Thursday, January 20, 2011

Best Thing I Ever Ate: Restaurant Week!

WOOOO! DC Restaurant Week! LOVE. My favorite way to experience a restaurant is to bring a group and sample many things on the menu. I am a BIG sharer, prob bc I have shared everything with my twin my whole life! If you haven't heard of Restaurant Week, it's a week where expensive restaurants have a fixed menu for cheaper. Lunch is $20.11 and Dinner is $35.11. You need to make reservations a couple weeks in advance (Check Open Table) as places fill up quick.
For Winter 2011 I am going to...
West End Bistro by Eric Ripert
(look for reviews to come)

My friends are always asking me for suggestions/reviews on restaurants around the area, so I have gone through the 2011 RW list and given my brief thoughts... Of course I encourage you all to experience them for yourselves! Restaurants are judged/remembered depending on three components: food, atmosphere, and service. A restaurant can't be considered GREAT unless it nails all three. If one of the components are lacking, it affects the overall experience. I have marked the restaurants that I think are great values for the prix-fixe menus (*). Get reservations early! I know I'm late with these reviews, but hopefully it will help in the future!

Over the past couple of years I have been to these places for Restaurant Week:
*Acadiana: tasty, interesting, good pick for RW
Ardeo + Bardeo: cool place, great wine bar next door, would go for a random dinner night
Asia Nine: bland, boring, but was also there right when it opened
Cedar: reviews seem to be hit or miss, but this was a good experience
*Ceiba: latin-fusion, great dishes, interesting menu, go for RW or happy hour!
*Co Co. Sala: supposed to have a great brunch menu, this restaurant and chocolate "boutique" is definitely worth trying for RW or any other time
*i Ricchi: homemade pasta is AMAZING, delicious food, old school atmosphere/decor
*J&G Steakhouse: love the W, really liked this restaurant
*Mie N Yu: great pick for RW as I would prob have not gone here otherwise, food was good!
*Oya: super delicious! chic atmosphere, good pick for RW
*PS7: great restaurant, would definitely recommend
Sonoma Restaurant + Wine Bar: nothing spectacular, go for the wines
Zentan: service was a little lacking last time, but good food and atmosphere, sushi was delish

Have been to these (but not for Restaurant Week)
*2941: in a random office building in falls church, overpriced for what you get, but still delicious!
*Art & Soul: haven't been back since I wrote the cocktail list (LONG story) but Art Smith has a great reputation
Asian Spice: not good, tried to stick too many cuisines under one roof
Belga Cafe: authentic belgian food + beers, fun place in Capital Hill
*Birch & Barley: went for Valentine's day and had a tasting menu + beer pairings, would recommend this place for RW or a random special occasion
*Cafe Atlantico: great for lunches or dinners, all of José Andrés' restaurants are solid. (Michael Voltaggio cooked for me here!)
Chef Geoffs: great for lunches or a big group
Chima: brazilian steakhouse, eat till you drop.
Columbia Firehouse: in Old Town, more casual but great menu and atmosphere
DC Coast: thought it was just ok, haven't been in years
District Chophouse: super casual, great lunch place in Chinatown
Hook: good atmosphere, pretty good food, nothing too special
Jaleo: i'm not a huge fan of lime, ceviche, or tomatoes which is all over the menu. interesting foods, would recommend if you haven't been
La Tasca: great for big groups/special occassions on a casual night
Liberty Tavern: wish they would put the pizza with an egg back on the menu, great for HHs and dinners!
Lyon Hall: very interesting menu, extensive beer list
Me Jana: delicious lebanese
Melting Pot: SO much food, I promise I will only order cheese and dessert (next time...)
Oyamel: small plates, similar to la tasca but a little more upscale
*Paolo's: would love to go back here, everything was super tasty!
*PassionFish: in reston, ok, nothing spectacular
*Poste: have been for lunch, but need to go back for dinner, might begood for RW?
*Rasika: upscale indian, great introduction for those who "don't like" indian food. fab place.
SEI: (sushi/asian) went the first week it opened and had an ok experience, would be willing to give it another try
*Tallula: thought it was overpriced but delicious, prob would be good for RW
TenPenh: americanized chinese food. this half chinesey is not impressed.
*Willow: thought it was overrated, but people love it
Zatinya: small plates, great for groups or dates, maybe not for RW
*Zengo: can be casual or upscale, have been many times and have been impressed, they offer basically the whole menu for RW

Have added these to the list for my next food adventures:
**Adour: I DIE - have been dying to go here since it opened
**Blue Duck Tavern: definiely on my list
Carmine's: new addition to DC from NY, family style italian portions are calling my name (but not for RW)
*Cuba Libre: brand new in Chinatown, going to go soon!
*Farmers & Fishers: have been hearing good things recently, I am usually a little biased to Waterfront restaurants as they are typically overrated
Filomena: still haven't been! want to.
Gordon Biersch: casual, great garlicky fries and always good food
Kinkeads: DC staple that I have yet to visit
Masa 14: small plates, want to go!
Policy: have had a groupon forever!
*Trummers on Main: supposed to be really good, but when will I ever bein Clifton?

xoxo A

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