13 New Restaurants to Try for DC Summer Restaurant Week

Now is the time to check out fresh spots for French, Persian, Singaporean, and more.

Old Town Alexandria newcomer Josephine is offering an extensive restaurant week menu. Photograph by Rey Lopez.

Summer Restaurant Week kicks off Monday, August 28 and runs through Sunday, September 3. This year, several newcomers are taking part in the promotion, offering $40 and $55 dinners and $25 lunches and brunches. Among the 150 participating restaurants are a few of the past year’s most exciting debuts: cool French bistros, nostalgic comfort food spots, and fresh purveyors of Persian, Singaporean, and Basque cuisine, among others. Find the full list of participating restaurants and their special menus here.


Bar Spero

250 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Johnny Spero’s highly seasonal Basque seafood bar’s $55 dinner menu starts with a tomato-and-stracciatella salad, follows with a potato knodel (a style of dumpling), then moves on to either kombu-and-porcini-rubbed steak from the restaurant’s wood-fired hearth, or squid ink-blackened rice with shrimp and saffron.  


Caruso’s Grocery (Pike & Rose)

11820 Trade St., North Bethesda

The nostalgic Italian-American restaurant’s suburban iteration is offering a $40 three-course dinner with classic appetizers like a caesar or Caprese salad, mains like chicken parm’ or penne alla vodka, and desserts that include a blood-orange creme brulee. 


Easy Company

98 Blair Alley, SW

The Wharf’s neighborhood-y wine bar, which breezed onto the scene in January, has a two-course lunch ($25) and a three-course dinner ($55) option. At lunch, follow a baby kale salad with a prosciutto-and-fontina panini or a burger. For dinner, go a little bigger with an appetizer like crispy brussels sprouts, a main like shellfish cioppino, and dessert.


Ellie Bird

125 Founder’s Ave., Falls Church

The dining room at Ellie Bird. Photograph by Andrew Noh.

This family-friendly restaurant from the owners of DC’s Rooster & Owl gets bonus points for variety. The $55 dinner menu offers several choices, including focaccia with grilled-scallion butter; a little gem wedge salad; blistered shishitos with Caesar foam; and pan con tomate. Mains include an elote-inspired riff on cacio e pepe; fennel rigatoni with duck sausage; branzino with summer squash and rice; and more. Finish it all off with a summery dessert like panna cotta with berries. After Restaurant Week, the deal will extend into the month of September, but will be offered on weekdays only.


Jiwa Singapura

2001 International Dr., McLean

Inside Jiwa Singapura. Photograph by Scott Suchman .

This modern Singaporean restaurant at Tysons is offering a $25 lunchtime nasi padang: a Sumatran meal of jasmine rice with various pre-cooked side dishes like shrimp satay, beef rendang, and bean-and-snow-pea salad. For dinner, a $55 four-course meal includes a Kam Heung crab roll and a pork belly main course, among other dishes. Wine pairings are also available.



8045 Leesburg Pike, Tysons

A Persian feast at Joon. Photograph by Rey Lopez.

Much-praised Iranian cookbook writer and chef Najmieh Batmanglij’s first US restaurant has a $25 three-course lunch and a $55 three-course dinner menu. Meals can start with a lamb sanbuseh (a savory-sweet turnover), mast-o-khiar (cucumber yogurt dip), or a classic Shirazi salad of cucumber, tomato, and onion. Main dishes include boneless chicken or kubideh kabobs, and homier dishes like a rich duck fesenjoon (stew made with walnuts and pomegranate). For dessert: baklava with cardamom ice cream.



109 Saint Asaph St., Alexandria

The dining room at Old Town brasserie Josephine. Photograph by Rey Lopez.

The handsome Old Town brasserie’s four-course $55 dinner has dozens of options. Among the many hors d’oeuvres, you can choose wagyu tartare, cucumber gazpacho, or ratatouille. There are classic French salads like nicoise and lyonnaise. Standard French plats principaux include boeuf bourguignon, gnocchi parisienne, and duck confit. For dessert, there’s île flottante and black cherry clafoutis. 


Le Clou

222 M St., NE

Chef Nicholas Stefanelli’s French hotel dining room in NoMa has a full slate of restaurant week specials: a weekend brunch and a weekday lunch, both $25; and two dinners— two courses for $40 or three courses for $55. The menu sticks to modern versions of classic French dishes. For brunch, mains include an omelet with herbs and creme fraîche or a jambon beurre sandwich. A few of the dinner offerings: pâté de campagne, soupe à l’oignon, escargots, trout almandine, and steak frites.


Meli Wine & Mezze

1630 Columbia Rd., NW

Chicken and bifteki at Meli. Photograph courtesy of the restaurant.

This “Greek-ish” restaurant from Duck and the Peach owner Hollis Silverman made a splash in Adams Morgan this summer with its business model (it requires a $25 annual membership fee). Its $40 three-course dinner starts with mezze like grilled halloumi with lemon and peach or roma beans with whipped tahini. Mains come in the form of skewers of chicken or veggie souvlaki and bifteki, all accompanied with crispy potatoes and harissa. Mahalbi, an orange blossom milk pudding, is one dessert option. 


Nama Ko

1926 14th St., NW

The inventive, “no-rules” 14th Street Japanese spot from chef/restaurateur Michael Schlow is doing a $55 four-course dinner with optional wine and sake pairings. Follow appetizers like miso soup or shrimp tempura with a sushi or sashimi course (the chef’s selection), then move onto mains like roasted salmon with heirloom tomatoes and furikake rice or chicken katsu with Japanese corn salad. Finish things off with a dollop of soft serve—Nama Ko’s specialty dessert—in flavors like black-truffle/chocolate.


Parlour Victoria

1011 K St., NW

Parlour Victoria, which takes over a historic mansion in Mt. Vernon Triangle, is from Baltimore's Atlas Restaurant Group. Photography courtesy of Atlas Restaurant Group
Parlour Victoria in Mount. Vernon Triangle. Photography courtesy of Atlas Restaurant Group.

The seafood-focused tavern in a historic Victorian mansion attached to the Moxy Hotel is offering a three-course $25 lunch and a three-course $55 dinner. Southern coastal dishes like rockfish ceviche or blackened branzino with Gullah crab rice make their way onto the menu, and dessert choices include an ebony and ivory pot de creme and a cosmic crisp apple cake.


Philippe by Philippe Chow

635 Wharf St., SW

High-profile Manhattan restaurateur Philippe Chow’s glitzy new Wharf outpost is luring diners with a $55 three-course dinner of crowd-pleasing Chinese fare, starting with appetizers like chicken lettuce wraps or chicken satay with peanut sauce. The second course could be filet mignon sauteed with green beans, sweet and sour chicken, or a garlic vegetable stir fry. Dessert options aren’t especially Chinese—chocolate layer cake or red velvet cake. 


Petite Cerise

1027 Seventh St., NW

The $55 three-course dinner at Dabney chef Jeremiah Langhorne’s French bistro in Shaw starts off with a mussel soup or melon arugula salad. Flounder meuniere with corn and red pepper, chicken ballotine with beans and tomato, and gratin de riz with glazed summer vegetables are your main course options. For dessert? Maybe a summery take on rice pudding with melon and lemon thyme. 

Ike Allen
Assistant Editor