8 Summer Restaurant Specials to Try Now

Get a jump on Restaurant Week with these Sunday suppers, crab feasts, and lazy day deals.

Iron Gate dishes up family-style Mediterranean feasts on Sundays and Mondays during the summer. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Summer Restaurant Week doesn’t start until mid-August—more on that soon—but many eateries have already settled into the slower, more casual summer pace with dining deals and fun, wallet-friendly specials. Here are a few to try this week.

Arepas at Del Campo

777 Eye St., NW

Drop into the bar or hit the outdoor patio at chef Victor Albiso’s South American grill, where you can try a new lineup of arepas. The folded flatbreads are stuffed with fillings like lobster salad, Wagyu sirloin with chimichurri, or crispy pig feet banh mi ($5 to $9). The arepas are offered during lunch, dinner, and late-night happy hour (10 to midnight, Thursday through Saturday).

Family-style picnics at Fainting Goat

1330 U St., NW

Can’t get to the Bay for a crab feast? Try this gastropub’s Monday picnic series, when chef Nathan Beauchamp whips up family-style meals themed around classic summer dishes ($25 to $40 per person). Maryland crustaceans, peel-and-eat shrimp, and corn are on offer for August, while lobster boils begin in September ($25 to $40 per person; Mondays 5 to 9). Advanced reservations are required.

Garden lunch at Restaurant Eve

110 S. Pitt St., Alexandria

Chef Cathal Armstrong takes advantage of his restaurant garden’s bounty by offering a three-course “green garden lunch,” Monday through Friday ($28 per person). The meal includes an appetizer, entree, and dessert, all which highlight fresh herbs and produce.

Summer dinners at 1789

1226 36th St., NW

Georgetown’s stalwart fine dining restaurant invites guests to join them on summer evenings through September 11, and try a three-course menu for $48 (Saturdays excluded). Diners can pick between seasonal appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Given that mains regularly run near $40, the dinner is a deal.

Mediterranean feasts at Iron Gate

1734 N St., NW

Pretend you’re farm-hopping in the Mediterranean at Iron Gate, where chef Tony Chittum serves a European-style agrotourismo dinner on Sunday and Monday evenings in the carriage entrance and garden patio. The family-style menu ($50 for two; $25 each additional person) includes shared antipasti, a pasta like house-made ravioli, and entrees such as an oak-roasted young pig with vegetables. Bottles of Greek wine go for $25.

Sunday suppers at Quill

1200 16th St., NW

The Jefferson, one of the ritziest hotels in town, invites diners into their bar for a three-course Sunday meal that includes a glass of wine ($35 per person). The set menu includes dishes like a starter of linguine with crab and saffron, followed by poussin (young chicken), and white chocolate panna cotta.

Tuesday dinners for two at Policy

1904 14th St., NW

This 14th Street spot creates a Tuesday deal for duos: a dinner that includes a starter, two meats (Korean short ribs, butter chicken), a side, a dessert, and a bottle of wine. The deal runs on Tuesdays through the end of summer.

Three-course lunch at Republic

6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park

Three courses for $16 is a pretty sweet deal, not to mention the promise of getting in-and-out within an hour. Guest pick between apps and entrees like wood-grilled calamari, ancient grain salad, and Addie’s mussels, plus a dessert. A beer or glass of wine can be added for $5.

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.