Food

8 Ways to Celebrate Your Special Occasion, Pandemic Be Damned

Live. It. Up.

Snapper escoveitch at Trinidadian restaurant Cane.
Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

Washingtonian is keeping you up to date on the coronavirus around DC.

It’s your birthday (HBD!). You could a) dream about a far-off reservation at a splurgy restaurant, or b) make the most of the situation at home. A few ideas for the latter: 

Order up some fancy cocktails
Takeout daiquiri kits from Shaw destination the Columbia Room. Mod tropical drinks in batch form from Seven Reasons on 14th Street. Pina Coladas from U Street tiki bar Archipelago or Coconut Club, the island-inspired spot by Union Market. You get the idea.

Hit one of our top ten restaurants of 2020
Haven’t had the fried chicken from Anju? You can now get it delivered to your door. Komi has morphed into an all-vegetarian grab-and-go joint, Happy Gyro. Somewhat unexpectedly, the mid-Atlantic-accented Dabney has taken on carryout also (three courses for $45), as has the eclectic Bresca (four courses for $45). Check out more of our ranked list of the area’s 100 Very Best Restaurants for 2020 here.

OD on shellfish
So you can’t order up a lavish three-tiered seafood plateau. Recreate your own from the offerings from ProFish, the restaurant supplier who just launched a delivery service. This week, it’s stocking Florida stone crab claws, Maryland lump crab, Rappahannock oysters, littleneck clams, live lobsters, and more. Also, we’re on the edge of softshell season! Palisades fish market Blacksalt sells Maryland specimens (shad roe, too).

Splurge on a share
A Peking duck from Q by Peter Chang or Peking Gourmet Inn; a lemony whole roast chicken from Kinship; branzino from Fiola Mare; snapper escoveitch from Cane; a cook-at-home wagyu sukiyaki set from Sushi Taro…all would feel special in their own ways. I’d certainly be psyched about a celebratory round of steak fajitas and margs from Republic Cantina.

Check out a luxe caterer
Some of DC’s most high-end catering outfits are now serving parties of…anything. This is a unique opportunity to give one a try. Susan Gage offers a mix of a la carte options (grilled lamb chops with arugula/mint pesto, charcuterie, and cheese boards) and family-style comfort cooking. At Occasions Caterers, you can order individual or share-friendly dishes, plus local flowers.

Make it steak night
A bunch of steakhouses are still operating. High on my list: BLT Steak, Rare, Randy’s, and Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab.

Whip up something yourself
Many restaurants are selling supplies and ingredients for at-home cooking. Stellina, the excellent Union Market-adjacent pizza shop, is offering fresh pasta. All-Purpose will supply you with the makings of a pizza. Lots more to choose from here.

Don’t forget dessert!
Local bakeries like Piccolina (get the bomboloni), Baked & Wired (for cupcake seekers), and Pluma (for elegant pastries) remain open. Bread Furst in Van Ness has a wide range of sweets—from whole and sliced layer cakes and pies to canneles and passionfruit doughnuts. And one of my very favorite desserts in the area—the olive oil cake with boozy raisins at Thompson Italian—can still be had at the Falls Church hotspot, which recently reopened for takeout.

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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 Logan Circle.