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August 2007

July 2007

DC Restaurant Week Menus for Summer 2007

Click for the most recent DC Restaurant Week Information.

Here's all the information that I could find on what everyone is offering during DC Restaurant Week. I'll be updating this as I get more information from restaurants. Let the games begin!

Update:
I thought it would be helpful for everyone if I gave a summary of who was extending the DC Restaurant Week deal to help with making reservations.

Full Month of August and More
Oya - August 1st through Sept 9th

Full Month of August
Ceviche
Dino
Petit Plats (Except no lunch Monday through Friday, the 13th through the 31st)
Pinzimini

Extra 3 Weeks
Farrah Olivia - August 1 through August 26th

Extra 2 Weeks
Butterfield 9 - July 30th through August 19th
Jaleo - August 6th through August 25th
Oyamel - August 6th through August 25th

Zaytinya - August 6th through August 25th

Extra Week
Grillfish - August 6th through August 19th
Il Mulino - August 6th through August 19th
Indebleu - August 6th through August 19th
Merkado - August 6th through August 19th
Mie n Yu - August 6th through August 19th
New Heights - August 6th through August 18th
Posh - August 6th through August 18th
PS 7's - August 6th through August 18th
Ristorante Piccolo - August 6th through the 18th
Tuscana West - August 6th through the 18th
Willow - August 6th through August 19th

DC Restaurant Week Menus

701 Restaurant
701's DC Restaurant Week menu is on their web site. Click on the events link to see the menu.

Acadiana, Ceiba, DC Coast, Ten Penh
The Passion Food restaurants usually offer a good portion of their menu for DC Restaurant Week and I always hear good stories from people that dine there this time of the year, although it's been a while since I've dined at any of them myself. Check their web sites for more detailed information about their menus and hours.

America Restaurant
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Ardeo, Bardeo
Ardeo and Bardeo will be offering their dinner full menu for DC Restaurant Week. See their web site for their current dinner menu and hours.

Aria Trattoria
Dinner menu is here.

Beacon Bar and Grill
Beacon Bar and Fill is offering their full lunch and dinner menus for DC Restaurant Week. Their latest menu's are on their web site.

Bistro 123
Bistro 123's DC Restaurant Week menu is available on their web site.

Bistro 525
DC Restaurant Week menus are available on Bistro 525's web site.

Bistro Bis and Vidialia
Bistro Bis' DC Restaurant Week menu
Vidalia's DC Restaurant Week menu

BLT Steak
Lunch and Dinner menu available here.

Bombay Club
Lunch and Dinner menus for Bombay Club's DC Restaurant Week offering are available on their web site if you can make it through the flash... Click "Enter" on the main screen, then click "Events".

Butterfield 9
Butterfield 9 is offering DC Restaurant Week from July 30th through August 19th!
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Ceviche (Silver Spring)
Ceviche is offering DC Restaurant Week through the entire month of August. Here is the menu they'll have.

Charlie Palmer Steak
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Chef Geoff's and Lia's
Chef Geoff's offers a very large menu for DC Restaurant Week. Here are the lunch and dinner DC Restaurant Week menus for their different locations.
Chef Geoff's Downtown
Chef Geoff's Upper NW

Lia's

Circle Bistro and Notti Bianche
Circle Bistro has always been on of my favorite restaurants in the city, and usually offers their full menu for DC Restaurant Week as is it's sister restaurant, Notti Bianche. The latest copy of their menus can be found on their web sites here and here.

Corduroy
Corduroy always offers their full menu (although I haven't received confirmation of this from anyone at the restaurant, so please call and check before making a reservation) for DC Restaurant Week with a couple up charges for the more expensive items. This is definitely a must for the first time DC Restaurant Week diner. I've always had good experiences at Corduroy during DC Restaurant Week.

Dino
Dino is offering their DC Restaurant Week menu for the full month of August. Yes. The full month! And, Dino's entire menu will be available. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of this. If you go on Sunday, Monday or Wednesday, you can take advantage of Dino's Wine Madness which lets you take 1/3 off any wines over $50.

Equinox
Uhm...Equinox is participating in DC Restaurant Week?! This is out the ordinary to say the least. If there are still some available, make your reservation NOW! Menu available here.

