Guests of Alain Ducasse’s elegant restaurant in the St. Regis Hotel will be offered a special three-course menu with options such as Maine lobster salad, braised sea bass, and a “chocolate celebration” with a hazelnut praline.
Where: 923 16th St., NW
Hours: 5:30 PM for the early seating; 8 for the later
Info: Early seating—$95 for adults; $45 for children. Later seating: $195 for adults; $60 for children. Reserve on OpenTable or call 202-509-8000.
A three-course prix-fixe meal featuring lobster salad, pheasant breast, and filet mignon highlights the New Year’s Eve celebration at this Mediterranean spot on 17th Street, Northwest. Guests will be treated to a belly-dancing performance and a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight.
Where: 1727 17th St., NW
Hours: 5 to 8 PM for à-la-carte menu; tasting menu available from 9 on
Info: $85 per person. Reserve on OpenTable or call 202-332-6767.
A Mad Men-themed three-course dinner party at Art Smith’s Capitol Hill eatery will have everything from a fried oyster salad to beef Wellington and a bananas Foster sundae. Guests will also be treated to a live jazz band.
Where: 415 New Jersey Ave., NW
Hours: 5:30 PM for the first seating; 7 for the second
Info: $75 per person for the first seating, $85 per person for the second.
Bandolero’s Mexican Cowboy Countdown event will treat guests to regular menu items such as suckling pig tacos, tuna taquitos, and lamb sopes. The price includes an open bar and all-you-can-eat hors d’oeuvres.
Where: 3241 M St., NW
Hours: Party begins at 8:30 PM
Info: $150 per person. Purchase at CityEats.
Chef Jon Mathieson plans to go all out on the 31st with a special truffle-heavy menu including surf and turf with filet mignon, Maine lobster, and French truffles; pan-seared day-boat scallops with foie gras and savoy cabbage fondue; and a truffle duo of soup and risotto. Traveling around the downtown steakhouse will be a Champagne and caviar cart with three different Osetra and domestic caviars plus grower Champagnes and vintage Dom Perignon (available for $20 to $80 by the glass).
Where: 1625 I St., NW
Hours: Seatings available from 5:30 to 11 PM
Info: $60 for prix-fixe three-course menu. À-la-carte also available. Reserve by calling 202-689-8999.
There are perceived seasons and there are real seasons. Chefs will tell you that customers start wanting fall things—roast chicken, duck confit—on September 1, even though in the kitchen it’s still the time of the year for fresh tomatoes and soft-shell crabs. But while we're trying to shed the dog days of summer, crabs are still shedding their shells. Unum’s Phillip Blane gets his stock from Maryland-based Baxter Soft Crabs, and says the company ensures him soft-shells will be around into September this year.
Over at BLT Steak, however, chef Jon Mathieson and his crew recognize that for many diners, soft-shells are like white pants: not okay after Labor Day. So they’re putting together a celebration of the symbolic summer seafood with a special menu from August 18 through 31 that features five rotating soft-shell preparations: pan-seared with a spring vegetable ragout of yellow wax beans, favas, ramps, and fiddlehead ferns; polenta-crusted with marinated white asparagus and ramp pesto; fried with warm chickpea hummus and a za’atar emulsion; in a brioche sandwich with Sriracha aïoli, smoky bacon, and roasted tomatoes and accompanied by Old Bay fries; and roasted with a caramelized tranche of veal, grilled jumbo asparagus, and morel sabayonne. The restaurant will also be hosting a soft-shell cooking class on August 18 from 12:30 to 3 PM. It’s $100 per person; call Lindsey Greenbaum at 202-689-8989 to reserve.
Read on for five more spots currently serving up delicious soft-shells.
Fried chicken is having a highly controversial moment in Washington (and everywhere else), but there’s some great news for lovers of crispy poultry: Fried chicken specials are on the rise in local restaurants.
Two new birds to look out for: ChurchKey, which officially launches its off-menu four-person platters when the doors open this evening. We checked out a test run last week at a media preview, and stumbled down the stairs after downing three styles of chicken, warm biscuits, crazy corn, doughnuts, and the suggested pairing of Schneider Weisse Aventinus beer. Tip for the wise: Wear loose clothing.
We also just received great news from Dan O’Brien at Seasonal Pantry, who says he’ll start rolling out fried chicken on Tuesday evenings as of next week. All of his recent fried chicken supper clubs sold out, so to give everyone a fair chance at the thighs and drums, he’ll have pieces ready and available to take home. Read on for full details on both, plus seven other fried chicken specials to try.