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Restaurant Week, Summer 2005


monavano
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I'm curious to hear what places are a must for restaurant week?  And what places would you avoid?

Personally, I had a nice lunch at DISH one year and a lackluster one at Cafe Atlantico the next.

Corduroy does it right. In fact, Corduroy is better during RW then the rest of the year in my experience.

I'm always disappointed at DC Coast and Ten Pehn. They give you a choice of any entree but severely limit the apps and dessert. And the wait staff is usually pretty rude. We just go other times of the year now and enjoy.

We've tapered off in the past fews years after too many mixed experiences.

It's sad because in NY the whole RW experience usually turns me into a fan of someplace for life. Other than Corduroy, I haven't been that wowed.

Jennifer

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Kinkead's menu and food were great. A real value. Vidalia's food was quite good too, but the service was indifferent at best which really turned us off to spending our hard earned dineros there. Also, I ordered two wines by the glass which turned out to be almost as much as dinner! I think if they're going to charge 13 bucks for a chardonnay, they ought to warn you first. Lesson learned. Now I always ask.

We'll definitely be going to Courdoroy, 1789 and........we'll see what kind of recommendations I see.

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My first visit to Corduroy was for Restaurant Week and it was great - made me want to go back throughout the year (and I have!)

1789 basically allows you their entire menu which is a lot of fun. Again, I've returned several times during the year.

I was very disappointed at David Greggory last summer with their tiny, special menu. No one of my group ended up ordering from it and we all resented the place afterward. Came off as very stingy.

I've had some pretty blah experiences at Galileo for RW through the years.

I agree with the previous poster, you'd think that the week would be used to really wow guests and encourage them to return. That point of view seems to be rare, unfortunately. My goal for this August is to discover new places in the burbs that would be worth the drive in the future (and it takes a lot for me to cross into VA!)

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I've had good experiences at DC Coast and Ceiba which offered almost their whole menu when I went. However, Tehn Pehn last time around was pretty blah for dinner - they offered most of the menu though so maybe the food wasn't to my group's liking.

A few years ago, I went to Galileo and it was nothing special with a small menu.

I'm definitely thinking about Cordoroy too. Anyone know if Komi is participating? I haven't had a chance to sample their goods yet and RW might be a good time I think.

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I was very disappointed at David Greggory last summer with their tiny, special menu. No one of my group ended up ordering from it and we all resented the place afterward. Came off as very stingy.

That's funny, I went to DG during winter Restaurant Week and thought they did a pretty good job. The pork chop I had was gigantic and very flavourful.
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That's funny, I went to DG during winter Restaurant Week and thought they did a pretty good job.  The pork chop I had was gigantic and very flavourful.

Happy to hear it! I was there last August... sounds like they've improved. I might have to drop in and give them a second chance :lol:

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FYI for those 1789 RW fans, I just checked out their website and saw they have a summer offer of $35 for 3 course meal:

http://www.1789restaurant.com/coupon/index.cfm

Not sure how their menu for the offer will differ from their RW offerings, but for a bit more folks can take advantage of this offer June 15-Sept 15 and save room for other places to try on RW.

Also, noticed that they have a very limited (2-3 choices each for 3 course) Pre-Theater menu for $30:

http://www.1789restaurant.com/whats_happening/index.shtml

I love restaurants with detailed websites. Now if they would just post their current menus instead of only "samplings" :lol:

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DC Coast has always been good.  They usually open up the whole menu with a add on for the tea smoked lobster.

They don't open up the whole menu--entrees yes, apps and desserts, no. The desserts are never as good as what's available on the regular menu and are only seen twice a year--during Winter and Summer RW. I just can't embrace giving them props when 2/3 of the meal is crappy and second rate cause they let you chose any entree.

Yes, I feel very passionately about this.... :lol:

Jennifer

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I always try to do the proper research ahead of time (ie which places have good service and have the entire menu avialable) and I've never had an unsatisfactory experience.

Places I loved during past RWs: Corduroy, Tosca, DC Coast, TenPenh, Ceiba.

I know the DC Coast/Ceiba/Ten Penh family limits you on the desserts, but there are always at least 5 appetizers and the desserts they give you are still good, if a little cheaper than what you'd normally get. The sea bass I had at TenPenh for January's Restaurant Week is still my favorite meal of 2005.