Farrah Olivia
Farrah Olivia is offering DC Restaurant Week from August 1st through August 26th! Last DC Restaurant Week, Farrah Olivia offered their entire menu, with a few up charges for some of the more expensive items. Their current menus can be found on their web site.

Filomena
Filomena's DC Restaurant Week menu can be found on their web site.

Georgia Brown's
The DC Restaurant Week menu for dinner at Georgia Brown's is on there web site.

Grillfish
Grillfish is extending DC Restaurant Week for an additional week, but I have not received the menu and I don't know if they're offering their whole menu.

Hook
Hook will be changing their menu almost daily, so don't bet on seeing their menu here. The word is you'll get a choice of 3 entrees, 3 desserts and your choice of any crudo or appetizer for the first course.

I Ricchi
I Ricchi is opening up their entire menu for DC Restaurant Week. I apologize to anyone I mislead about this one. I Ricchi is NOT offering their full menu, but they are offering a partial menu. Click here to see their DC Restaurant Week menu.

Il Mulino
Participating in DC Restaurant Week for the first time in DC, Il Mulino is extending the deal an extra week. Their lunch and dinner menu can be found here.

Indebleu
Extending DC Restaurant Week through August 19th. Their menu is here.

Indique and Indique Heights
Indique is only participating in DC Restaurant for dinner but Indique Heights is participating in Lunch and dinner. Their menu's are here, and here respectively.

Jaleo - Bethesda, Crystal City, Downtown
For DC Restaurant Week, Jaleo is giving you the choice of 1 cold tapa, 1 seasonal tapa, and 1 hot tapa, which isn't exactly the best deal, but their web site says they're extending their offering through the 25th of August.

Kaz Sushi Bistro
Kaz's DC Restaurant Week offering can be found here on their web site.

La Tasca
Every Wednesday, La Tasca offers an unlimited tapas menu. The select menu offers a variety of tapas including dessert and La Tasca is offering for the entire week of DC Restaurant Week. Unlimited sangria will also be available for $10 a person. Here's there menu for the week.

Lima
Lima's dinner menu for DC Restaurant Week can be found here.

Merkado
Merkado is extending DC Restaurant Week for an additional week, but I have not received the menu and I don't know if they're offering their whole menu.

Mie n Yu
DC Restaurant Week menus for Lunch and Dinner available on Mie n Yu's web site. They're also extending their offering through the 19th.

Mio Restaurant
Lunch and Dinner menus are here.

The Monocle Restaurant
Menu's for lunch and dinner are available here and here respectively.

New Heights
The New Heights is extending their Restaurant Week menu through August 18th. Their dinner menu for DC Restaurant Week can be found on their web site.

Oval Room
To find the Oval Room Restaurant Week menu, go to their home page, and click "Events" and then "Restaurant Week".

Oya Restaurant and Lounge
Oya is offering Restaurant Week for an unprecedented August 1st through September 9th. There menu is here.

Oyamel
Like it's sister restaurant, Jaleo, Oyamel is extending Restaurant Week until the 25th. Their menu is not on their web site though.

Perry's
Perry's is offering most of their normal menu with a few surcharges. Although, I went to Perry's last DC Restaurant Week, and I thought that they had cut back on the portion sizes. Hopefully they don't do the same thing this time.

Petit Plats
Petit Plats' lunch and dinner menu for DC Restaurant Week are the same and they're extending the offer through August 25th for the whole month of August. Petit Plats will be closed for lunch Monday through Friday, from the 13th through the 31st of August.

Pinzimini
Entending their DC Restaurant Week offering for lunch and dinner for the entire month of August. Their menu is here.

Posh
Posh has extended DC Restaurant Week through August 18th. They're offering a limited menu which can be found here. Make your reservation now, because they're already on a waiting list for the first week of DC Restaurant Week.

The Prime Rib
Lunch and dinner menus on their web site.

PS 7's
PS 7's is extending DC Restaurant Week through August 18th. They have a very extensive offering and it's worth the trip if you've never been there before. Their menu's are available on their web site here.

Rasika
Rasika's menu for DC Restaurant Week is available on their web site (if you can stomach it). Click on "Events".

