DCFoodies.com DC Restaurant Week - January 2008 - DCFoodies.com

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Jan 07, 2008



Any news on Cafe Atlantico? I emailed them and they said it would be on the web soon, but nothing has come up.


any info on Agraria? I emailed them but they didn't respond. nothing on their website.

Mike Bober

Adam - It seems like all of the Jose Andres restaurants (Atlantico, Oyamel, the Jaleos) were still finalizing their menus as of this weekend. I'll be making some calls today to see if they've got their menus set. Keep watching this list, because there are plenty of restaurants that will be updated as we hear more.


Bobby Van's is posted on their website.

Any clue about oceanaire?


Just called Willow, it seems they are only offering their RW menu through the 26th (not the 27th)


Rachel you're correct. The website also notes the dates of Jan. 28-Feb. 1 for extended RW.

Mike Bober

Anne - Oceanaire will have their RW menu available on Thursday. We'll get it and post it then.


agraria? anyone?

Jason Storch

Sorry, we received no info on Agraria.

Mike Bober

Hungeegirl - I just put in a call to Agraria, and they informed me that their Restaurant Week menu will be available on their website later this week, most likely Thursday. They are in the process of updating their site to include various new menus, and the RW menu will be included with that update. Their website is http://www.agrariarestaurant.com/

Hope that helps!


great! thanks!!


I've made a reservation at 1789 but I don't see it on your list. Are the offering RW? Is it worth it?


Hannah ~ We did 1789 last year and it was the entire menu. HTH, Amy



agraria menu now up

Jason Storch

Thank you hungeegirl.

I just called 1789. They are extending until Jan 27, with their full menu with a small upcharge for the beef and lamb. Remember that a jacket is required for men.


With Jaleo and it's full menu, does that mean unlimited tapas for the $30.08?


From the manager at the Crystal City Jaleo (and I'm assuming this is the format in all locations)
"For lunch, it will be three tapas, one from each of our three cold, seasonal, and hot menus, for $20.08. for dinner, it is $30.08 for the same tapa offerings, plus coffee/tea and dessert."

Mike Bober

Ramona is correct - the format will be the same at all three Jaleo locations: one hot, one cold, and one seasonal item.

But the folks at La Tasca ARE doing all-you-can-eat tapas at their four locations, so if you're really hungry for tapas you might want to check them out.


Filomena's restaurant week menu is still missing. Does anyone know when that might become available? Thanks!

Mike Bober

Sherylls - I put in a call to Filomena today and left a message asking about their Restaurant Week menu. As soon as we hear back from them, we'll let you know.


any suggestions for vegetarians during rest. week?



Cucina Vivace will actually be offering a special Restaurant Week menu (http://www.cucinavivace.com/restaurantweekmenu.html) which includes their signature lamb dish from the a la carte menu. The special menu (with Restaurant Week pricing!) will be available through the end of January, during which time the a la carte menu will not be offered. Chef Vivace will try to accommodate any request when possible, though.

Mike Bober

Most of the Indian restaurants that are participating in Restaurant Week offer options specifically with vegetarians in mind, and I can highly recommend Rasika and Indique Heights from personal experience.

Perry's is known for being vegetarian-friendly, but it looks like most of their entree offerings are fish.

Willow's menu offers several meatless starters, but only one entree - caraway and mustard-crusted tofu. Even so, their quality is such that this is likely to be a great option if you don't mind tofu.

As a last resort, you could always check out one of the myriad Italian restaurants participating...many have at least one meatless pasta offering among their RW menus.

I hope this helps - for my money, you're best off at Rasika, Willow, or Indique Heights.

Mike Bober

Thanks for the correction on Cucina Vivace, Chris! We'll make the correction in the listing above to reflect that.


Butterfield 9 is participating and extending as well. They started this Monday (1/7) as I noticed when I happened to stop by the bar there.


Anyone tried Oya or Farrah Olivia for RW/month? We have reservations for both, but have never been to either and wanted some insight on their take on RW. Thanks.

