Between August 17 and 23, some 200 restaurants will be offering three-course prix-fixe lunches for $22 and dinners for $35 as part of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s Restaurant Week. I’ll actually be in France that week so I’ll be missing out on the biannual promotion. Which, let’s be real, is ok because I’d rather be in France 😉 If you’d like to pretend you’re in France too that week, may I recommend you make a reservation at these French restaurants:
BISTROT LEPIC WINE BAR
Did Tom Sietsema’s (glowing) review of Bistrot Lepic in the Post recently made you wonder why you don’t go to one of DC’s best French restaurant more often? Now that the circulator goes up Wisconsin, you have no excuse, and restaurant week is the perfect time to discover or rediscover this Georgetown gem. Standout items on the lunch and dinner menu include salade de langue de veau (that’d be French for veal tongues!), a beet and apple salad with farm goat cheese quenelle, snails baked in garlic butter and those are just the appetizers. For mains, there’s a truite meunière, rognons de veau (veal kidneys) or beef medaillons with Gruyère polenta. For desserts, there’s some iles flotantes (baked egg whites floating in crème Anglaise) one of my fave French dessert that you don’t see very often on menus here. I must say, you might actually need to go to Bistrot Lepic more than once during restaurant week!
FIG & OLIVE
The newly-opened City Center restaurant is offering 2 great prix-fixe menus for restaurant week. The $22 lunch includes a salmon crudo appetizer with Arbequina olive oil and a rosemary lamb with couscous with fig and Koroneiki olive oil. Dinner, priced at $35, gets even better: beef carpaccio with white truffle olive oil,fig & olive’s tajine, with harissa Arbequina olive oil or a paella del mar with oregano Hojiblanca olive oil. For an additional $10, you can even get filet mignon with Arbequina olive oil Béarnaise. Both menus include dessert crostinis and an optional crostini tasting for an additional $7 too. Fig & Olive is definitely the one restaurant I hope does extend its restaurant week promotion!!
MINTWOOD PLACE (DINNER ONLY)
Mintwood Place jumped on this list mainly for their key lime speculoos pie dessert, for which I would totally head to Adams Morgan for. The bread pudding with rhubarb sounds pretty amazing too. Can I swap out an appetizer for a second dessert you think? Hum, actually, I really want the steak tartare with jicama to start, so maybe no swapping, just two desserts 😉
If you haven’t had a chance to out Bastille since it relocated to its new (and much bigger) location on N. Fayette Street, restaurant week is a great excuse. Not only does restaurant week at Bastille last until September 6th, but the menu includes some awesome modern French dishes like a a shrimp nicoise salade (lunch menu only), a shenandoah valley lamb burger with harrissa aioli, Moullard Duck breast or shrimp and grits a la basquaise. For an extra $12, you can even add a fourth cheese course before desserts. But don’t fill up! Chef Michelle Poteaux’ take on the key lime seems worth saving a little room for.
Executive chef Bertrand Chemel and pastry chef Caitlin Dysart have designed a simple restaurant week dinner and lunch menu with seasonal ingredients. Start with the the ricotta salata with peach marmalade, ricotta, Cancale sea salt, TrueFarms lettuce or the crab Salad with watermelon gelée, basil, cherry tomatoes. For main, skip the risotto, though it sounds great with cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, popcorn shoots, yellow corn, marjoram oil, and opt for the pan seared rack of lamb with summer squash, herb vinaigrette, spaetzle before ending on a sweet note with Caitlin’s dessert, like the Peaches & Cream with yogurt mousse, poached peaches, vanilla chiffon, raspberry sorbet. For lunch, I wouldn’t miss the duck bolognese, because DUCK! Bonus: restaurant week is extended until August 28th, so I might even be able to squeeze in a quick meal when I get back!!
Two appetizers really stand out for me on Bistro Bis’ restaurant week menu. First, the steak tartare. I love love love a good steak tartare! The other is the moules Marseillaises, which combines the two cultures I come from: my dad is from moules-land (aka. the north of France by Belgium) and my mom is from Marseille, the land of pastis which is used in the broth of the mussels. There are too many stand-out dishes to list on the entree side, classic French dishes like a confit de canard Toulousienne (kind of like a light cassoulet), a Daube d’agneau (with merguez saussages too!!) or a rockfish provencal. Here the lunch menu also brings the addition of a Salade Niçoise, but a more classic one with tuna.
Pinea hasn’t posted its restaurant week menus online but based on past experience, the mediterranean inspired restaurant inside the W will probably open up their entire menu, which few restaurants do. Plus, the dining room recently underwent a complete re-do at the hands of street artist Gaia, so that’s an additional reason why you should check out Pinea during restaurant week!
Do you usually dine out during restaurant weeks? Have you made reservations yet? Any dinner or lunch you’re particularly exited about? Let me know in the comments!!