Restaurant Week serves as the perfect excuse to try the newer – and sometimes pricier – restaurants around DC as well as reminds you of old favorites. With many restaurants extended for a second week, here’s some of the restaurants we tried. For context, lunches were $22 and dinners $35, neither including drinks.
Monday: Estuary (Lunch)
Estuary is new, interesting, and usually quite pricey making it the ideal start to kick off Restaurant Week. We started with the tuna tartare (pan con tomate, tuna jamon, tomato, black garlic). The portion was good sized and the flavors popped. Cedar planked salmon as a main was tasty and light since I had to go back to work afterward and was worried the insane looking Estuary Burger would be a guaranteed nap. The meal closed with an insane cookies and cream dessert that was like a dense, smooth, borderline bitter chocolate pudding with a freeze dried creme fresh on top.
Tuesday: Mintwood (Dinner)
Mintwood is neither new or flashy but consistently delicious. House staples like chicken liver mousse and tagliatelle bolognese are on the RW menu but we weren’t for some of the less routine options. Lamb Merguez with a beet hummus was juicy and fun. The veal osso bucco came with an entire peach and a bone full of marrow to boot. Not pictured was a delightful duck confit. You can’t go wrong with either the lemon tart (pictured) or the coconut rice pudding.
Wednesday: CHIKO (Lunch)
CHIKO is always the right choice and their restaurant week menu gave you options that solidifies that. While the szechuan fried chicken sandwich is what the heart wanted, a food coma mid day wasn’t something I had time for. The Korean garden noodles with summer vegetable option came with set sides – also vegetable based – that were filling and interesting without weighing you down.
Thursday: Doi Moi (Dinner)
Doi Moi tied Mintwood for the most expansive set of mix and match Restaurant Week options which is a real treat. The drunken bahn mi bao were huge and delicious making whatever your main dish inevitably both your dinner and your second dinner hours later. I highly recommend either the jackfruit curry or char kuey teow noodles. Shut it down with some classic mango + sticky rice or an Ube hoho and you’ll leave happy.
When you’re picking a destination during restaurant week remember to
1) Get a reservation
2) Ask if you and a date can split one Restaurant Week order (it’s often a lot of food for one person). Not many places let you do this but it’s a great option. Zaytinya is definitely the best bet for this and you’ll both leave full!
3) Be honest about if the items on the RW menu are what you want to eat – there’s no reason to spend $35 on a bunch of food when you really just wanted the $16 burger.
Many of the restaurants taking part in restaurant week are offering a second week as well. For a full look at what restaurants are doing restaurant week, go to https://www.ramw.org/restaurantweek .