DC Restaurant Week 2012: Where to Find Full Menus, Free Booze, and Iconic Dishes

These DCRW standouts entice with unlimited tapas, a free mojito with your meal, and much more.

Use Restaurant Week to sample selections from the regular Bar Pilar menu. Photograph by Dakota Fine.

DC Restaurant Week is in full swing with hundreds of eateries offering $20.12 prix-fixe lunches and $35.12 dinners. The average meal looks something like this: choose an appetizer, entrée, and dessert from a limited menu—typically two to five choices in each category—and expect to pay a little extra for dishes that include stuff like lobster or foie gras. But there are exceptions to the rule. Restaurants sometimes throw in drinks, offer unlimited access to their menus, or use DCRW as a chance to showcase the dishes that made them famous. Here, a mix of interesting approaches that caught our eye.

Regular menus: 

Ardeo + Bardeo: Pick three courses from the full menu at dinner.

Bar Pilar: Opt for one small plate, entrée, and dessert from the regular menu at dinner.

Cafe Saint Ex: Choose one appetizer, entrée, and dessert from the regular menu at dinner.

Chef Geoff’s (all locations): Elect options from a menu made up of regular menu dishes at lunch and dinner

Dino: The Italian restaurant is featuring this “Better Than Restaurant Week” dinner.

Fogo de Chao: There are plenty of classic Fogo entrées on the RW dinner menu.

Fourth Estate at the National Press Club: Find lots of options on the lunch and dinner menus.

La Tasca: Choose unlimited tapas from the regular lunch and dinner menus.

Lia’s: DCRW menus include plenty of options from the regular lunch and dinner menus.

Passion Food Hospitality Restaurants: There are narrowed-down lists of appetizers at Ceiba, PassionFish, DC Coast, District Commons, but you can pick any entrée.

Urbana: Select options from the regular menus at lunch and dinner.

Discount Booze:

Drinks included in the promotion:

Bistro Bistro: A glass of bubbly is included with reservations made for lunch and dinner.

Casa Oaxaca: The prix-fixe dinner menu includes a specialty cocktail.

El Centro D.F.: A beverage—chose from limited options including mojitos and beer—is included in the dinner menu.

Hill Country Barbecue Market: Get a Shiner draft beer with the dinner menu only.

La Sandia: The menu includes a beverage.

Discounted pairings, flights, and other boozy promos:

Adour at the St. Regis: “Sommelier selections” include $6 wines by the glass and $30 bottles when you go for the lunch-only Restaurant Week menu.

Art and Soul: Find wines by the glass for $7 to $8 at lunch, and 30 bottled wines for $30 with lunch and dinner.

Bibiana: There are $30 bottles of wine for lunch and dinner.

Caucus Room/Social Reform: Choose from a variety of wine pairing options with dinner.

Firefly: DCRW drink specials include $6 glasses of wine with lunch and $35.12 wines at dinner.

Graffiato: Pair wines for $30.12 with the lunch and dinner menus.

Sonoma Restaurant + Wine Bar: Opt for special wine flights with lunch and dinner.

Iconic Dishes:

Rasika (menus) and Rasika West End (menus): The Rasikas are including their beloved crispy palak chaat and black cod at lunch and dinner.  

BlackSalt: Addie’s mussels are on offer at lunch and brunch.

Elisir: Italian-style sushi rolls are on the dinner menu.

Graffiato: The famous Jersey Shore pizza is available at lunch.

Art and Soul: Find fried chicken with black pepper gravy at lunch and dinner.

The Prime Rib: Try the eponymous prime rib—it’s included at dinner; there’s an upcharge at lunch.

Johnny’s Half Shell: The DCRW dinner menu includes oysters on the half-shell.

Jaleo: Gambas al ajillo and chicken croquetas at all locations during lunch and dinner.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.