There's always an occasion to splurge in the District, whether it's a promotion, political victory or just another ring on the birthday tree. While it's not hard to find a table with a white tablecloth and spoonful of caviar, what if you want to spoil yourself more often? Twelve of D.C.'s most luxurious restaurants have specials that make it possible to enjoy them for a little less. Hint hint: get ready to dine on Sundays.
Equinox Restaurant's Sunday Adventure Series
On Sundays, Equinox Chef/Owner Todd Gray lets his chef de cuisine, Colin McClimans step up to the plate. The "Sunday Adventure Series," allows McClimans to show of his creative side with super seasonal ingredients and experimental fare. Past dishes have included "everything spiced" lamb carpaccio; panko-crusted potato croquettes with brined pork loin; and a tres leches and vanilla ice cream sandwich. The five-course meal costs $45, with optional wine pairings ($25) or cocktail pairings ($30).
Fiola's Sunday Speakeasy & Jazz
Fiola now serves Sunday dinner (4-9 p.m.) and the result is a steal. The so called, "Sunday Speakeasy and Jazz" menu offers diners two courses plus dessert for $58 or three courses plus dessert for $72. The options span signature dishes like artfully presented tuna tartare, to new dishes such as ossobuco tortellini and spring nettle gnocchi with dorade. It gets better ... live jazz plays in the background and select bottles of wine are half off. Those craving a cocktail to wind down the week should consider one of the "prescriptions," from Luca Giovannini.
2941 Restaurant's Date Night Deal
The pearl of Fall Church dining rewards canoodling couples at week's end with a "date night" deal. Parties of two who dine on Thursday or Friday evenings receive a discount on 2941 Restaurant's five-course tasting menu ($65 instead of $75) and wine pairings ($45 instead of $60). Spring menu highlights include white asparagus velouté with sweet crab; goat cheese risotto with braised octopus; branzino with caponata; and coconut tres leches.
The Source's Happy Hour & Dumpling Mondays
As a part of its major design facelift and refresh, The Source upped its game at the bar making the lounge the perfect locale to try Chef Scott Drewno's fare for less. During Tues-Fri happy hour (4-7 p.m.) you can choose any three dishes from a comprehensive menu for $30. Picks include five of the restaurant's signature dumplings, five wok dishes like XO garlic noodles, and four "first of spring" dishes like fried cumin scented lamb dumplings with asparagus and mint yogurt. Also, visit on Mondays when dumplings are $5 all day.
The Riggsby's Half Price Champagne Brunch
What's brunch without bubbles? The Riggsby's deal is so sweet; you won't even need orange juice. Every bottle of sparkling is half off during D.C.'s favorite meal. Sipping Delamotte Brut Le Mesnil for $47.50 or Schramsburg Blanc de Blanc for $37.50 is a special kind of steal that can brighten any Saturday or Sunday. You'll pair your reduced bubbles with dishes like Maryland lump crabmeat hash & poached eggs or steak frites.
Iron Gate's Family Table Feasts
The price is right Sundays and Mondays at Iron Gate when Chef Tony Chittum dreams up family-style dinners showcasing meat and produce from local farms. The three-course "family table" feasts change weekly, but always start with seasonal snacks before moving onto a spread including pasta and a grilled protein with sides. Dessert caps things off. As an added bonus, bottles of Iron Gate's house red and white wines from Greece are available for $25. Call for reservations, 202-524-5202.
Del Campo's Traditional Asado
Reading over Del Campo's menu, you'll likely be struck with a severe case of entrée FOMO (fear of missing out). Choosing between 13 "from the grill" selections is tough. Consider the restaurant's traditional asado menu a panacea. Not only does the pre-set meal (available nightly) help you experience more of Del Campo in one visit, but it also won't shake down your wallet. For $45 per person, you'll start with a salad, plus warm and gooey Provoleta cheese before the main event -- a board containing short ribs, flank steak, chorizo, grilled sweetbreads or chicken, grilled greens and dipping sauces.
Sushi Taro's Happy Hour
This Dupont Circle Japanese authority can transport you with ease to Tokyo, but it can also catapult your bill into the triple digits for caught-yesterday sushi. Visit for happy hour at the 11-seat bar Mon-Friday (5:30-7 p.m.) for an all access pass to the ocean when sushi, sake and beer is half off, save for the occasional exotic urchin. That means warm, savory eel nigiri, a spider roll exploding with soft shell crab and all the spicy tuna you can stomach. The secret about Sushi Taro's happy hour is out, meaning a line typically forms around 4:45pm.
Marcel's Pre-Theatre Menu
Love fine dining? Love theatre just as much? Marcel's by Robert Wiedmaier has the crown jewel of pre-theatre menus because not only will you feel fawned over and enjoy three-courses for $70, but the restaurant tosses in free transportation to the Kennedy Center for your show. The menu, available from 5-6:30pm, includes dishes like smoked salmon carpaccio, roasted Berkshire pork loin and a melting hot chocolate cake. Call in advance to reserve your theatre shuttle, 202-296-1166.
Bourbon Steak's Business Over Burgers
The dining room at Bourbon Steak in the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C. is worthy of almost every special occasion from a promotion to making it to Friday. But, when you want to sink your teeth into a beefy deal, there's "Business Over Burgers" at the bar. Choose a juicy, fine-dining-in-disguise burger, plus an accompaniment like duck fat fries or market greens and non-alcoholic drink for $22. Ask for details about the burger of the month that's when Chef Joe Palma shows off. Try it Mon-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Restaurant Eve's Lunch Specials
Visit Old Town, Alexandria's most enchanting restaurant by day and find two rewards: The "Lickity Split" lunch available in the lounge and the "Green Garden" lunch for dining room guests. Both tender a chance to enjoy Restaurant Eve for a little less. The lounge option ($14.98) offered Mon-Fri (11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) asks you to choose between any two selections which span cocktails, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts. Meanwhile, in the dining room take advantage of a three-course lunch ($28) enhanced by herbs and produce fresh from the restaurant's lush garden, from Mon-Fri, 11:30a.m.-1:30 pm.
The Jefferson Hotel's Sunday Supper.
Settle into Quill at The Jefferson on Sunday nights for a three-course dinner with wine pairings for $35 per person. The chef announces the evening's menu each Sunday on Facebook based on what's in season. A recent menu included English bean and leek velouté, fettuccine with rabbit ragu and a chocolate caramel tarte. It helps that the bar is one of the most stunning spaces in the city, especially when the patio's in play.