Mike Bober

KeithA - My wife and I tried Farrah Olivia for dinner last time they did RW (back in August). I hate to say it, but we weren't blown away. The food was technically very well done, but we went expecting some really creative and inventive dishes based on everything we had heard and read about Morou's cooking. It wasn't that there was anything wrong with it - it was just that nothing really amazed us.

But the menu they're offering this time around has some real standouts on it, so you may have a better experience than we did if you give it a try this time.

Jason Storch

To give a differing opinion from Mike...Amy and I went to Farrah Olivia a couple years ago for DC Restaurant Week and had a wonderful time. Portions are small though.


I ate at PS7s last week and we had an amazing meal. I head they do a great restaurant week and they are extending it for a total of 2 weeks. We are recommending it to all of our friends.

Mike Bober

Allison - I definitely agree with whomever told you that PS7's does Restaurant Week well.

My wife and I went with friends during last summer's Restaurant Week (same week we did Farrah Olivia), and we were really impressed. All four dishes we tried were well executed and tasty, and the house-baked breads are delicious. I'm actually going to be going for lunch one day this week, so I'm eager to see if they do that as well as they do dinner.

Thanks for the heads-up on their plans to extend the RW offer!


Anyone know what Smith and Wollensky Offers?


Anyone have any idea about the Tabard Inn? I had heard it was a (nearly) full menu.

Mike Bober

ghcornwell - I just spoke with someone at the Tabard Inn who said they would not be posting their Restaurant Week menus online because they anticipate the menu changing daily to take advantage of whatever is freshest. Your best bet is to call that day to ask about what will be on the menu.

Scotto - Just called Smith and Wollensky, and they were surprised to hear that I couldn't find their RW menu on their website. But they told me their menu is as follows:

Appetizer - choice of:
Baby arugula and endive salad
Wollensky salad
Soup of the day

Entree - choice of:
Filet mignon with cabernet demi-glace
Shrimp scampi with rice pilaf
Lemon pepper chicken with a white wine beurre blanc

Dessert - choice of:
New York style cheesecake
Fresh fruit plate
Apple strudel

Hope that helps!


Any info on Restaurant K by Alison Swope? Still not posted on their site. Thanks!

Mike Bober

Just gave them a call, Kate.

Apparently they are offering "basically" their entire menu for Restaurant Week. They have $5 upcharges for two of their steak entrees and their crab and lobster "shepard's pie," but otherwise you should be able to order to your heart's content. Good to hear!


I went to Farah Olivia last fall for RW lunch. While the food was good, the service was so terrible that I won't be returning. I know that many local restaurants don't pull out the red carpet for RW, but I had to flag down the staff for everything. I had to distract the bartender from lemon slicing to get a drink at the bar and once seated, I had to hail down our waiter for another round of drinks, to order, for desert and for the bill. Like I said, the food was creative and tasty, but I'm more of a whole experience, vice just food, type of person.
I also went to Bistro Bis for Friday dinner last fall and I was impressed. The service was gracious, the food was well-prepared and the manager walked by every table to check in. I would have never guessed it was RW...which, I think, is the impression most of these restaurants strive to give.
I also recommend Acadiana, Ceiba, Tenpehn, Georgia Browns and Cafe Atlantico...all nicer places that are great for a RW group lunch or dinner.


We had dinner on Saturday at Farrah Olivia and had both excellent service and delicious food. My husband had the escolar, salmon and cheesecake and enjoyed all 3; I had the painted soup, chicken (which was outstanding) and chocolate (just so-so) I had the wine pairing for $15 and thought they did a nice job choosing wine and gave generous pours. We will certainly return.


Any word on Sushi-Ko?

Mike Bober

Just called and asked for their menu - they will be emailing it to us after lunch.


