Summer Restaurant Week Announced

The list of restaurants participating in summer Restaurant Week, from Aug. 11-17, was posted today, and the rumored $5 price hike for dinner is (understandably) official. Lunches remain $20.08 for three courses, dinners $35.08.

A Metrocurean poll last summer showed 32 percent of you are not fans of the promotion, but 52 percent either love it or tolerate it.

How about this summer? Will you be doing Restaurant Week?


RW1 said...

I want to try Darlington House. Thoughts?

Anthony said...

I've got a friend who raves about it. Evidently it's a big step up from the old Childe Herald

yellowliner said...

Ugh. Thanks for the warning. For me, "Restaurant Week" is "Stay Away from Restaurants Week." Limited menus, crazy crowds, stressed servers. Noooo thanks.

Josh said...

I've never liked the idea of RW. City-wide events are great, but there isn't a huge incentive for chefs and F&B managers to "put out." For higher-end joints, the price point often attracts a set of people who won't be likely to return any time soon. Tips are lower for the seasoned waiters. And crammed seatings often beget temporary wait-staff that are indifferent (at best) to customers and also possess little knowledge of what they are serving. And more often than not the menu on offer is little more than banquet food.

There are a few bright spots--establishments helmed by adventurous and generous chefs. These chefs are gastronomy's equivalent to academic "public intellectuals." They offer up full-menus (or true-to-form tastings). In doing so, they expand the horizon of DC's food intellect. In the past, it's included Circle Bistro, Kinkead's, Ceiba, Mendocino Grille, Tabard Inn, Bistro Bis, and Vidalia (hat tip to Best Bites for this list).

Mike said...

Don't forget Dino and PS 7's. Both do a great job of using Restaurant Week as an opportunity to show newcomers exactly what they can expect if they choose to return...and they both extend the RW deal beyond the standard one week, as well.

Sad to see Gerard Pangaud Bistro go, but they really dropped the ball for Restaurant Week in January - there were so many upcharges on their menu that you could have easily turned a $30 dinner into a $60 dinner even before adding wine!

Amanda said...

I very much agree that if you do Restaurant Week, it pays to do your homework. Some places consistently stand out above the rest.

iEatDC said...

The last time I did PS7's for RW lunch I was disappointed with the food and service. A previous non-RW visit was lovely.

I'm thinking about lunch at Hudson and Vidalia, and dinner at Farrah Olivia, where it's RW all summer long.

Laura said...

I went to Farrah Olivia during the previous restaurant week and highly recommend. It was a wonderful meal/experience. They really go above and beyond. Taberna del Albardero was a massive disappointment. I'm trying Cafe Atlantico and Equinox this round.

Amanda said...

Laura: Sounds like two excellent choices for this go-round. Equinox's makeover looks really nice too.

Todd Post said...

Restaurant Week turned out to be a bust for me, which was very disappointing. It came down to TenPehn (which I still have never gone to) and Liberty Tavern, and we decided on the latter because back in November we had some killer fish and chips there with the best fried clams I've had around here.

So we took my parents there Saturday night and ended up not staying. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a completely boring "meat and potato" guy...I consider myself a foodie. I've tried a wide range of things from Kobe beef to caviar to sweetbreads and I proposed to my fiancee at a five star restaurant. So with that caveat, I've got to ask...why the heck do some menus have to be so gosh darn frou frou and/or complicated?

My Mom -- who is not a foodie, but will try things within reason -- sits down and can't decipher things like "EVOO" (thank goodness she doesn't watch Rachel Ray!) and "saba" (a Google search tells me it's either mackerel, a kind of banana or a island in the Netherlands Antilles). The short ribs catch my eye (love short ribs!) but what the heck with "watermelon and radish salad"? The pork chops look promising, but ugh...you've got to like mustard greens to want to eat them. Just about everything down the line either sounded too odd or had some component that just went a little too far.

I can understand wanting to flex your culinary muscles and cook outside of the box, but I just think that some times chefs get a little too cute for their own good. Straightforward and simple has its merit too, and I think every menu should have something that caters to that palette as well.

That left the pizzas, which for $35.08 plus tax and tip for four people (three of whom are from Jersey, where you can get an awesome large pizza for $7), it just didn't seem worth it. And what's with listing Cabot Cheese like it's something special from Cheesetique? When I was a kid, we used to love Cabot and could only get it when we went to New England on summer vacation at places that had to cut it to order, but it comes vacuum sealed in plastic and is available in bulk at CostCo or in the refrigerated section of Safeway or Giant! If you're going to try to dazzle me with funky food sources and/or combos, at least keep it away from the supermarket brands!

Sorry to get off on a rant here, but we ended up putting down our menus, apologizing to the server, and going down the street to another restaurant and alas no Restaurant Week for me as we couldn't get a reservation at TenPehn for Sunday. The next day we went to Eamonn's and had an awesome lunch...proof that if you just use quality ingredients and cook it well, you can make great food.