The Politics of Dining

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Thu, Jun 01 2006 at 11:09 PM

DC Restaurant Week - August 2006

OK. The list of restaurants participating in Restaurant Week is up again and the usual restaurants are participating. 1789, which is usually one of the more popular choices for Restaurant Week, is NOT participating, although with a new chef and a regular pre-theater menu, I'm not surprised they bowed out.

I haven't received many responses to my inquiries yet, but when I do, I'll start posting what the restaurants are offering. If you can't wait to make your reservations, then I'd suggest that you go with one of these suggestions.

Corduroy is one of my favorite restaurants in the city due to their superior service, food, and wine. They always offer their full menu during Restaurant Week with a few upcharges, and with most entrees between $20 and $30, Restaurant Week makes Corduroy a very good deal.

Vidalia offers most of their regular menu for Restaurant Week. Their food is exceptional, and their wine list even better.

Ristorante Tosca
Tosca is probably one of the better and more expensive Italian restaurants in the city which makes it a great deal during Restaurant Week.

Kinkeads doesn't normally offer dinner service as part of their Restaurant Week offering. Since this is likely not to occur again, I'd take advantage of this while you can.

Also, here are some rules/tips for Restaurant Week for you newbies out there.

  1. Make sure when you make the reservation, that you tell the person on the phone that you are going to order the Restaurant Week menu.
  2. Go somewhere new. Take advantage of this offer and try a restaurant that you wouldn't normally go to.
  3. Think about how much you are actually saving by dining during Restaurant Week. Places that offer small plate or tapas probably wont give you the best bang for your buck.
  4. Keep in mind that this is one of the busiest times of the year for restaurants and they make their money on volume, so please be sure to be courtious and call to cancel your reservation if you can't make it.
  5. Have fun!

This also could be a good time to go to one of those restaurants that ISN'T participating in Restaurant Week. Everyone is crowding into restaurants that ARE participating, which makes it easier to get a reservation at places like Komi or Palena. Just a thought.

That's all I have right now.  As I get menus from restaurants, I'll post them here so bookmark this page.

Categories: DC Restaurant Week, Events, Restaurant Week
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So I need to figure out a strategy here - I want to be able to get a reservation at 1789 - unlike the last 6 restaurant weeks when I get shut out. What's the best method? Can you book this far ahead?

Call and see. I don't see why not.

Adam, be willing to go later on a week night. I got a reservation last Jan without too much trouble. Although, for the record, I didn't think it was worth the hassle. It was definitely great food and a great atmosphere, but it didn't seem terribly unaffordable (for a special occasion! not everyday!) without the restaurant week; the entrees are all around $30.

Ok, so if that's not the best place to go, what would you recommend? If I was only to go to ONE place during all of Restaurant Week (god forbid), where should I go?

Hello Adam,

If I had to choose 1 to visit I would go to Galileo. You could also go to opentable.com and see which ones are classified with $$$$ meaning they are normally the most expensive.

Hi, Jason. When you said "Talk to you in July," did you mean you and your adorable family will be away (and not blogging) for the rest of June? Say it isn't so, but only if it isn't so!


MCLEAN, VA 22012

I would NOT suggest Galileo...it was my worst RW experience ever...let's just say the food was horrible, as was the service...

1789 does not take reservations online this far in advance, but they may take them via phone. It's always one of my RW staples. Haven't been there since the new chef took over, though...

I went to Galileo for RW last year for lunch. I thought the food was quite good and the service was fine. We were in a large group (10 I think?) and were still able to get a reservation maybe only a week or two in advance.

Just an FYI, kids: 1789 is NOT participating in RW this year (I just called and tried to get reservations). But they apparently are offering a summer coupon on their website soon that offers basically the same 3-course deal and is available all summer. Also, don't forget that 1789 has the after-hours menu and pre-theater deal that are also RW specials available all the time.

Try Red Sage or IndeBleu. Those are definitely the best dining experiences I've had in DC, they both serve their full menus during restaurant week (instead of a paltry selection like at Galileo or other big-name joints), and they're both pricey enough to make it well worth the restaurant week crowds. I can't wait to go back.

IndeBleu does not offer a full menu and their wine selection is overpriced. It was not a good experience for us.

I went to Red Sage last summer during RW for lunch and it wasn't anything spectacular.

Hi Adam, If you can't make it to 1789 during restuarant week. 1789 is having their Summer offer again:$35 3-courses until Sept 13th.

Thanks for the info! I went ahead and made a reservation for Indebleu, but then saw Sarah's comment about not offering the full menu - anyone know for sure yay or nay?

I heard that you cannot do RW reservations until a month before hand....meaning tomorrow. Is this true? Also, is there a comprehensive list that details the restaurants participating? Is it the same as the ones that participated in the winter RW? So many questions. Thank you for your help and advice!

I've never heard that before. There will be a comprehensive list published soon on the DC Convention and Tourism web site. Also I'll post something here soon as well. The restaurants that participate from year to year are generally the same, with a few exceptions. The best thing to do is call for a reservation and ask.

I made reservations more than a month out for 1789 in January since I, too, had been shut out for many years. I just took a guess they'd participate and it paid off. Too bad they are not participating this time around, but the summer special sounds like a good deal. For the record, I quite enjoyed my meal (scallops), but Darling Boyfriend (who paid the upcharge for their signature lamb) was less pleased. This was about three weeks after the new chef took over the kitchen.

The list is up!


I have three places i really want to try for restaurant week...Galileo, Kinkeads, and TenPenn. Anyone have plus' or minus' during for them during restaurant week?

Galileo was NOT a good RW experience for me--neither the food nor the service made me want to return. Never done Kinkead's, but my colleague says it's a great RW lunch spot. TenPenh usually offers their full menu, don't they?

So far, I have dinner reservations at Palette, Cafe 15, Vidalia (been there twice and LOVE it), DC Coast, and Corduroy. Yay!

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