Ristorante Piccolo
Also, extending DC Restaurant Week and additional week for lunch and dinner. Their DC Restaurant Week menu is located here.

Ristorante Tosca
In past DC Restaurant Weeks, Tosca has offered their full menu and is a very good deal when you consider their normal prices. I haven't received confirmation that they are doing the same thing this summer, so call and confirm before making your reservation.

Rosa Mexicano
Rosa Mexicano's lunch and dinner menu is available here.

Taberna del Alabardero
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Tuscana West
Tuscana West has extended DC Restaurant Week for an additional week. Here is their Restaurant Week Menu.

Vegetate
Dinner Appetizers
Spiced Mushroom Walnut Pate with braised and grilled cabage & truffle oil
Heirloom Tomato and Baby Fennel Ceviche with cumin roasted blue potatoes
Trio of Grilled Summer Melon with housemade green curry, basil & pepitas

Dinner Entrees
Roasted Corn, Avocado and Black Beans on a corn grit crust with herb salad & chipotle oil
Saute of Summer Squashes and Asian Greens in a cashew cream sauce with edamame & sage
Sesame Crusted Quinoa and Wild Rice Cakes with shiitake mushroom ragout & wilted greens

Dinner Desserts
Bergamot Basil Coconut Bars with sesame & gelato
Dark Chocolate Torte with ancho chiles, coriander oil & gingered peach sorbet
Blue Corn Biscuit and Seasonal Fruit with rosemary cardamom infused coconut milk

Willow
Willow is extending their DC Restaurant Week offer for another week plus they have a special wine tasting for an additiona $15. Here's the menu they'll be offering.

Zaytinya
Like Oyamel and Jaleo, Zaytinya is extending DC Restaurant Week through the 25th of August. Their menu can be found here.


A Culinary Jouney to the Chesapeake Bay Region

Culinarymain_2 Here's an interesting event happening on August 11th that I thought you'd be interested in.

Todd and Ellen Gray of Equinox Restaurant are hosting an all day culinary retreat to Bodkin Point, MD. Guests will be chauffeured to Bodkin Point via luxury motor coach, where they will be taken on a tour of the Severna Park farmers market while Todd Gray explains how to conceive of and create a meal based on the freshest ingredients on hand. After that, everyone will have an opportunity to swim and enjoy the surrounding retreat until it's time for the hands-on cooking lesson where everyone will work with Todd to create a three course meal that was conceived of that morning at the farmers market. He will walk you through appropriate wine pairings for each for the afternoon’s courses before sitting down to enjoy a late-afternoon lunch.

The trip costs $190 per person, or $350 for two. For more information on the trip go here or contact Ellen Gray at ellen@equinox.com.


Bethesda Restaurant Week going on now

click for the most recent Bethesda Restaurant Week info

Bethesda Restaurant Week for Summer 2007 is going on this week, July 23rd through the 29th. The complete list of participating restaurants can be found here, or you can see them on a map here. Unlike DC Restaurant Week, restaurants participating in Bethesda Restaurant Week don't have a fixed price so check what the deal actually is. As I've said in past Restaurant Weeks, this is a good time to try David Craig, but on a more personal note, I might take this opportunity to finally go to Persimmon, Divino Lounge, or Famosa.

As with most Restaurant Week deals, stick with restaurants where the special is actually a good deal. For instance, if say a restaurant is listed on Washingtonian's Cheap Eats, then Restaurant Week probably isn't the best time to visit that place. Or, if the restaurant always has a 3 course dinner for $25, then you can get that anytime, so why waste a trip during Restaurant Week?

Update:

The following restaurants have extended their Restaurant Week offering another week until August 5th.

Brasserie Monte Carlo
Café Europa
Geppetto Restaurant
La Miche
New Orleans Bistro
Oakville Grille & Wine Bar
Persimmon Restaurant
PGA Tour Grill
Yin Yankee


Mia's Pizzas

Margherita_at_mias_pizza It's rare that I find myself writing about pizza and Bethesda, or even all of Montgomery County. It's almost as if pizza is a four-letter word out there, but I think Mia's Pizzas in Bethesda is a refreshing addition of the DC metro pizza scene.

