Food

6 Dining and Drinking Alternatives for Winter Restaurant Week

Where to find brunch deals, cocktail specials, and more.
Woodward Table offers Restaurant Week brunch this weekend. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week runs through Sunday, with hundreds of participants offering $20.15 set lunches and $35.15 dinners. Still, other eateries offer their own versions of the specials and deals, including brunches, cocktail flights, and anti-Restaurant Week menus. Here are six outside-the-box alternatives.

Anti-Restaurant Week at Dino’s Grotto

1914 Ninth St., NW

Owner Dean Gold is the first to admit that Restaurant Week isn’t a good deal. His alternative: a five-course tasting for $35, which includes a cup of tomato-garbanzo bean soup and your choice of antipasto, pasta, main, and dessert. Wines are also discounted; bottles over $50 go for 33 percent off, while flights are $15.

When: Now through February 5.

Restaurant Week brunch at Woodward Table

1426 H St., NW

While Jeff Buben‘s downtown spot participates in the official RW promotion, it also offers an extra deal: brunch. Stop in on Saturday and Sunday for a $20.15 menu, which includes hearty mains such as ham-and-egg biscuits with crawfish-andouille gravy, pastrami Benedicts, and French toast, in addition to appetizers and desserts.

More Restaurant Week brunch at Chef Geoff’s

Multiple locations

The downtown, Tysons, and Rockville locations of this local chain offer Sunday Restaurant Week brunch, in addition to the official lunch and dinner deal. The menu (sample) includes any of the CG Brunch Classics, such as a hangover burger or fried chicken and gravy, plus coffee and a choice of juice, mimosa, or Bloody Mary for $20.15.

Restaurant Week Gone Rogue at Rogue 24

922 N St., NW

Chef RJ Cooper goes beyond the bland chicken-or-salmon RW options, offering sea urchin and mango gazpacho, lamb-neck confit, and rigatoni with chicken livers on his modernist menu. Three courses go for $35.24 per person, or a five-course tasting for $55.24 that includes two appetizers and two entrées apiece. Another set of menus follows for the week of January 28.

When: Now through January 25; January 28 through February 8.

Three cocktails and plates at Bar Pilar

1833 14th St., NW

Anyone looking to spend less than $35.15 can head to the bar for a three-cocktail flight priced at $15, with an optional three-plate pairing for another $15. Drinks include a gin-based Thai cocktail with lemongrass and Amaro Montenegro, while plates range from Vietnamese pork belly meatballs to beef carpaccio with shaved foie gras.

When: Now through Sunday, January 25.

Design-your-own menu and drink pairings at Cafe Saint-Ex

1847 14th St., NW

Even when it’s not Restaurant Week, guests can design their own three-course offering by picking an appetizer, entree, and dessert from the regular menu for $35. During RW the bar offers a paired drink flight: an Old Fashioned (or variation) up first, beer or wine with the entree, and a dessert wine for the sweet finish.

When: Now through Sunday, January 25.

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Anna Spiegel
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.