Broke, hungry students, rejoice: Washington, D.C.’s biannual Restaurant Week is here. From Jan. 25 to Jan. 31, over 250 restaurants in the District will offer special fixed price deals during the week, allowing students to scratch off all those restaurants that have sat on their bucket lists since freshman year.
Participating restaurants will be offering a three-course lunch menu for $22 and a three-course dinner menu for $35 including the famous ramen joint Daikaya, tapas eatery Jaleo and Georgetown favorites Cafe Milano and Clyde’s.
Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington Director of Operations and Administration I-Shi Patterson said that despite the cold weather, Restaurant Week is a good chance for students to go out to the city with friends.
“It is the perfect opportunity to get together with friends and reconnect after the New Year, and have a great time,” Patterson said.
Patterson also said the group chose the dates for Restaurant Week, which happens twice a year, strategically, targeting months when restaurants see fewer patrons than usual.
In addition to January, a second Restaurant Week takes place in August.
“We look at the calendar to see what’s happening at the region, and we pick dates that make sense for the participating restaurants,” Patterson said. “The two months that we chose are the slower months of the year for the restaurants involved.”
This year, RAMW has also partnered with various corporations to promote Restaurant Week. Customers who order an entree from 10 select restaurants between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. during Restaurant Week and post a picture on Instagram with the hashtags #RWDMW and #UberEATS will be eligible to win a free dinner for two.
In addition, from Jan. 18 to 22, listeners who call in live to The Tommy Show on 94.7 Fresh FM and The Joe Clair Morning Show on 95.5 WPGC-FM will be eligible to win a free lunch during Restaurant Week with the members of the team of the respective shows, plus three friends.
Customers who make their restaurant reservations on the official Restaurant Week website at RWDMV.com will also be eligible to win a series of prizes, from a weekend getaway in the DMV area with dining included, to gift certificates for local restaurants.
Here are four selected restaurants to check out during Restaurant Week:
Central Michel Richard
Famed French chef Michel Richard has made a name for himself with Central Michel Richard, an American restaurant with a twist of French cuisine. Central Michel Richard was ranked No. 15 on the Washingtonian’s 2014 list of the District’s best restaurants. For Restaurant Week, CMR is offering the same menu for both lunch and dinner, featuring its signature flaky and crispy fried chicken. In April 2015, The Washington Post included the dish on its list of D.C.’s best fried chicken, describing it as “KFC-inspired crispy breast and thigh [that] come stacked atop a pool of the butteriest mashed potatoes you’ll ever taste.”
On the normal a la carte menu, the fried chicken typically costs $25. During Restaurant Week, diners will be able to order their choice of an entree — such as the fried chicken, a burger with fries or a vegetable pearl risotto — and a lava cake or a cranberry-almond pudding, among other dessert options, for $22 during lunch or $35 during dinner.
Driven by a farm-to-table philosophy, Founding Farmers, which only serves food produced by American family farms, will be offering a myriad of options at its branch in Tysons, Va. Diners will be able to choose from the normal menu, from appetizers such as blue cheese bacon dates or a fig, mascarpone, balsamic and proscuitto farm bread as an appetizer, to chicken and waffles or steak and enchiladas as an entree.
The casual and lively restaurant also offers healthier options for those who are still trying to recover from their holiday overindulgence.
A glazed cedar plank salmon, shrimp and sun-dried tomato bucatini or an interesting meatless cauliflower steak and risotto order should please those looking for something on the lighter side.
The restaurant’s wide selection, sustainable philosophy and unique beverages earned it a place on the Washingtonian’s 2009 list of the top 100 restaurants in the District.
This Italian restaurant was born from JoAnna Filomena’s inspiration from her mother’s food and her constant desire to share it with others.
Filomena is regularly frequented by politicians from Joe Biden to Bill Clinton to George H.W. Bush. As the famous stories go, Clinton met with former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl multiple times at the restaurant to discuss diplomatic affairs during his presidential term.
This cozy, intimate restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue also features a warm decor, with plenty of artwork and marble statues. The restaurant is a favorite go-to for Georgetown students during Parents’ Weekend, as its a la carte menu is typically on the pricey side.
Now, students on a budget will be able to enjoy the restaurant’s signature Black Angus meatballs along with quick-fried Italian rice balls stuffed with mozzarella cheese and Bolognese, as well as other delicious pastas.
La Taberna del Alabardero
For the week, Spanish eatery La Taberna del Alabardero will be serving an array of traditional tapas, from cod meatballs to boneless pork ribs pancakes to Spanish rice pudding. There is also a variety of vegetarian and vegan options available. This restaurant is famous in Spain, with locations in five different cities. The D.C. branch, which opened in 2005, is its only location outside of Spain. Headed by executive chef Javier Romero, who has won numerous awards for his restaurants back in Spain, La Taberna is sure to please those who crave an authentic taste of Spanish cuisine.
In addition to the extensive menu offerings for Restaurant Week, the restaurant is also famous for its wine and cocktail list and its beautiful decor, which includes a large outdoor patio.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the dinner set menu offered two courses rather than three. It also incorrectly stated that the Pennsylvania Avenue branch of Founding Farmers will be offering Restaurant Week specials.
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