Delicious Dining Deals During the Downturn

Vermilion’s lunch deal lets you sample Anthony Chittum’s rooted, unfussy cooking without breaking the bank.

Whither the power lunch and client dinner? Determined to lure diners despite the economy, high-profile restaurants have come up with stimulus packages. Some of our favorites:

Dino offers its menu della sera—three courses for $25, including Venetian-style meatballs, a variety of pastas, and gelato or panna cotta—Sunday through Thursday if you place your order by 7. Sunday and Monday, bottles of wine that are more than $50 are a third off.

• Every day, Lia’s presents an early-bird special: From 4 to 6:30, diners can get three courses for $19.95. All day on Sunday, wines by the bottle are half price.

• At Mio, you can dig into a pizza, a plate of mixed greens, and a sorbet for $15—as long as you’re among the first 20 orders at lunchtime.

Poste and Vidalia have put together affordable three-course lunches—$20.09 at Poste, $19.90 at Vidalia—that sacrifice none of the imagination and savor of the dishes on their regular menus.

• The “lunch crush” in the bar and lounge at Proof offers a choice of six entrées—including chef Haidar Karoum’s crisp shrimp burger—with a glass of wine for $12.

• Weekdays at Redwood (7121 Bethesda La., Bethesda; 301-656-5515), a two-course lunch is $15. Entrées include a Tasmanian-salmon skillet and fresh linguine with vegetables, local chèvre, and pesto.

• At 2941 Restaurant, Bertrand Chemel’s rustic but refined French cooking is available in a three-course menu at the bar for $30.

Vermilion has a three-pronged lunch program—CEO ($19), Junior VP ($15), and Intern ($11)—that offers three ways to sample Anthony Chittum’s rooted, unfussy cooking. Add dessert or a glass of wine for $5 more.

• The $13.95 lunch special, an entrée from the expanded menu plus a glass of wine, at Teatro Goldoni's bar remains one of the best deals in town.


This appeared in the July, 2009 issue of The Washingtonian.  

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.