city right now.

                                    -----
                                    Siroc Restaurant
                                    915 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

                                    1. re: mjhals

                                      Did the lobster dish have an up-charge?

                                      1. re: Elyssa

                                        No upcharge for the lobster rigatoni, it's not big chunks of lobster, more like ravioli filling. I think Siro is pretty reasonably priced, so it's one of the places that isn't a huge bargain for RW (but for the quality I'd say it certainly is for the remainder of the year).

                                        Has anyone been to J and G Steakhouse this year for RW? They don't have their menu posted, so I'm curious what they're offering. They have their pre-theater menu posted, I'm wondering if it will be the same. The starters don't look too interesting to me (pea soup or watermelon/feta salad) for their pre-theater.

                                        1. re: mjhals

                                          I went to J & G Steakhouse for RW this past winter and thought it was great! I had a wonderful filet with a great dipping sauce. I thought the food and service was very good---and clearly it was a deal.

                                          1. re: mjhals

                                            J&G has a menu posted; there's a link to it on the front page. I've got reservations on Saturday. Hopefully it's as good as when we went last year for my birthday.

                                            1. re: reiflame

                                              Just got back from J&G; while the menu wasn't exactly the most enticing, every course was well executed, tasted great and the service was very nice.

                                              Glad to see they put a good foot forward for RW - they're such an amazing place regularly that it would be a shame to see them phone it in for RW.

                              2. And for those of you looking for menu's, my friend Lisa's blog has been a pretty good job on getting these up as they are posted on restaurant's websites: http://diningindc.net/favs/restaurant....

                                I know DCFoodies.com also usually compiles a list of menus.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: Elyssa

                                  Like I said, it usually equates to a limited menu and at best a free dessert. Big deal.
                                  The pre-theatre menus at Tosca, Poste, Marcel's, etc. are generally somewhat better deals. (For example, Poste's pre-theatre menu looks similar but better than their RW menu - many more dessert selections and no added charge for salmon.)

                                  1. re: Elyssa

                                    Elyssa - Ooh, thanks for the post and I like your friend's blog, but Zentan? *Really*? I used to go there all the time because it was practically next door to my old apartment, but I would never have put it in that company. I've had some great cocktails there before, but I've also had salmon nigiri that tasted like bologna. Seriously. It's just really hit or miss. And I've never had a entree that wasn't sushi that I or anyone else at my table would have ever ordered again. But I do like the atmosphere. I just can't imagine going out of your way to go there.

                                    1. re: Raids

                                      I personally wouldn't recommend Zentan for RW. I went last year and we had a major service glitch that was a nightmare to work out. But besides that my main course didn't come with any sides...it was just sliced steak on a plate and that's it. After asking the waiter about any sides and clearly coming across as disappointed she brought by some rice...big deal!

                                      I like Zentan but I liked it more when I could pick and choose small plates to share with my dining companion. Not for RW.

                                      And for the record I was just recommending those websites based on the fact that they were posting menus...not based on their opinions persay. On my blog I have occassionally done write ups of my RW experience (which you can also find on past posts on Chow hound). Here's a link to last summer: http://statedinner.wordpress.com/2009...

                                      1. re: Elyssa

                                        I've booked Adour and J&G - should I change Adour to something else? I've never been to these 2 places. Went to Tosca and Rasika in Jan.

                                        -----
                                        Rasika Restaurant
                                        633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

                                        1. re: MoCoMe

                                          Adour is good; the food is very restrained (but executed very well) and they don't serve enormous portions, but it's one of the few excellent deals during RW since their normal menu is so expensive.

                                      2. re: Raids

                                        I just wanted to mention that it appears that Zentan has added sides to their Restaurant Week menu this year. So instead of just getting served sliced steak, like I was last year, the steak is now served with mashed potatoes and hazelnuts. Seems like they are building upon last year's advice and improving on their menu: http://diningindc.files.wordpress.com...

                                        Although I should note that the whole fish doesn't appear to have a side. Hopefully it comes with some rice or at least a piece of broccoli.

                                    2. Got a lunch reservation for Blue Duck Tavern for RW, and was wondering if they had ever done RW before?

                                      -----
                                      Blue Duck Tavern
                                      1201 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

                                      1. I've had mixed experiences w/ RW in the past, but I think I'm going to give it another go this year, probably for lunch, and probably something seafoody. Any suggestions for places to go based on past RW experiences? My initial shortlist based on who specializes in fish and is doing lunch is: Hook, Grillfish, DC Coast, Sea Catch, PassionFish, M&S, Legal, Johnny's Half Shell, and BlackSalt. Do any have a good history at RW? Am I missing some place w/ a good RW seafood option? Places that don't upcharge for seafood would be preferred.

