Twice a year, Restaurant Week rolls into town. Haven’t heard of Restaurant Week before? Well, keep reading.
Back in college, I was introduced to Restaurant Week by some of my friends. I thought it was a really cool concept, especially for college students who didn’t have much disposable income. Twice a year, diners have the opportunity to try new (or their favorite) participating restaurants for a fixed price. Each city differs in how much they charge for brunch/lunch and dinner, but every participating restaurant uses that amount. For the DMV (DC/Maryland/Virginia) area, lunch this winter Restaurant Week was $22 for a three-course meal and $35 for a three-course dinner.
Now, I know what you’re thinking…fancy restaurants can’t be participating in Restaurant Week. Actually, they are. In college, I went to 4-star restaurant…I’m talking white tablecloths, dim lights and all. I ate salad for an appetizer, salmon for dinner, and crème brûlée for dessert. Now, to be honest, restaurants don’t always let you try all of their signature dishes during Restaurant Week. However, you are still able to get a quality dining experience for the price of an entrée on a regular day. When the list of restaurants become available in your area, make sure to check out their menus. I normally only go to one restaurant during Restaurant Week, because I know there will be other restaurants I can try in six months.
This time, my family joined me on my eating adventures. We went to a restaurant called J. Gilbert’s in Northern Virginia. I had never been there before but was excited by everything I saw on their menu. Before we ordered, they brought a warm, sourdough bread to the table. I am fairly certain no other restaurant I have dined at, brought fresh out of the oven bread to the table. I could talk more about the bread, but I realize I’m not on a Food Network show.
For an appetizer, I tried their baked potato soup. Three words, de-li-cious! The soup was creamy (with a few chunks of potato), cheesy, and flavorful. The bacon and chives added an extra layer of texture to the soup, really giving it the impression of a baked potato.
I chose the maple roasted salmon with green beans and mashed potatoes for my entrée. If I could be a Chopped judge for a minute: the presentation could have been a little bit better, it seemed as everything was disconnected from each other. Additionally, I could have done without the pecans in the green beans, as they did not add much to the side dish. Okay, I’m back, but overall, it was a satisfying dish.
My favorite course of this whole meal was the dessert. I chose the chocolate velvet cake, hoping that they would include vanilla ice cream. What I got was so much better. The chocolate cake was rich and velvety, and the raspberry sorbet not only complimented the cake, but helped to cleanse the palate as well. I was going to say that this was my favorite Restaurant Week experience, but all of the restaurants I have been to have served different types of cuisines…it would be like comparing apples and oranges. But this was absolutely a great choice.
So if you are a foodie like me, or trying to ball on a budget, you definitely should participate in your city’s next Restaurant Week. And if you did participate this winter, comment with a link to your post about it below. As always, thanks for your support. If you enjoyed this post or want to know more, please like/comment/subscribe/share.