DC at Night

DC at Night

Monday, August 19, 2013

DC Dining: Restaurant Week (Summer 2013)

Football fans have the Super Bowl. Movie buffs have the Oscars. And foodies have Restaurant Week, which in DC began today and runs until next Sunday.

This year, more than 240 restaurants in the district and neighboring Maryland and Virginia are participating. For the special week, eateries offer a $20.13 lunch and a $35.13 dinner.

As someone who really enjoys good food, I tried to convince my wife that we should dine out all 7 days. She nixed that idea, but agreed that we could try 3 lunches or dinners at places we hadn't eaten at yet.

Today, we dined at Woodward Table.  The restaurant is one of 3 DC spots operated by James Beard Foundation Best Chef Mid-Atlantic (1999) Jeffrey Buben. Buben also runs the southern-focused Vidalia, which often appears on lists of the 10 best restaurants in DC, and the highly rated French eatery Bistro Bis. Having eaten at both those establishments, we had high expectations for Woodward Table. We weren't disappointed.

Kentucky Hot Brown
Both my wife and I opted  for the entree Kentucky Hot Brown (turkey breast, benton’s bacon, heirloom tomato, and mornay sauce on toasted brioche).  Judy chose the grilled chicken cobb salad (bacon, avocado, cucumber, blue cheese, egg, bibb with a red wine vinaigrette for an appetizer while I had fried chicken livers with anson mills cheese grits, okra, sweet pepper marmalade, and bourbon sauce. For dessert,  Judy selected  the peanut butter mousse tort with bittersweet chocolate cream, feuilletine crunch, and dark chocolate sauce while I completed my meal with coffee and cream, an almond chocolate crumble with mocha mousse, coffee toffee, and cappuccino cream.

Next up was restaurant 701 on Pennsylvania Avenue adjacent to the Archives Metro station.  The restaurant,situated just blocks from the Capitol, has long been ranked as one of the top DC spots for a power lunch or dinner.

Because of a change, we had dinner here. Initially, we tried to get a table at the Capital Grille down the street, but there were no open tables until 9:30. Fortunately, we were able to get a table at the almost equally crowded 701 without a reservation.

Butterscotch pudding with caramel popcorn

For her 3-course Restaurant Week special, Judy chose heirloom tomato salad (w/ ricotta, black pepper gastrique, and argula), buffalo mozzarella ravioli (w/ corn, tomato marinade, and basil butter), and Butterscotch pudding with caramel popcorn.

Meanwile, I opted for poached sweet water shrimp (w/lemon tapioca, horseradish, and tomato jam), steamed rockfish (w/garlic broth, pickled peppers, and chili oil), and the butterscotch pudding.

We completed our Restaurant Week trio with a lunch at the Capital Grille. Since this is one of DC's top-ranked steakhouses both Judy and myself chose the 8-oz. filet with mashed potatoes. For appetizers,  Judy chose the garden salad and I opted for the New England clam chowder. For dessert we both selected the sorbet with fresh fruit.

The New England clam chowder
Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
So what would have made the perfect meal for me. I would go with the clam chowder from the Capital Grille, the Kentucky hot brown from Woodward Table, and the butterscotch pudding from 701.

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