Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Restaurant Week in DC.......

So, its that time again. Unlike most years, the realization that the happiest time in all the year was nearly upon me did not come too late, and I was able to get a few decent reservations for Restaurant Week. For us poor government employees normally relegated to happy hour specials and appetizers at the bars of great restaurants, peering longingly into the windows envying the well-suited lobbyists frivolously ordering 15yr old scotch and lobster courses, Restaurant Week provides the rare chance to break in and try the best (and worst) that DC has to offer.

In some ways, this is a win-win proposition. At best, you discover a great new place, or a new item on the menu of an old favorite, and have a great meal for $35. At worst, you walk away from a $35 meal grateful that you did not waste a bonus, birthday, or wealthy date on the experience. Of course when you have six reservations in five days, all accompanied by a few bottles of wine (exquisitely paired with each course naturally), it becomes what you buy instead of, say, your rent or non-ramen lunches for the month. But still, its wonderful.

I do love this week. This year, I was ecstatic to remember that restaurant week was coming in time to actually get great reservations . Ok, so 6 pm, strongly argued up from 5 pm, at The Prime Rib isn't the best time, but still, I was lucky to get something at all. At least there might be someone other than busboys starting a shift and an elderly senator from South Carolina in the room.

In preparation for DC Restaurant Week, I was trolling for blogs, websites, anything that discussed the best places to go, and came up dry. There is seemingly a lack of good info out there, which is a shame given the great disparity in how many restaurants approach this week. I have eaten at places that really went all out to present a great image and seek new customers, places that used the week to try out fantastic, awful, and always interesting new menu options, and places that seem to inexplicably participate in the most begrudging way, openly snarling at the poor masses that mob otherwise fine establishments demanding decent service and a chance to discover a new special location. Even though, as previously explained, I do really feel that the week is win-win, whether a meal is good or bad, I still definitely try to seek out the tasty places, and put this blog forth as a hopeful resource for others looking for something a little special.

With that said, here is the lineup, all dinners (sorry kids, I work where there is no fine cuisine, and only a halfway decent chance of making it to your car without mace, so no lunches):

Dino, Sat 9 Aug
TenPenh, Mon 11 Aug
Taberna del Alabardero, Tues 12 Aug
The Prime Rib, Wed 13 Aug

Its already Thur, so I will try and get back reviews out there ASAP. Otherwise, The Prime Rib looks like its first up!

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