New Eateries Participate in Restaurant Week
It’s January and that means sub-freezing temperatures and an occasional Snowmageddon in the DMV. It also means it is time for the 2015 Metropolitan Washington Winter Restaurant Week, a great time to check out a new area restaurant or somewhere you don’t usually go.
This year, the Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week will be Jan. 19-25. The promotion encourages area diners to dine out, eat at their favorite restaurants and discover new dining experiences.
More than 250 restaurants are offering prix-fixe $20.15 three-course lunches and/or $35.15 three-course dinners. Participating restaurants are located throughout the District from Ashburn, Chantilly, Purcellville and Reston, Va., to Gaithersburg and Frederick, Md.
Usually the most popular restaurants in town decline to participate. Neither Rose’s Luxury nor Le Diplomate are participating. New restaurants also don’t usually participate while they are still basking in their opening buzz, but Daniel Boulud’sDBGB Kitchen and Bar and Del Frisco’s Double Eagle, which both opened at CityCenterDC last year, are participating for both lunch and dinner. So are Jose Garces’ Rural Society near Logan Circle, Richard Sandoval’s Toro Toro and Barry Kaslow’s Pinea at the W Hotel. Even José Andrés’ new China Chicano, which just opened last week in Penn Quarter, has jumped on board as have all of Andrés’ area restaurants.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle, China Chicano and Pinea didn’t have their Restaurant Week menu’s posted, but here’s what the others are offering:
For lunch, DBGB is serving a choice of roasted squash soup, duck pate or grilled kale for its lunch appetizer; a choice of linguini with broccoli rabe, tomato confit, parmesan and olive oil; a roast beef panini with aged cheddar, caramelized onions and pickled peppers; grill salmon with creamy lentils, pearl onion and mushrooms; or The Frenchie burger (normally $19 alone) with confit pork belly, arugula, tomato-onion compote and morbier cheese on a potato bun with cornichon, mustard and fries. Dessert choices includes a choice of passion-coconut sundae with passion fruit ice cream, coconut sorbet, tapioca, candied lime and chantilly or chocolate sacher with chantilly and raspberry sorbet.
Dinner appetizers include the roasted squash soup; fluke crudo with shaved fennel, dill and orange vinaigrette; or curried cauliflower with green apple, celery and purple potato; an entrée choice of bucatini with cracked blacked pepper, parmesan, poached egg; flank steak with crusted potato, watercress salad and sauce Charon; grilled salmon; and The Frenchie. Dessert includes the chocolate sacher; a bananas foster sundae with banana ice cream, foster sauce, caramelized cashews and banana bread; or meyer lemon tarte with confit lemon and pomegranate sorbet.
Rural Society’s lunch menu include a choice of ensalada mixta with mixed baby greens, poached cherries, toasted walnuts, goat cheese and shallot-oregano vinaigrette or sopa de bori bori with pork belly, charred corn and parmesan dumplings for the first course; pollo asado with wood grilled chicken, merken aioli, lettuce, tomato and pecorino cheese; medialuna with smoked ham, fontina cheese and arugula on a sweet croissant; the Rural Society Burger with a house-ground dry aged burger, provoleta, malbec onions and salsa golf; or choripan with house-made chorizo sausage, smoked tomato and chimichurri. Dessert is a flan de dulce de leche with mango sorbet and shaved chocolate.
The first course for dinner include pulpo carpaccio with braised octopus, sundried tomato escabeche and malbec chips; or morrones with fire roasted peppers, eggplant, goat cheese and anchovy. The second course includes chorizo gaucho, a traditional Argentine sausage; or fugazza tradicional, Argentine flatbread with confit onions and mozzarella. The third course include bife de chorizo, Uruguayan ribeye; crema de patata, garlic whipped potatoes and mozzarella curd; and setas, wood fired mushrooms, lemon and truffle. Dessert is the flan de dulce de leche.
Toro Toro will be offering its express lunch brunch, normally priced at $28, for $20.15 during Restaurant Week. It includes assorted breads, avocado salad, tomato mozzarella salad, asparagus salad, build your own salad, shrimp cocktail, ceviche of the day, achiote chicken, chorizo and picanha. The chef’s daily selection, included with the buffet, include adobo turkey breast on Monday, chipotle BBQ pork shoulder on Tuesday, leg of lamb on Wednesday, glazed pork ribs on Thursday, achiote flank steak on Friday. All of Sandoval’s restaurants including Ambar, El Centro D.F., Masa 14 and Zengo along with Toro Toro will extend their Restaurant Week specials through Feb. 2.
Dinner includes a first course of shrimp ceviche with tomato, cucumber, honey, red onion and habanero broth; ensalada mixta with baby greens, egg, chayote, mushrooms, queso fresco, crispy shallots and cilantro vinaigrette; empanada criolla with potato, peas, poblano pepper, chorizo, chicken, Oaxaca cheese and aji verde; or Spanish ham croquettes with Chinese mustard and chipotle aioli. The second course includes a choice of churrasco grilled picanha steak with sea salt and fingerling potatoes; pistachio crusted mahi mahi with coconut Malanga purre, ginger glazed carrots and chile toreado aioli; Peruvian chickpea stew with red onion, kale, tomato, cotija cheese and steamed brown rice; or pork barbacoa with black bean puress, chayote slaw and crispy qinuoa. Dessert offers a choice of chocotorta Argentine with cream cheese, Kahula and strawberry glaze or piloncillo pots de crème with fresh berries, biscotti and whipped cream.
Many diners also skip the limited menus and harried service that typify the biannual promotion. But if you can’t resist, you better call that restaurant you’ve been eyeing soon to make your reservation or do it online. You can check out some of the menus there too.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.