Tosca is very flexible with their menu. They have 4 courses (appetizer, pasta, entree, dessert), and you can do pretty much anything for your first two courses (app-entree, app-pasta, pasta-entree).

For August's RW, I'll be making an inaugural visit to 1789, and I'll probably make a return visit to Tosca. If the funds are good that week I'll try to hit another new place.

edited: thought I should clarify, you can only have three courses at Tosca, but you get to choose 3 of the 4, granted it ends in dessert.

Edited by The Doctor
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Has Restaurant Eve participated previously? Fingers crossed :lol:

Places in Northern VA have participated in RW, but I don't remember Restaurant Eve doing so in the past. But the special currently being offered in the bar/lounge is a good deal ;) :

The Lickity Split-Lounge Lunch Menu $13.50

Welcome to Restaurant Eve, we use the freshest ingredients that local farms and area markets can provide. We change our menu often, to provide you, the best of the season. Bon Appetit!

This special promotional menu is available only in the bar and lounge from 11:30-4:00 (Valid One per guest only-cannot be shared Thank you.)

Selections

Choose any 2 items....YES!...We mean ANY TWO.

DAIZE’S SEASONAL COCKTAIL Local Strawberries, Limes and Absolut Citron Vodka

KEN FORRESTER Petit Chenin Blanc 2003 (South Africa)

CASTILLO DEL BARON Monastrell 2003 (Yecla, Spain)

VICTORY-Pilsner-Draft

Virginia Asparagus with Virginia Ham and Everona Piedmont

Market Salad; Mixed Greens, with Garnishes from Local Markets

Spanish Omelet (Tortilla Español) with Grande Aïoli

Virginia Asparagus Soup with Créme Fraîche

Manilla Clams with Chinese Sausage and Spring Garlic

Salad Du Jour

Sandwich Du Jour

Risotto

Fingerling Potatoes

Irish “BLT” with House Made Chips

“Birthday Cake”....Just Because

Chocolate Torte

Apple Fritters

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Just announced. No participating restaurants listed yet. I'm looking forward to trying some  places I didn't get to during winter restaurant week!

Link:

http://www.washington.org/restaurantwk/

I hope Jason/DC Foodies won't mind me posting this link. The RW website is usually lacking in the important info we want (mostly full menu or slimmed down) and Jason did some serious phone calling last time. Here's hoping it gives everyone an idea of what to expect this time around:

http://www.dcfoodies.com/2005/01/restaurant_week.html

Last time, Restaurant Eve didn't participate, and yes, some restaurants outside of DC do participate (like Colvin Run Tavern). Some places only do lunch.

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I hope Jason/DC Foodies won't mind me posting this link.

I don't mind at all! I'll be doing the same thing again this time. Hopefully I won't have to do as much calling though, since some restaurants know now to email me the info ahead of time.

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They don't open up the whole menu--entrees yes, apps and desserts, no.  The desserts are never as good as what's available on the regular menu and are only seen twice a year--during Winter and Summer RW.   I just can't embrace giving them props when 2/3 of the meal is crappy and second rate cause they let you chose any entree.

Yes, I feel very passionately about this....  :lol:

Jennifer

well I have never had any complaints, nor have any of my friends that have dined with me. The food has always been wonderful and unlike many other places in this town, they actually treat you the same as any customer even though you may be ordering off the restaurant week menu.

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Like others here I've had good experiences at Corduroy and Tosca. I've also done well with the limited menu at Equinox (the only offer a few choices, but they post the menu online so you can see in advance if it appeals to you) and have had several nice lunches at Colvin Run's bar.

DC Coast underwhelmed this winter.

And one of my top three or four meals of 2004, not just for RW, was Yanyu's five or six course RW tasting menu. Unfortunately, that's not happening any longer.

I'm thinking Tosca, Corduroy and Colvin Run this year, or I might mix in one new sopt.

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me too!! I've already booked 3 places on opentable.com based on speculation. Fingers crossed, wallet open.

Speaking of which....for any and all who might be interested, I have booked a Restaurant Week table at Corduroy for Saturday evening, August 6th at 6pm. Just PM or email me if you would like to join the table. Edited by crackers
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Odd that opentable has the restaurant week participants and the official website does not...

Also, I was at Corduroy for the last restaurant week in January -- when you sat down, I believe all they gave you was the restauraunt week menu. Not a bad idea, insuring all customers are treated the same.

