When Restaurant Week Isn’t Cheap Enough

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘jillmotts’
One of the complaints I have about Restaurant Week is that while three courses for approximately $35 is a deal in a lot of places, I’m still not going to get out of the restaurant without plopping $50 down once we’re counting tax and tip and God forbid a glass of wine. Though I think a Restaurant Week reservation at places like Adour, J&G Steakhouse and Westend Bistro is a total coup, for the most part I’m spending just as much money on Restaurant Week as I would on a normal night out at the same place. And usually, I’m not able to order exactly what I want.

So what’s a gal like me to do? (That would be a cheap, apt to complain gal.) There are a couple options this year. The first is to hit up H Street Eats. Running concurrently with the regular ol’ Restaurant Week (Jan. 17-23), most of the restaurants on H St. NE will be running specials and fixed price meals for $20.11 during their complete hours of operation. Menus are available here, but there are a few that jump out at me. If you’re looking for a fun date on the cheap, for $20.11 at H St. Country Club you’ll get one appetizer, fajitas for two, one dessert and two mini-golf passes. Or if you’ve recently had a bad date that you want to eat away the memory of, Sticky Rice will feed your soul with a salad or soup, tots, a Monster roll or noodle bow, a PBR and fried cheesecake. That’s a lot o’ food.

If two for one specials are more your style, then wait around a week for Alexandria’s Restaurant Week, which runs January 21st through the 30th. While they have plenty of restaurants participating in the three course for $35 prix-fix deal, there are a lot of places that are doing a $35 dinner for two instead. The list of participating restaurants is available here, and while it should be said that the two for $35 deal is at places that aren’t exactly fancy, there are plenty of great options. RedRocks, Cheesetique and Pizzeria Paradiso are all great options for a casual night out in this cheapskate’s opinion. It’s also worth pointing out that Hank’s Oyster Bar in Washington doesn’t participate in Restaurant Week while the one in Alexandria does. So if you’re craving oysters and chunks of free chocolate, you have an option.

Bethesda is also doing their own Restaurant Week again this year, which runs from January 24th-30th. Meals will run you from $12-$15 for lunch and $25-$30 for dinner, but the number of courses varies by restaurant so make sure to double check their offerings to optimize your savings. Two of my Bethesda favorites are participating, Grapeseed and Redwood, and both are offering lunch ($12 and $15, respectively) and a three course dinner for $30. Finally, the restaurant that goes down in history as home to the most expensive meal I’ve ever eaten, Old Angler Inn, is participating this year. Sure, it isn’t as exclusive as it once was, but it is still a Maryland institution and a total steal at Restaurant Week prices.

So with a little Internet elbow grease, there may still be deals to be had out there for Restaurant Week. Godspeed and good luck.

Ashley Messick

Ashley is a born and bred Washingtonian who left for college but came running back to the District as fast as her little legs could carry her. By day she is a Capitol Hill brat, but by night she is a lean, mean, eating machine. It’s her goal in life to steal Anthony Bourdain’s job…by whatever means necessary. Contact her at Ashley (at) welovedc (dot) com or follow her on Twitter.