August is now in full swing, which in the world of D.C. restaurants means the opportunity to eat and drink your way through plenty of promotional offerings.
The largest, Restaurant Week, runs Monday through Sunday, offering $20.14 three-course lunches and $35.14 dinners at more than 200 restaurants around the city.
Restaurant Week has always been a way for restaurants to combat the August doldrums and try to boost business, but it’s now joined by other special events that aim to appeal to the city’s growing food culture.
Restaurant Week doesn’t have any competing restaurant weeks to deal with this year, however. Northern Virginia Restaurant Week, which the Reston Chamber of Commerce organized last year during the same week as RAMW’s event, isn’t happening, and Bethesda-Chevy Chase restaurant week won’t happen this summer, either.
The full list of participating Restaurant Week restaurants is here; and Washingtonian rounded up some of the most buzzworthy new restaurants participating, from Bryan Voltaggio’s Aggio to Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab. (SPOILER ALERT: There is no stone crab on the Joe’s Restaurant Week menu, however.)
Lots of restaurants fill up for Restaurant Week, which can make it difficult to go on a whim. If you haven’t made reservations, your best bet is probably to eat at the bar, where many restaurants still serve a full menu. Alternatively, try for an early or a late lunch.
If you’re more a glass-of-wine-and-a-nosh type of diner, one of the smaller events that coincides with Restaurant Week may appeal to you. At The Partisan and Red Apron Butcher in Penn Quarter, this week is Lambrusco Week, a week to celebrate the fizzy red wine from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. (For those that are bigger fans of white, don’t worry. It’s still the Summer of Riesling as well.)
Lambrusco Week means seven different lambrusco wines for $6 per glass at The Partisan all week, as well as flights of Red Apron charcuterie and lambrusco, which pairs particularly well with meats. Neighborhood Restaurant Group Wine Director Brent Kroll will be on hand to share more knowledge than you ever wanted about this slightly fizzy, refreshing red wine.
For the beer drinkers among us — and there are plenty, as we’ve covered in the past — next week’s D.C. Beer Week from Aug. 17-24 will probably include some of the hottest tickets in town.
The six-year-old event has in the past coincided with Restaurant Week, although this year organizers made a point to schedule it for a different week. What began as a few bar owner s advertising special events on Facebook has turned into a weeklong beer geek’s dream. The week features dozens of events are restaurants and bars around town, as well as several flagship events including a Beer Week Kickoff Cruise, a D.C. Brau crab fest at Arlington’s Quarterdeck and the “BrewHaHa event in the atrium of the Old Ebbitt Grill.
Many of beer week’s flagship events are ticketed, but many of the others are smaller: tap takeovers or keg tappings at bars around the city. For the full list of Beer Week events, check out the event’s website.