There’s no better way for me to beat the winter blues than with comfort food. If that food is at a reasonable price, even better! Restaurant Week is one of my favorite ways to get out and explore Washington, DC. I try out new foods and end up walking through new areas that I wouldn’t venture out to otherwise. The prices of $35 for dinners and $22 for lunch and brunch simply can’t be beat and are a great excuse to check out the more luxurious dining experiences in the area. You can check out my post from Summer Restaurant Week 2018 for even more ideas of places to eat in DC.
This time around my reservations were cut short due to the long weekend and my travel back to Connecticut, otherwise I would have tried to fit in a few more dinners and at least one brunch! However, I had a blast exploring three new restaurants and returning to two of my favorites. I would recommend all of the places I went to, so I’ll give you the rundown of what I got at each meal so you can decide which places suit your taste.
I have been to this bar for drinks and small bites beforehand and always been impressed with the portions and great quality of the food. They don’t skimp on the size of their dishes and actually offered four courses as opposed to the usual three course menus for Restaurant Week. I’ve been a big fan of their drink menu and truffle fries, so I relished the opportunity to experience more of what they have to offer.
What I tried: truffle fries, house made ricotta cheese, poke tuna, roasted baby beet salad, hand rolled gnocchi with mushrooms, and baked alaska
Top Picks: truffle fries, poke tuna, gnocchi, and baked alaska
Rasika West End
My only lunch for Restaurant Week was actually a lunch I did for Restaurant Week last summer as it is close to my office and a great place for coworker bonding. Their hearty portions and delicious Indian food make it a perfect place to try out different flavors and special treats. I would also highly recommend their specialty dessert ice creams and sorbets that you can’t find anywhere else!
What I tried: Palak Chaat (spinach), Warm Kachori Chaat (lentil cake and pomegranates), Vegetable Thali (vegetarian sauce trio), and all five desserts: Rose Date Ice Cream, Guava Chili Sorbet, Gulab Jamun with Ice Cream, Chocolate Samosa, and Coconut Caramel Pudding
Top Picks: Palak chaat, vegetable thali, rose date ice cream, and guava chili sorbet
This newly opened Mediterranean restaurant took the place of NoPa downtown and is actually run by the same individuals who own Rasika. My friend and I were very excited to be one of the first to test out the cuisine, and we were not disappointed. Rich in flavors from across the Mediterranean, but especially focused around Greece, I loved the fresh olives and unusual textures in every dish. It’s central location (right next to the National Portrait Gallery) is perfect for a meal after exploring downtown DC, so I definitely recommend it to tourists and locals alike.
What I tried: falafel, charred romanescu cauliflower, kalamata olive chickpea socca, chocolate pot de creme, and assorted sugary doughnuts
Top Picks: romanescu cauliflower, olive chickpea socca, and chocolate pot de creme
At the recommendation of a friend, I got a group together to check out this french restaurant located between Dupont Circle and the White House. Tucked onto a side street, Le DeSales boasted a fun, decorative ambiance with a variety of dishes ranging from classic to creative french cuisine.
What I tried: beet salad, cavatelli pasta with mushrooms, creme brûlée “classique”, and swiss roll of cranberries and vanilla
Top Picks: beet salad, cavatelli, and creme brûlée “classique”
I’d only heard fantastic things about this Michelin starred restaurant from both friends and colleagues, so I was incredibly excited to try it out! First off, the cocktail menu is exceptional. Then each course proved rich, flavorful, and satisfying. I will definitely return to sample more of their drink menu and explore their dinner options.
What I tried: scallop mi-cuit, burrata and winter citrus radicchio’s, potato pierogi, and tropical ambrosia
Top Picks: burrata and winter citrus, potato pierogi, and tropical ambrosia
DC’s Winter Restaurant Week 2019 will continue through this Sunday, so be sure to take advantage of some of these great deals if you haven’t already. If you’re looking for more inspiration (or these restaurants are already booked up through the weekend) be sure to check out the official Restaurant Week website for more locations.
Happy dining, everyone!