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                                        Grillfish
                                        1200 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036

                                        Johnny's Half Shell
                                        400 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

                                        DC Coast Restaurant
                                        1401 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

                                        BlackSalt
                                        4883 MacArthur Blvd., Washington, DC 20007

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sweth

                                          Zaytinya had scallops, salmon and shrimp on the RW menu tonight. My husband, who appreciates good fish, was very happy with all three.

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                                          Zaytinya
                                          701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

                                        2. Againn is extending their Restaurant Week menu through next week. I was thinking about checking out sometime next week for lunch. Has anyone been for RW yet? Thoughts?

                                          I've never been to Againn so I thought this would be a good way to check out their menu. The Restaurant Week menu looks good--especially the salmon appetizer and toffee dessert.

                                          Btw, had an excellent lunch at Bibiana today for RW. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite restaurants in DC. The service and food was spot on---RW didn't change a thing. Had the risotto ball appetizer for the first time---holy goodness! Crisp, creamy, delicious, with dots of peas on the inside. Very good!

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                                          Bibiana
                                          1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Elyssa

                                            we had that when we went for dinner a month or so ago and they were SO good. I used to think Lia's made the best, but am reconsidering.

                                          2. We went today to Art and Soul for the RW lunch. My biggest objection was the $4 fee for iced tea. Other than that lunch was really good. We had the Gazpacho (thin and loaded with garlic - nice lumps of crab meat) and the Ribs for the first course. The ribs were the best of these two. The ribs were very crunchy and the sauce was nice.

                                            For the Main course I had the fried chicken with mashed potatoes and sausage gravy and yes it is that good. Moist and crunchy and full of flavor. Mashed potatoes were a little creamy for my taste but were full of butter and very yummy. Not too much gravy but it didn't need it. My daughter had the blackened cat fish. It was served with config fingerling potatoes, mushrooms and pickled beans. The catfish was spicy, cooked just right, nice and moist. I didn't really like the pickled wax beans with the potatoes.

                                            Finally the dessert was small but good. We had the bread pudding and the cheesecake. Neither was "amazing" but they were both tasty.

                                            Lunch was served with a big basket of light and fluffy corn muffins. Cudo's to the cook for not adding lots of sugar to them. I hate "candied" cornbread.

                                            Art Smith himself had just arrived and was having lunch on the pooch patio. He was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. We bugged him for a picture when he got up and he was very gracious and took one with us. He also didn't rush us away chatting for a few minutes. He took a pass through the restaurant between courses and stopped at a number of tables and chatted.
                                            Other folks claimed that the service was a little anoying at times, we didn't have this issue. Our waitress did a great job.

                                            I would go again for a special deal. I don't know if I would go for a regular priced meal. The lunch fried chicken is on the menu for $16.

                                            With taxes, tags and tip it was a $64 lunch (yikes)..

                                            -----
                                            Art and Soul
                                            415 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: woot4fun

                                              Did you object to the iced tea being $4 or them charging for iced tea at all? Most restaurants don't include drinks in the deal.

                                              1. re: Elyssa

                                                I've never been there, but as an iced tea addict, a $4 iced tea would drive me nuts. Sort of like no free refills on iced tea does. Unless it's a special blend they custom make or something. But that is rare.

                                                mmm iced tea

                                                1. re: Elyssa

                                                  You nailed it.. $4 is too much for iced tea..

                                                  1. re: woot4fun

                                                    Restaurants tend to jack up the prices on drinks during RW.

                                                      1. re: fudizgud

                                                        Well clearly Art and Soul.

                                                        -----
                                                        Art and Soul
                                                        415 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001

                                              2. Half my office is out on vacation, it's August recess and our internet is down. So basically I'm thinking of taking a long, late lunch. Has anyone been to West End Bistro or Ris for Restaurant Week lunch?

                                                Can't seem to track down the West End Bistro menu...anyone have it?

                                                14 Replies
                                                1. re: Elyssa

                                                  We had dinner at Ris last night and really enjoyed it! Hubby had panzenella salad, meatloaf, and cherry eskimo pies. I had gnudi, lamb, and ice cream & cookies. Nice selection of specially priced wine for RW.

                                                  1. re: MrsWheatie

                                                    I was thinking of going just to try the meatloaf. I've been hearing incredible things about it...and I'm slightly meatloaf obsessed.