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, I believe all they gave you was the restauraunt week menu. Not a bad idea, insuring all customers are treated the same.

A La Carte menu is also available during the RW. Since we serve our full menu as RW menu the only difference is; the other one has individual prices on.

And right , everyone is treated same and =

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Where did you see this list on the open table site?

It was in Hillvalley's post above.

http://www.opentable.com/promo.aspx?pid=68&m=9

A La Carte menu is also available during the RW. Since we serve our full menu as RW menu the only difference is; the other one has individual prices on.

And right , everyone is treated same and =

Yes, you're obviously right. The full menu was available (one of the reasons I chose to dine at Corduroy in the first place during RW), I didn't remember if you could order a la carte as well. It was still one of my top meals of this year. The lobster salad appetizer was really outstanding to me.

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I'm thinking Oceanaire and Taberna -- trying to get as much bang for my buck, so to speak. I'm worried, however -- these are some high end restaurants, and the possibility of bad service is there. Anyone been to either during RW? I was surprised to see both on there... maybe its a mistake?

K

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That's for last year.  The proper dates were up a few days ago, which is strange.

Man, that gave me a scare, since I have a handful of reservations now for the first week of August!

I'm thinking Oceanaire and Taberna -- trying to get as much bang for my buck, so to speak. I'm worried, however -- these are some high end restaurants, and the possibility of bad service is there. Anyone been to either during RW? I was surprised to see both on there... maybe its a mistake?

I would be interested to know how Oceanaire is as well during RW. The one review on the post's website is positive, but look at the other one next to it, it's obviously staged:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?n...=2&type=keyword

I swear there used to be a reader submitted review on there from the summer 2003 restaurant week where they said they were treated rudely, and the only appetizer was a wedge of iceberg lettuce and the only dessert was literally a skippy cup.

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I swear there used to be a reader submitted review on there from the summer 2003 restaurant week where they said they were treated rudely, and the only appetizer was a wedge of iceberg lettuce and the only dessert was literally a skippy cup.

My father went to Oceanaire in DC a few months ago. He went with a bunch of business buddies from all over the US -- your typical guys night, cigar crowd. He loved it, had a fantastic time. Also had a friend go to the Oceanaire in San Diego and come back raving... so I think I might give it the benefit of the doubt and try, especially with the restaurant week deal in effect.

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FYI, I went to Oceanaire in one of the earlier years of RW. Indeed one choice was the wedge of iceberg. We did the math, and if you ordered the same exact items being offered it either was cheaper then doing RW or you saved $1. I hear they have gotten better in the past couple times that they have done RW. Even so, after being burned, I would go elsewhere. We ended up ordering off the menu, which was fine. I don't see what the fuss is about that place. It is like a steakhouse but with fish. I would rather go somewhere like Restaurant Eve for the same price as what we paid!

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Thanks LizH et al.... I'm passing on Oceanaire. Thing is, I'm organizing a larger group dinner -- probably between 6 and 8 people -- and trying to think of somewhere fun to "invade". The date night is already booked at Poste... I'm thinking Cafe Atlantico for the group. Suggestions?

BTW, the DC Tourist Board site is now up and active for Summer Rest. Wk 2005.

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I'm thnking that I might like to explore places I have not been to before or which I get to infrequently, such as Circle Bistro, Palette, Poste and Vidalia.

Circle bistro has a pre-theater menu for $35 that runs all the time.

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I am in for Ceiba on Monday and Sushi-Ko on Friday.

The thing about RW for me is that I almost always spend more than I would had I just ordered off the menu. I am always adding on stuff like fancy-pants cocktails and wine and ordering the one thing on the RW menu that has an additional cost.

I think this time I am going to check out the special menu but order what I really want for a change.

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The thing about RW for me is that I almost always spend more than I would had I just ordered off the menu.  I am always adding on stuff like fancy-pants cocktails and wine and ordering the one thing on the RW menu that has an additional cost.

That's a good thing, not a bad thing! Restaurants want you to do that. :lol:

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I've had positive experiences at Corduroy (of course) and Ceiba, both of which usually offer their full menu (or at least close to it)

I'm beginning my long process of calling all of these places today, now that the official list is posted. If any of you reading this work for a participating restaurant please help me out by emailing me what you're offering. :lol:

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