Since many of my readers live in the area, I thought it'd be nice to put together a quick roundup of some of my favorite places to dine in the District. I broke it down by places I've actually eaten at, as well as places I hope to try this August. But before I share my roundup, I want to first offer a few tips for dining during Restaurant Week:
- Make reservations now. Don't wait till things get closer. You can easily book all reservations via Opentable. This way you get an email confirmation, and can easily cancel should something come up.
- Do note though that you cannot make more than one reservation per time slot, on the same day.
- Dine at places you normally couldn't afford, or usually save for special occasions. There are quite a few restaurants participating that I haven't tried before, simply because I cannot afford to pay $100 for a steak dinner. Well, now you can get that steak dinner for FAR LESS of a cost.
- Tip your servers fairly. Yes you're saving a lot of money on the actual cost of your meal, but that doesn't mean the servers should feel the effect too. I was a server for four years, so I can attest to the fact that while food prices are cheaper, the service is the same! So I suggest tipping based on what the meal actually would have cost, or in the very least leaving 20%.
- Try places out of your comfort zone! While I probably wouldn't choose to spend money on Indian food, I may be more apt to try something out of my norm during restaurant week.
- Restaurant Week makes going on a date easier!! The menu prices are set. So you don't have to feel guilty for ordering the steak or seafood dish. Everything is the same price!
Now, here are the places I have dined at during Restaurant Week, and my thoughts:
- Ambar: great selection of food. Convenient for Hill staffers during recess.
- Agua 301: located in the Navy Yard. Generally not pricey, so I would save this for another week. Service has always been super slow every time I've dined here. But, they do have some of the best steak tacos!
- Belga Cafe: a delicious option for brunch!
- District Chophouse: food was delicious, and location in Chinatown is very convenient. While I enjoyed the food, it wasn't anything that was truly special for the week.
- Filomena: one of my favorite Italian restaurants in DC. They have an amazing deal for RW where you can snag full portion entrees. I have dined here several times, and have never left hungry. At certain times of day you can watch them make homemade pasta from the front window.
- Floriana: another one of my favorite Italian restaurants. In my opinion they have the best brussels sprouts in DC. Also, I believe Wednesdays are 1/2 price wine night, and they will honor that during restaurant week. So if you choose to dine here, try to go then.
- Jaleo: they have multiple locations, so dining here is very convenient. It's small plates. If you go, I highly recommend the croquettes.
- Lincoln DC: this place gets my vote for best Southern fare. The restaurant is designed in honor of President Lincoln, and boasts a floor made entirely out of pennies. Very cool atmosphere and a delicious seasonal small plate menu. Note that large parties are very hard to accommodate here, so I recommend dining with a smaller group. Fewer people also means less sharing, ha!
- Policy: most people know this U Street hotspot for it's nightlife scene. But, did you know they offer a delicious menu? It's one of my favorite places to eat, and they offer a great bang for your buck during RW. My favorite items are the hand cut fries and scallops (if they have them).
- The Hamilton: by far one of my favorite restaurants in DC. The menu is massive, so it wont be hard to find at least one thing you like. Their drink specials are wonderful too. After dinner, you can head upstairs or downstairs for live music as well!
- Zaytina: if you love fresh Mediterranean food, this is a must visit! Made famous by Jose Andres, Zaytina boasts a modern atmosphere offering Greek and Turkish cuisine.
These are the places I hope to try this August... I will say though, I was quite unhappy to see hardly any Navy Yard area restaurants on the list this year. Not sure why they aren't participating, as my neighborhood has some amazing places to eat! Nonetheless there are still plenty of places to try:
- Capital Grille: a favorite among many politicians, I'm eager to try this place out on my birthday! Between now and September 4th they have a special running called generous pour. You can sample their featured wines, and then choose one to drink the rest of the night. They do honor this during Restaurant Week, so make your reservations now!
- District Commons: I hear they have a very, very delicious menu. I don't know too much about their restaurant week deals, but I look forward to finding out their dinner menu options soon.
- Epic Smokehouse: my one pick for outside of DC. Located in Arlington, the menu looks like it would be well worth the trip. The Southerner in me cannot wait to give their BBQ a try!
- Fig and Olive: this is a chain restaurant, and I usually would say to avoid chains during this weeklong event. But it's a very expensive place to eat normally, so trying it out at a cheaper price would be great. The location, and decor of the place is open and airy. I have had brunch here before, and the atmosphere alone is worth the visit.
- Fiola: another restaurant that I normally wouldn't try because of price. But many have named it one of the best restaurants in DC, so I would love to give it a try at a lower cost.
- Rasika: I have never really tried authentic Indian food. But Rasika has been named one of the top restaurants in the country, so it's definitely worth a try.
Have you dined at any of these places? Tell me, is there a place I should definitely try that you loved? Let me know in the comments below!
This post is in no way sponsored. I just love dining out in DC, trying new food and sharing my thoughts. All opinions are my own.