Politics, politics, politics. Living in a city like DC, the country’s current focus can be nearly impossible to escape. But fear not, Capital dwellers! Coming in hot post-inauguration is something likely cooked to perfection that can help you escape the he-said, she-said madness. It’s Winter Restaurant Week!
Restaurant Week happens twice a year in the District, with more than 250 of DC’s best restaurants offering 3-course brunches, lunches, and dinners for a steal. 3-course lunches and/or brunches will set you back $22, with 3-course dinners costing $35. Stop reading and hand over all your money now, it might just be easier.
Seriously though, Restaurant Week is one of the best if not THE best way to explore food options that you might normally deem as too fancy or out of your price range. So, break out your fanciest stretchy pants (is there such a thing?), forget your New Years resolutions (for now), and get ready to indulge, DC style.
Here are some highlights of where you could find yourself and what you might be eating.
Casa Luca: A warm Italian restaurant located in downtown DC. Featuring handmade pasta and intricate wine pairing potential, this place has been named on GQ Magazine’s “25 Best New Restaurants in America” in 2014 and on the Washingtonian’s “100 Very Best Restaurants” in 2015. What caught my eye most on the Restaurant Week menu was their main course. Grilled strip steak, blue bay mussels, made-from-scratch spaghetti. How do you choose?
Bar Pilar: A gastronomic style eatery situated in DC’s 14th street corridor – Bar Pilar has earned rave reviews across Yelp, Google, Zomato, and more, and Restaurant Week might be the perfect time to investigate why. Plus bonus points because the bar is one giant nod to Ernest Hemingway and according to the website the chefs “pride themselves on only using the freshest of products from local farmers.” If you aren’t tempted yet, let them lure you with the promise of their Restaurant Week menu’s desert features. Think buttermilk pie with ginger gelato, warm apple pie with maple bourbon caramel and vanilla ice cream and/or a chocolate terrine with olive oil, sea salt, and pistachio. I’m thinking more along the lines of and.
Georgia Brown’s: The south knows how to cook, hence Georgia Brown’s draw. This upscale southern –inspired restaurant offers a “lively interpretation of South Carolina low-country cuisine.” Here, the entire special event menu screams comfort, awe, and definitely a deeper appreciation for those fancy stretchy pants I was talking about. From buttermilk fried shrimp with shirracha -thai chili mayo to country fried meatloaf to bourbon pumpkin-bread pudding, this place is no joke, y’all.
Cuba Libre: Cuba Libre has just the right amount of tropical ambiance to warm your heart (and belly) in the middle of a dreary winter. This restaurant and rum bar celebrates Cuban flavors with serious flair. For this winter’s Restaurant Week, they are offering both a dinner and brunch menu. And while everything looks amazing, the brunch menu really sold me with the Cuban bread basket for the table – “assorted homemade Latin breakfast breads, banana bread, guava cream cheese hojaldre, crispy churro, coconut-berry muffin and chocolate muffin. Mango butter, coconut-lime preserve, and guava marmalade.” Yes. Please.
Teddy & The Bully Bar: Are you really dining in DC if you aren’t someplace with a political reference tucked in for good measure? This bar pays tribute to Theodore Roosevelt with understated masculinity and simple food (a lot of which could be hunted). Their Restaurant Week deal pulls you in with enticing starters like warm roasted brie with almond butter and a grilled kale salad, all leading up to the stuff men dream of: whiskey braised short rib, Berkshire pork tenderloins, and halibut fish and chips. Making Teddy proud, no doubt…
The best part about this post is that it only scratches the surface of all the amazing places offering deals this Restaurant Week and barely touches all of the items you could eat. If you take anything away from this, though, let it be this: you are not the only one with stretchy pants in your drawer and a determination to eat all of the things. Pick your places and make reservations as soon as possible. Grub on!