Farrah Olivia: We had the same experience as Phoenix last summer--food was good, but service was poor/totally disinterested. My conclusion was that it wasn't worth crossing the river again to eat there. There's equally good and better food in DC with much better service. I don't get it--RW should be used as a marketing opportunity and not be seen as a "chore" by staff.


I just had a horrible experience at this restaurant. It was overpriced, deceptive, and poor value.

We came in for Restaurant week, and when we sat down, the waiter never gave us menus, but just started in saying that we were going to get certain courses. It was pitched to us as antipasti, appetizers, and choice of entrees. Given that it's restaurant week, we assumed that this was the restaurant week special. We were never given the option to look at a menu, order a la carte, or told that the restaurant week menu was more limited. The person who had organized the dinner had told the host on more than one occasion that we were coming for restaurant week, but that wasn't noted anywhere, and the staff plead ignorance to the request. In addition, there weren't wines on the menu at less than $100 a bottle. Sadly, the bill came to $240 per person.

While we would have been willing to pay more than restaurant week prices, the deceptiveness of the pricing was outrageous. We knew that we would pay more than the restaurant week prices for the wine, and for a party of ten spent more than $600 on wine. The first two courses alone were more than $35 per person, and the main courses turned out to be between $30 and $40 per person, though we didn't know that when we ordered. They brought us vin santo, which we were lead to believe was a gift from the restaurant, but in fact they charged us over $10 a glass for.

I have never spent so much on a meal -- not at Citronelle, not at Elizabeth Daniel or Fifth Floor in San Francisco. And there is no question that the food in no way worth the price. While an enjoyable meal, and competently executed, it wasn't innovative, nor was it amazing. I've had better meals at dozens of restaurants around Washington, and at a quarter of the price.

When we objected to the way the meal had been communicated to us, and complained to the management, they made no attempt at accommodation. Our server was informative, pleasant, and was the only person willing to make amends for the situation.

It's such a shame, because until the bill came, it was a pleasant experience.


What restaurant was this? You never say which one?


Sushi-Ko Menu is now posted for those interested.


Smith and Wollensky has probably the best cheesecake I have ever tasted.


Meike posted on Chowhound and is referring to I Ricchi http://www.chowhound.com/topics/479854
It just sound-unreal.
In other news, I had a wonderful meal at Vidalia last night. There was one menu which offered nice options for RW, and had several items with upcharges. Still, you pay less than if you ate there outsided of RW.
Food choices were really fun..veal tongue, rabbit sausage, duck, cassoulet.
Highligts were the cassoulet (I seriously want to eat this again)and duck.
Service was very pleasant and it did not "feel" like RW with the nice pace of the meal.
Wines by the glass were reasonably priced.
Definite thumbs up.


I have been toying with going to Gerard's Place for years with their $30 pre-fixe lunch, finally made it this RW. The wife and I both had the duck terrine, excellent, but the serving is a smallish slab about 1/4" thick, a bit slim IMO, but great nonetheless. I had the duck confit entree and was pleased to have made the best selection on the menu for a change. The emphasis is on the duck, simply cooked in butter and salt. Highly recommended, delicious and a generous serving. Came with a pair of fingerling potatoes split lengthwise and a small portion of salad greens. The wife had the braised rib with mashed potatos, also a generous serving. The wine reduction sauce was surprisingly bold for a restaurant like this, essentially a comfort dish, but definitely one of the better choices. I'd been considering the lamb "tain" before going with the duck or perhaps one of the fish dishes. The lamb is shredded, mixed with vegetables and slow cooked in a clay pot. The waiter accidently placed this dish on our table, and the rockfish as well, I'm sure they were delicious, but the serving size for both of these just did not measure up. Glad he did, as it validated our choices. I'm all for quality over quantity, but you also want to walk away satisfied and these portions looked on the smallish, fashion model side. For dessert, I had the chocolate mousse, which like the terrine, was also outstanding, but the serving size was again much too small, more appropriate for a toddler than a grown man, just barely more than a tasting, finished it in three bites. The wife had the pear tart which was fine, but unimpressive. All in all, a fine RW choice if you make the right selections and I think we did on this one. The wife was of the opinion that Bistro Bis last year was a better choice, but we left with no regrets having had an excellent meal for $20 at a place we had been wanting to go for years. Opentable is showing them fully booked all week, but the restaurant was half full, so you should be able to eat there if you walk in.


