Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

Winter Restaurant Week 2012

Photo courtesy of Daquella manera
Cena courtesy of Daquella manera

So you are one week into your New Years resolutions of getting fit, eating healthy and exercising more… Good for you! Now get over it, because starting January 9th restaurants across the District will be offering killer deals for Winter Restaurant Week. From January 9-15, select restaurants across the city will offer a three-course lunch for $20.12  and three-course dinners for $35.12. Best part is, no mass daily-deal purchase necessary, all you need is a reservation. Now, who doesn’t love a delicious bargain?

Restaurant Week is a week to go big rather than stay home, as some of the pricier dining options in DC become immediately accessible. It is a chance for you to cross out some of those places you’ve had on your list for a while, instead of waiting for the next birthday/anniversary/you-name-it special occasion, you’re excused to dine with the big boys and save a pretty penny too. While some haters (I was indeed one of them) worry that the lower price point comes at the expense of quality, the restaurants below are quality-driven and promise a memorable dining experience regardless of the end bill. And let’s remember, it is their reputation on the line after all and consistency is key. So stop drinking the hate-orade and embrace the feast week.

Here are some suggestions:

Art and Soul- Art Smith will offer an extensive menu that includes some of his signature dishes, as well as a specially priced wine list for the week. Now that’s being a Southern Gentleman.  Menu highlights include shrimp and grits, charcuterie of the day, Yorkshire pig and cabbage, pan fried flounder, and sweet offerings like chocolate bread pudding and apple tart. Update: Art and Soul will be extending their restaurant week menu through January 22nd.

701 - Chef Ed Witt has developed an extensive and exciting menu, mouth-watering options include lemongrass lobster bisque, bourbon caramel apple salad with mustard greens, veal sweetbreads, red wine beef short-ribs, cider braised rabbit leg and desserts including an upscale s’more- chocolate bar with vanilla bean gelato, marshmallow and graham crackers. Need I say more?

Rasika- Reservations at Chef Vikram Sunderam’s Indian mecca are near impossible to snag, so book now if you want to dine here during Restaurant Week. The Penn Quarter powerhouse is consistently delicious and will undoubtedly be offering some of its best dishes.

Photo courtesy of angela n.
Art & Soul courtesy of angela n.

Fiola- Everything here from the classic antipastis to the homemade pastas and innovative fish and meat offerings is spot on delicious. As Fiola’s first Winter Restaurant Week, chef Fabio Trabocchi is sure to deliver. I also recommend you spend the money you would have on the meal and try many a drinks by Fiola’s resident mixologist, Jeff Faile. These men know what they are doing. Continue reading

Business and Money

Thrifty District: Getcha Groupon!

groupon
For this, my first contribution to We Love DC, I want to talk about a company new to the DC area that is leveraging collective buying power to offer fantastic discounts at local retailers and service providers. “Groupon”, which launched its DC operation on May 26th, is a catchy play on the word “Coupon” (I know this seems plainly obvious, but I’m just playing it safe) and a division of Chicago-based parent company The Point, which harnesses the power of individual contribution to generate large scale impact in a social capacity. The Point’s company slogan is “Make Something Happen,” which is pretty kickass because after all, who doesn’t want to make shit happen?

Anyways, the idea behind Groupon came about from a basic problem that many of us busy urbanites suffer from: so much cool stuff to do, but almost too many choices, which means I keep returning to my “usual” spots, only to leave thinking, “man, I really gotta try some new places/things.” But I never did. That is, until I signed up to receive Groupon’s daily deal here in the District. Actually, the first thing I did was buy the hardworking lady friend in my life an hour long massage at Lunar Massage worth $75 for a mere $30 (brownie points on the cheap!). That’s a deal that can’t be beat! Oh wait, sure it can – perhaps by the 60% off Groupon for pilates classes at Mind-BodyFitness, the 71% off at Miracle’s in the City men’s salon, or the 57% off at Posh restaurant. Are you gettin’ what I’m puttin’ down here? Groupon = bigtime savings for patrons + bigtime exposure for businesses, which in turn = win/win for all! Continue reading

Downtown, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Truly Thrifty

Urbana Interior

Recently, I had lunch in Dupont Circle with my work BFF. We chose Urbana as our spot because of the “Urban Lunchbox” deal they have going on – a full three course meal (+ coffee) for 11.95, with a dollar of that going to Arc of DC. (The Arc is a great organization that aims to improve the quality of life of all persons with developmental disabilities and their families.)

At Urbana, diners get a choice of the salad or soup of the day, plus any of the sandwiches or personal pizzas on the menu, and they’ll finish you up with a cookie for dessert. I LOVED it. The portions were very generous, and the fare healthy and well done. Urbana is chic, the service was impeccable and the deal was a complete steal. Normally, my pizza alone would have cost $13, but with the lunchbox I got salad, said pizza, dessert and coffee for that price.

Plus, I have a crush on every Kimpton Hotel, and Urbana is located in the Hotel Palomar on P street so I even got a peek at the stylish hotel lobby. Everything in that hotel is designed immaculately. Even the plates and dishware were trendy. Click through for a peek at my super-sleek coffee cup. Continue reading