For those of you that love 2 Amy's or Pizzeria Paradiso, you'll feel right at home at Mia's. The menu incorporates the good things from both and adds a slightly suburban touch for the kids. I used my son's presence as an excuse to order a "little mac 'n cheese", which I really wanted for myself. Upon first tasting, it came off as bland, which actually made it perfect for my 2 year old. Then I added a hefty portion of crushed red pepper and salt and it was perfect. This is by far the cheesiest mac 'n cheese I've eaten in a while. Kraft don't have nuthin' on this.

Pic0089Be warned that the crostini appetizer, which is often on the special menu, is not like your typical crostini. Don't expect little crispy toasts with spoonfuls of toppings on them because it's closer to a salad than anything else. The homemade focaccia is the basis of the crostini, which I don't find to be particularly good bread and can be bought on its own for $2.50 with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and hot pepper for dipping.

If you're actually in the mood for a salad, there are many well presented options to choose from at Mia's Pizzas. The mozzarella, tomato, and basil salad is nothing original, but is very well executed. Slices of ripe yellow and red Roma tomatoes are the highlight of this dish with the addition of sweet heirloom grape tomatoes, peppery arugula, balsamic vinegar, and of course, fresh mozzarella. On a recent trip to the grocery store I tried to reproduce this salad.  $5 for the mozzarella cheese, $2.50 Pic0090 for the arugula, $3 for the basil, $5 for the tomatoes, $10 for some balsamic vinegar, and $10 for some halfway decent extra virgin olive oil. $35 later, I was wishing I drove to Mia's and spent the $6.50 instead (although I'd made enough for 6 or so people to eat, but there's only Amy, Noah and I, and Noah's not much into mozzarella cheese...or tomatoes...or just about anything lately).

One of these days I'll go into how cursed I am because my son is one of the pickiest eaters on the planet.

On to the main event...the pizza. I'm surprised that I was able to even stomach the idea of eating pizza after my recent trip to New York. For me, pizza is all about the crust. You could use the freshestPhoto mozzarella cheese, great sauce from San Marzano tomatoes, but if the crust tastes like white toast, you're worthless in my opinion.

Mia's Pizzas has a nice chewy crust which at times can be a little thicker than I like, but it has a good yeasty flavor. The cooks have a tendency to leave a thick ring of uncovered crust around the edge which can be disappointing. The toppings and sauce are very good quality and tasty. My favorite toppings are the salami, pepperoni, and hot peppers, but I have yet to try them all.

I'm probably a much tougher judge of pizza after eating some of the best pizza in the world on my NYC trip, but Mia's pizza could use a longer cook time as could most pizza that comes out of a wood oven, so if you're like me and you like your pizza with a nice ring of char, then ask for it well done. Usually I just order the Margherita with a couple toppings, if any at all, because it really doesn't need any. Some of the pre-configured pizzas are good too, like the Il Forno or Jorge's Inferno, so give them a try too.

If you're not in the mood for pizza you can order a meatball sub instead, but ask for an extra couple spoonfuls of sauce to keep it from being dry. The meatballs themselves are good enough to eat on their own which you can have if you order the appetizer portion (and you'll notice just about everyone does in fact order that).

Pic0120_2 At Mia's in Bethesda, I was brought instantly back 25 years to my childhood in Connecticut, picking fresh strawberries with my mom and brother and then returning home to slice them and to put them on top of the warm, fluffy biscuits my mom had made when I ate the strawberry shortcake. It was on the specials menu at the time, and I've had good luck with all of the special desserts. My son goes gaga for the homemade cupcakes, which you'll notice (mostly) only the kids are eating. They're very dense and heavy and not fluffy like you'd expect. Nevertheless, we'll always be ordering one.

Mia's Pizzas
4926 Cordell Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
Map
(301) 718-6427
www.miaspizzasbethesda.com

Details:
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Street. Bethesda is good for parking Sun. through Thurs. but Friday and Saturday (when the valets come out) your only option is the garages. Either way, make sure you bring lots of quarters for the meters.
Smoking: Not Allowed.
Closest Metro: Bethesda
Reservations: Not Taken.
Baby-Child friendly rating: 3 diapers. Plenty of high chairs, bathrooms with plenty of room, crayons and a not so quiet dining room make this an ideal dining location with children.
Amy's Bathroom Rating: Clean and dependable.