Smith & Wollensky is a horrible choice for RW. Nevermind the fact that their food is subpar in general...The salad is similar to one served in a school cafeteria and the entrees are served without any embellishments or sides (I do realize at most steakhouses you have to order sides separately). The filet is just that- a hunk of meat and nothing else. Although I don't think it's very hard to get cheesecake wrong...theirs didn't seem to be any different from Sara Lee's.

Rock Creek at Mazza last night was great. Service wasn't too cloying but was attentive enough. While various reviews are right about the portions here being small, after three courses you leave feeling pretty satisfied. Chestnut soup was great-smoky, interesting, and hearty. I am still thinking about that Chocolate Peanut Butter dessert. Wasn't a culinary epiphany but very pleasant.

Heading to Dino on Sunday...any recommendations/thoughts?

Mike Bober

Yummy - The only thought on Dino is that you're going to have a good time. Definitely one of my favorites, and they single-handedly rescued a bad Restaurant Week for my wife and I after a bad experience at another spot that will remain nameless. Let us know what you end up ordering and what you think of it!

Rubenz - Thanks for the great feedback on Gerard's Place (or Bistro Gerard Pangaud). Glad to hear that the non-upcharged menu options made it worth your while.


This Tuesday morning I was still able to snag a 7:30 p.m. Bistro Gerard Panguad RW reservation. He had removed some upcharges that are on the RW menu on his website (for the dessert, and an appetizers I think.) I had yellow and red beets and sea salt to start which was light and lovely. The non-upcharged braised short ribs in a rich wine sauce with mashed potatoes was also terrific. My poor hubby didn't fare so well--he's vegetarian and ended up with a mediocre ratatouille pasta dish (no veggie options on the menu.) Still, we both enjoyed dessert (mango tarte and chocolate terrine).

Daniella C

I'm fairly new to DC (moved here in August for law school) and have loved restaurant week since my first experience at DC Coast which was an amazing way to start (I remember having an amazing risotto but not much else)

Tonight myself and two friends went to Tosca and I can only say that the reviews are correct. Not sure how public transportation would affect our travels, my roommate and I ended up at the restaurant 30 minutes early and encountered a packed bar while we waited for our third party - the hostess sat us at our table since we could not comfortably be at the bar and let us wait their for the rest of our party. Needless to say, the service was amazing and we were not treated poorly because we were their for restaurant week. Even better was the food. For the first course I ordered the carrot pappardelle with rabbit ragu which was subtle but with amazing flavors- I would absolutely return and order it full price. My roommate ordered the butternut squash topped with amaretti cookies on top- it was really to die for. There was no argument that the pasta course was the best of the three- i cannot get over how wonderful my pappardelle was. Personally, I would not have enjoyed more than an appetizer portion as it was very sweet my my roommate would have eaten this meal all week as she really enjoyed it. For dinner, I had the very subtle and impressive monkfish; my roommate had a good but not amazing sea bass (very thin fish did not stand up well to the strong, albeit amazing, sauce); accompanying the seabass was a delectable swiss chard. At our table, the stand out entree was the lamb atop polenta- a hearty portion with great flavor. For dessert, the profiteroles were pretty good, I very much enjoyed the panna cotta and although my friend did not, found the crespelle with chestnut to be amazing, although not super sweet as he expected. All in all a FABULOUS restaurant week experience I would recommend for everyone- it was well worth the restaurant week or full -price.

My question is did anyone try the quail? It sounded great stuffed with black truffle but I am a sucker for monkfish which they do not serve at the restaurants I typically frequest.

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