This just in: The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington has just announced that DC Restaurant Week Summer 2010 is set for the week of August 16th to the 22nd!
In January, almost 180 eateries in the DC area took part in the year's first Restaurant Week, and this one looks to be the biggest yet, with just under 200 participants! Last season's terms will still apply: Participating restaurants will feature a prix-fixe, three-course meal (tax and tip excluded) for $20.10 at lunchtime, and $35.10 for dinner.
With so many places to choose from, and only so many reservations to go around, picking RW dining destination can be a bit imposing, so we offer these bits of advice.
1) Avoid places that already offer special pre-theatre menus, and the like. You can experience these places on the cheap anytime, sometimes at a better price than the RW offering. Of course, a lot of these places have been known to throw a free glass of wine into the deal...
2) Go for the big and pricey! Hey, when is the next time you are gonna get a meal at Ruth's Chris for less than $40? Look for the $$$s and $$$$s on OpenTable and go for broke, though bear in mind, those ones book up fast.
3) Some restaurants put more into Restaurant Week than others. Some offer a bare-bones selection, hardly indicative of what they really can do. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a few offer the entire menu, giving diners the option of tasting everything the chef has to offer. Though one can never be sure ahead of time, take a look at last year's menus, as they should give you a good idea as to who goes all out for the occasion.
4) Many places extend the Restaurant Week pricing for additional month or two. If your time is short and you wanna cram a lot in, again, take a look at last year's menus and hold off booking those places that extended the deal, as they are more likely to do so this year as well.
5) Though it may be tempting to pick the trendy new spots on this year's list, consider giving it a pass. Restaurants have enough troubles within their first six months without taking Restaurant Week into consideration -- those that take it on too quick often prove unfit for the task, with lackluster service and questionable food being the end result. Give it some time, and stick to the tried and true -- if they are any good, the new guys will be around for this summer's Restaurant Week.
Of course, we will post menus as they come in -- so keep checking the site. In the meantime, take a look at our past DC Restaurant Week menu posts to get an idea of who you'll see, and who is bound to bring their "a-game."