For those of you new to the D.C. Metro area who are unfamiliar with what DC Restaurant Week is, here's a brief summary. DC Restaurant Week occurs twice a year during the slow restaurant season in January and August. During this time, participating restaurants (this is key because not ALL restaurants participate in the program) will offer lunch for $20.11 or dinner for $35.11. Some restaurants will offer their full menu during this time, and others will have a "special" Restaurant Week menu.
Choosing restaurants to visit can be a complex decision as some restaurants do Restaurant Week very well and others just phone it in. I encourage people to look at past DC Restaurant Week posts on this web site where people have written comments about their experiences at different restaurants when deciding on where to dine. Here are some brief pointers to use when choosing restaurants:
- Avoid "special" menus unless you know exactly what the restaurant is offering and it actually sounds interesting to you. Restaurant's offering most, if not all, of their normal menu are the restaurants to go to as these are the best deals.
- Confirm with the restaurant when making a reservation that they are in fact participating in D.C. Restaurant Week.
- When choosing a restaurant, consider whether or not they always have a deal similar to the Restaurant Week offer. For instance, Cafe Atlantico always has a pre-theater prix-fixe menu.
- Some restaurants (as you'll read in our menu list below) participate in D.C. Restaurant Week for the entire month, some for 2 or 3 weeks, so you might want to consider booking reservations at those restaurants either the week before or the week after. For most participating restaurants, D.C. Restaurant Weeks are the busiest times of the year, so they are likely to be crowded.
To simplify the process for people every six months, the D.C. Foodies writers compile a list of Restaurant Week menus for all of the participating restaurants.
DC Restaurant Week Menus for Winter/January 2011