                                                      1. re: MrsWheatie

                                                        My meal at Ris was amazing!! HUGE portions (not something you always see in during Restaurant Week) and everything was delicious. I started with the gnudi which was full of flavor---tomato, ricotta, pancetta, spinach--some of my favorite things. Then I got the meatloaf, which blew me away. I'm a big fan of meatloaf. Up until recently my favorite meatloaf (besides my own: http://statedinner.wordpress.com/2010...) was at The Majestic. But Ris is now my favorite...which is convenient because it's a few blocks from my house.

                                                        I finished with the key lime tart, which was a nice finish. It was a huge lunch (I took 1/2 the meatloaf home) and left me incredibly satisfied. I'm glad I tried Ris again...I had brunch there awhile and thought it was just so-so. I'll be back for lunch or dinner again soon though.

                                                        1. re: Elyssa

                                                          Glad you liked RIS! My meal there last month was one of the best I've had so far this year - it's definitely on our regular rotation now!

                                                          -----
                                                          RIS
                                                          2275 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

                                                          1. re: reiflame

                                                            Ris is also my new favorite restaurant. I reviewed it recently on my new food blog:
                                                            http://beenthereeatenthat-foodobsesse...

                                                            I had dinner at J&G last night and thought it was just ok. Three of us had the seared halibut and we all thought it was too salty. The one person in our group who ordered the filet was quite happy, so maybe that's the way to go.
                                                            But I didn't find anything exciting about the meal, which was disappointing.

                                                            1. re: startsev

                                                              I had the halibut last night too, and mine was seasoned correctly. (I'm pretty sensitive to salt.)

                                                              1. re: reiflame

                                                                That's funny, I was at J & G last night too! Busy chow night I guess. I wasn't 100% impressed, but the decor and service were outstanding, as were some of the dishes. I had the halibut, and I thought mine was a little too salty as well, and a little overcooked, or had been sitting too long. I did absolutely love the pea soup though, so that was huge plus. I'd seen the halibut come out and it had no sides so I ordered some fries to go along with it. They were good, but not extraordinary like the ones at Central. Husband got the fillet and he wasn't that happy with it- it was really, really small, and again had been sitting too long (as had the mashed potatoes). But the warm chocolate cake was amazing. I'm torn on J & G, and kind of kicking myself for not ordering the salmon, which was not on the RW menu, but sounded really good to me. I think I would like to go back for a nonRW meal, as I did like the flavor combos with the halibut, just not the overall execution. Close call, but I'd keep it on my list, and it's in an especially convenient location if you're around the mall/White House area.

                                                                1. re: mjhals

                                                                  I went at 6 PM (which seems to be a good restaurant week strategy - the place was pretty empty) so it wasn't slammed yet, which is probably what happened with your entrees. That warm chocolate cake was great - I was really hesitant to order it because, well, warm chocolate cake, but I'm glad I did!

                                                                  The regular meal I had there was definitely better, but it also cost $300 for two people, so I'll keep J&G on my list of good RW deals.

                                                                  1. re: reiflame

                                                                    Wow, what did you order? I went with three people and ordered off the regular menu. One person ordered the Wagyu sirloin, appetizers and dessert were ordered, as well as about five cocktails, and we spent less than that.

                                                                    1. re: Raids

                                                                      We went a little nuts (birthday celebration, we tend to do that). Fois, lamb, and lots of wine.

                                                                      1. re: reiflame

                                                                        How was the wine service? I've heard they have a really well-selected wine menu - were they pretty helpful with recommendations, etc.? Is there a sommelier, etc.?

                                                                        1. re: Raids

                                                                          It's nice; not the most comprehensive list and I would've liked to have seen a few more "out there" selections for the adventurous, but overall it's pretty good. There's a good selection under $50, but it's easy to spend way more.

                                                                          I was a little disappointed in how they handled my questions the first time I went - I asked for a recommendation with the fois gras and our server obviously didn't know what he was talking about and was not gracious enough to say so. I had to insist he get someone with more knowledge to help out. This trip, I felt really bad making our not-native English (or German) speaking server say "gruner vetliner" - she really butchered it (but it still tasted great).

                                                    1. re: MrsWheatie

                                                      Also went to Ris last night and had the gnudi, lamb, and key lime pie. But the best part? The $35 wine list. Also the cocktails we had at the bar beforehand were really superb - great dark and stormy and great Hendricks, cucumber, and yuzu cocktail also.

                                                      I wish there were a few more appetizer options on the RW menu. That's my only complaint.