Summer is coming -- Summer Restaurant Week that is! From August 14-20, guests can enjoy curated menus from some of the city's hottest restaurants at a deep discount. For the uninitiated, participating restaurants typically offer three-course menus for brunch/lunch ($22) and dinner ($35) giving you an opportunity to try out new trendy spots, or old classics you haven't been to in a while, for a fraction of the cost. But with 250 restaurants across the DMV participating, choosing where to dine can be overwhelming. To help you out, we've read through hundreds of menus and hand-selected where you should be dining this RW. But be forewarned, reservations are filling up fast, so read on and get to booking!
Why: A Spanish restaurant that isn't serving tapas? Count us in! Not to mention the fact that the menu is heavily influenced by Moroccan and Portuguese flavors as well as Spain, so this really is something quite different than what we are seeing from places like Boqueria, Bodega or even Jaleo. Plus, it's one of the most talked about restaurants around town right now, so why not try it at a discount?!
What to order: Given that Arroz means "rice" in Spanish, let that be a guiding principle in your ordering. At Brunch: Herb Lebne, Moroccan Shakshuka and the Sundae; At Lunch: Little Gems, Chicken Bocadillos and the Sundae; At Dinner: Summer Vegetable Salad, Fried Cauliflower OR Hot Smoked Bone Marrow, Portuguese Tomato Rice and Chocolate Custard
What meals are they serving: Brunch, Lunch and Dinner
901 Massachusetts Ave NW
Why: First of all, let's hear it for women-run kitchens, am I right?? Beyond that, every piece of pasta that has ever come out of her kitchen has left me salivating for me. The menu changes frequently at Centrolina based on seasonal availability of ingredients, so each visit feels like a surprise is waiting.
What to order: The full RW menu has not been released yet, but a few of our favs so far are the Polpo with Charred Octopus Spiedini and Fiery Nonnata, the Raviolini with Corn, Ricotta, Pesto and Parmigiano and the Branzino Mediterranean Sea Bass with Tomatoes, Basil and Olives.
What meals are they serving: Dinner
974 Palmer Alley NW
Why: For the love of crudo, don't sleep on this glam restaurant! You'll feel like you're dining under the sea from the moment you walk in and the "feast that barely requires a kitchen," as writer Laura Hayes once called it, won't disappoint.
What to order: Conosci is serving a set four-course menu for RW. Guests will enjoy: Artic Char Sashimi with yuzu, fermented chili paste and mirco celery; American Red Snapper Ceviche with grape tomatoes and leche de tigre; Snap Pea Salad with Campari vin, walnuts, pecorino and red onion; and Risotto with Maryland Blue Crab, togarashi, uni and scallions.
What meals are they serving: Dinner
465 K St NW
Why: Convivial is offering nearly the full menu (rare for RW participants), with diners able to choose one dish from three of five categories on the menu. It might not be considered a newcomer on the dining scene anymore, but every meal I've eaten there still gets me excited!
What to order: Escargot in a Blanket; Fried Chicken Coq au Vin OR Parisian Gnocchi & Braised Lamb; and Hot Sticky Toffee Pudding
What meals are they serving: Dinner
801 O St NW
Why: Because 1. You should never turn down a chance to eat at any of Fabio Trabocchi's dining gems, 2. Where else can you enjoy a Michelin-ranked meal for $22 and 3. Sometimes a long, decadent lunch is in order! We have to admit, we like the very simplified menus being offered at both locales because usually when we dine at Trabocchi's establishments, we spend half the meal debating what to order, and then wondering if we made the right choice. With only two items in each category here, you and your dining companion can order both and share!
What to order: At Fiola: Burrata of Buffalo Mozzarella, Sardinian Ricotta Cavatelli with Baby Zucchini and Basil and Tiramisu; At Fiola Mare: Heirloom Tomato Salad, Olive-Oil Poached Branzino Filet and Blueberry Gelato
What meals are they serving: Lunch (at both)
601 Pennsylvania Ave NW / 3050 K St NW
Why: We called Honeysuckle one of our "17 essential restaurants to try in 2017" a few months ago, so if you haven't been to try it yet, now's your chance. The Southern/Nordic fusion restaurant serves up dishes as beautiful as the artwork that fills the restaurant, giving this downtown hotspot a real "rock n roll" vibe.
What to order: For Lunch: Chesapeake Sugar Toads, Pan Seared Artic Char and Peach Tart; For Dinner: Crispy Fried Smoked Lamb Shoulder, Confit Duck Leg and Blueberries and Cream. You can add a side of charred broccolini ($9) or baked mac and cheese ($11) to your meal at both lunch and dinner for an additional charge.
What meals are they serving: Lunch and Dinner
1990 M Street NW
Why: Kyirisan was one of only 19 restaurants in the District included in Michelin's 2016 Bib Gourmand list, hailed for its " hip, yet family-friendly" vibe and Tim Ma's "blend of French-tinged Asian-flavored cooking."
What to order: For Dinner: Creme Fraiche Wings with Gochujang, Oyster Sauce and Sudachi, Scallops with Coconut Risotto and Basil Ice Cream (I still have dreams about this dish a year later!) OR Duck Confit with Caramelized Brussels, Apple Cider Gastrique and Blood Orange, and Pandan Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust, Chocolate Glaze, Pandan Anglaise, Szechuan Whip Cream and Candied Hazelnut (The brunch menu has not yet been released)
What meals are they serving: Brunch and Dinner
1924 8th St NW
Why: We always love a newcomer and Ladurée is diving headfirst into the D.C. dining scene by participating in Summer RW. Enjoy either a three-course lunch or brunch at the Georgetown boutique, and just remember that while it may be tempting to over-indulge in the sweet treats, save room for some savory options as well!
What to order: Brunch is a set menu with scrambled eggs, two finger sandwiches, house made granola and coffee/tea/hot chocolate. For Lunch: Pizette Végétarienne with tomato, eggplant and mozzarella, Croque Monsieur and one scoop of ice cream with two macarons
What meals are they serving: Brunch and Lunch
3060 M St NW
9. Sushi Taro
Why: As one of only two Michelin-starred restaurants participating in Restaurant Week, this is a can't miss if you can snag one of the coveted reservations. You've probably heard of this Kaiseki restaurant's incredible happy hour deal at which high quality sushi is served at half price, but only to 11 seats at the bar, thus the wait time is often upwards of an hour.
What to order: For Lunch: You can choose either the batter-fried chicken in sweet and sour sauce or the cold "somen" noodle with shrimp, veggies and an egg for your appetizer, then enjoy 7 pieces of nigiri sushi (tuna, salmon, shrimp, eel, yellowtail, white fish, omelette) and one roll (salmon & avocado or spicy tuna) served with miso soup and finish the meal with your choice of green tea or black sesame mochi ice cream. For Dinner: Start with a cured yellowtail sashimi appetizer followed by your choice of three warm dishes (black cod in spicy miso hot pot, 10-hour braised black pork belly or panko fried softshell crab -- we highly recommend the softshell crab). Next choose between 4 (toro, king salmon, hokkaido scallop and salmon caviar OR king crab) 5 (octopus, shima-aji, tuna, aka-ebi and snapper) or 7 (tuna, salmon, shrimp, eel, yellowtail, white fish, omelette) pieces of nigiri sushi and again finish the meal with your choice of green tea or black sesame mochi ice cream.
What meals they are serving: Lunch and Dinner
1503 17th St NW