RedRocks Opening This Evening

Outside2I just got final word that RedRocks, the new wood-fired pizza restaurant in Columbia Heights, is opening this evening for business. Even more interesting news is that the ex-long-time pizza guy from 2 Amys, Edan MacQuaid, will be the executive chef at RedRocks which gives me high hopes for this new pizza spot.

Per the press release, "The 95 seat, 1,800 square foot restaurant will offer both traditional and gourmet pizzas straight from the 800 degree brick oven, as well as café fare including fresh panini with housemade bread, salads and starters, wines by the bottle and the glass, Chimay Triple and Allagash White on tap and 30 beers and microbrews by the bottle."

You gotta love Chimay on tap...

Hours will be:

Monday – Thursday, 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Friday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.

http://www.redrocksdc.com/


Brasserie Beck

Becks_kitchen I love places with beer lists, because I don't know anything about beer and there's always something new to learn. In my four trips to Brasserie Beck, I've learned a few things. First, Belgian beer rocks, each beer has a special oddly-shaped glass to be served in, a gueuze goes great with oysters, and Chimay is pronounced she-may (I'm looking forward to learning more in my future trips). Brasserie Beck is beer snob heaven. The very bright and very crowded bar (unless you get there before 6) is a haven for people looking to relax after a long day at the office. It's understandable why it's such a popular happy hour spot, but it's not just the beer you should go to Brasserie Beck for -- hell, you just might also want to eat some food.

Mussels_and_frites_2 I'd recommend both the leek and potato and pea and veal meatball soups. A sinful liver parfait I'll never tell my doctor I ate is going to be hard not to order again and the oysters are amazing. On my last trip we had Olympia and Stellar Bar oysters. Please, I beg you, don't order the Stellar Bays if they have them because I want them all to myself!

The mussels are for true mussel lovers. If you like the little tiny mussels that other places serve, don't be surprised when you get a plate of the giant meaty mussels at Becks. They come with a bowl of skinny, parsley-coated frites and a trio of flavored mayonnaises.  This dish is a meal on its own and a steal at $17.

Roasted_rabbit_leg_beck With the entrée selections a Brasserie Beck you can take a lighter approach or continue your gluttonous descent. On the lighter side, the curry salmon, with its milky yellow curry sauce, could've used some heat, but still very tasty and was one of my favorites. On the richer side, the lamb shank is falling-off-the-bone tender, but the rabbit is my favorite dish of all with meat that was probably the most tender of any meat I've ever eaten. Those of you that won't eat rabbit because it's a cute little animal don't know what you're missing. I found the entrées to be a very good value given the generous portions.

I've had mixed experiences with the desserts, but that's usually the case with me. The pear tarte tatin I thought was too buttery and came off greasy which is not exactly what I'm looking for in a dessert after a large meal. The caramel cheesecake, on the other hand, was just what I love in a cheesecake - moist but not runny, cakey but not dry.  I like that the caramel sauce was applied with a light touch too.

Belgian_beer_on_draft_beck Overall though, I wouldn't say that Brasserie Beck serves food that's amazingly better than other good French (or Belgian) bistros like Bistro du Coin, Bistro Lepic, or Montmartre, but what I think makes it stand apart is the service. Each time we were there the service was very good and the servers, bus persons and expediters all were very attentive and knowledgeable about the menu. On your way to your table there won't be a single person that you pass working for the restaurant that won't smile and say hello. The pacing of the food can be a bit slow, but there are worse things that can happen.

Brasserie Beck
1101 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Map

(202) 408-1717
web site

Details:
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Valet is $7 but has a tendency to back up. There isn't much street parking in the area but sometimes you're lucky enough to find a spot.
Smoking: Not Allowed.
Closest Metro: Metro Center, McPherson Square, Mt. Vernon Square
Reservations: Taken and recommended.
Baby-Child friendly rating: 3 diapers. Plenty of high chairs and they have a nice way of seating you in the back room with your child which is better for you and everyone else.