What to Eat During Summer Restaurant Week

Enjoy specials ranging from Spanish paella to Indian gulab jamun, August 9-15.

Give your kitchen a break and let the professionals do the meal prep this week. More than 70 Virginia dining establishments are participating in Summer Restaurant Week, with special deals on brunch, lunch and dinner, including both on-site dining and takeout options. Visit Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington for a full list of participating eateries. Below are just a few examples of what’s cooking.

Ser Lomo 2

Grilled hanger steak with chimichurri at SER


Javier Candon’s Spanish restaurant in Ballston will offer lunch and dinner specials on the patio and in the bright and cheerful dining room, as well as to-go orders. Cold starters such as beet salad with grapefruit and oranges or chilled melon soup with crispy Jamon Iberico are perfect for hot August days, and mains like lomo (hanger steak) with chimichurri are sure to satisfy.  A $25 wine pairing features an albariño, a tempranillo and, finally, a sweet moscatel dorado to pair with dessert choices of chocolate flan, creme brûlée or caramelized rice pudding.  //1110 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington (Ballston)


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Cheesetique’s truffle mac ‘n’ cheese


The fromage-focused cafe with locations in Shirlington and Del Ray is offering a $22 lunch, starting with soup and ending with chocolate mousse, as well as a $35 dinner for two (half off the regular $35 per person price). The dinner menu begins with a full cheese board, followed by seven cheesy entrée options, including a new burrata flatbread topped with pepperoni and arugula, or the restaurant’s classic three-cheese mac with truffle breadcrumbs. Special menus available for dine-in only. //4024 Campbell Ave, Arlington (Shirlington) and 2411 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria (Del Ray)



Gulab jamun at Spice Kraft

Spice Kraft Indian Bistro

Spice Kraft has created two shareable dinner spreads for Restaurant Week. The $35 menu features a handful of appetizers and several entrees, including butter chicken and Goan salmon curry, plus a bread course. The $55 menu digs deeper into the eatery’s mostly gluten-free menu, adding soup or salad and a dessert course. The sweets include options like honeyed gulab jamun made with almond milk, tapioca, rice, cardamom and sugar, or shahi tukda, a sweet bread dish made with condensed milk and cardamon. Both menus are designed for two and can be enjoyed on site or as takeout. //1135 N. Highland St, Arlington (Clarendon)



Paella at Pamplona


Sample dinner selections from the Spanish eatery’s $35 prix-fixe tapas and large plate menu. Or, for $55, you can upgrade to options like duck paella with mushrooms and shishito peppers, or squid-ink paella with calamari, mussels and shrimp. Both menus can be ordered for on-site dining or takeout, and include two dessert choices: crispy churros or creamy tres leches cake with berries. To get the deal, all members of your party must order from the Restaurant Week menu. //3100 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington (Clarendon)


Frutti Di Mare Porto

Frutti di mare at Portofino


This mainstay on Crystal City’s restaurant row will highlight classic Italian dishes on its $35 dinner menu.  To start, consider the prosciutto e melon, a cool, salty and sweet combination of fruit and cured ham; or the chilled frutti di mare featuring marinated shrimp, scallops, calamari and mussels. Housemade pastas star in entrees such as fettucine alfredo, lasagna Bolognese, or seasonal soft-shell crab with a side of linguine and pesto. End the night with traditional tiramisu, lemon sorbet or an affogato—ice cream topped with Amaretto and warm espresso. Portofino is celebrating 50 years in Arlington with half-price bottles of wine. //526 23rd St. S., Arlington (Crystal City)



Tacos at TTT


Order up some fresh tortillas and a variety of proteins to make DIY tacos, including smoked short rib with mole Americano or grilled shrimp with yuzu-garlic, plus sides and dessert. The dinner deal also includes a margarita— spicy, strawberry, mango or classic—or beer. In addition, TTT is offering two Fiesta for Two menus for takeout.  The $60 deal includes a one pound of proteins (think pork carnitas, fried chicken or grilled portobello with garlic, thyme and soy) plus four sides, dessert and a bottle of wine or a cocktail for two. The $100 family-style takeout deal is designed for four guests.   //2900 Wilson Blvd. Arlington (Clarendon)

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Orechiette with sausage and broccoli at Osteria da Nino

Osteria da Nino Italian Ristorante

Feast on specials like orechiette with sweet sausage and broccoli, or whole branzino with fennel and olives.  Or, for a small upcharge, splurge on seafood risotto, veal scaloppini or osso bucco.  Cool off with cannoli, chocolate mousse, Tiramisu or gelato for dessert.  The Shirlington trattoria is closed on Mondays.   //2900 S. Quincy St., Arlington (Shirlington)



Gazpacho at 2941


Chef Bertrand Chemel’s upscale dining spot is offering a $55 dinner menu Aug. 9-12 and Aug. 14 for takeout or to enjoy in its spacious dining room. That includes summer favorites like heirloom tomato gazpacho and yellowfin tuna tartare with avocado mousse and a kick of jalapeño. Entrees include the popular short ribs, lighter ricotta cavatelli with burrata and heirloom tomato, or dover sole and new Caledonian shrimp over spätzle with maitake mushrooms. Intricate desserts shine at 2941 and capture the peak bounty of summer. Finish the evening with strawberry mousse and a watermelon pavlova with watermelon granita and fresh basil creméux. //2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church



A spread of spreads at Ambar


Order up a sampler of dishes from Ambar’s extensive Balkan menu. Consider cauliflower with parsley and tahini spread, sesame-crusted Atlantic salmon with eggplant, or smoked pork sausage with house mustard and cabbage slaw. Ambar is also offering family-style meals to go—seven courses designed for two diners, including a bottle of wine or a cocktail mixed for two. //2901 Wilson Blvd. (Clarendon)



Duck breast and duck leg confit at The Liberty Tavern

The Liberty Tavern

The Clarendon restaurant is including its entire menu—with a few upcharges for steak, duck and seafood—in its $35 Restaurant Week dinner specials. Start with a bowl of sweet corn chowder with bacon and potato, or a kale salad with strawberries, pickled blueberries and candied pepitas. Known for its wood-oven pizzas, Liberty is turning out a summer pie topped with pesto, tomato, artichoke and feta cheese. For dessert, don’t skip the lemon ricotta cake topped with berries and Limoncello whipped cream. Sister restaurant Lyon Hall is also offering its entire menu with the same pricing structure. //3195 Wilson Blvd, Arlington (Clarendon)


Sloppy Mamas Scott Suchman

Ribs at Sloppy Mama’s. Photo by Scott Suchman

Sloppy Mama’s BBQ

Nothing says summer like barbecue. Hit up Joe and Mandy Neuman’s Lee Highway (now Langston Boulevard) ‘cue joint for a $35 deal that includes any appetizer, one sausage, a quarter pound of pork, a quarter pound of brisket, two ribs, two sides (with options like collards, cornbread, coleslaw and more) and dessert. //5731 Lee Highway, Arlington


Steak Frites

Steak frites at The Freshman. Photo by Joseph Tran

The Freshman

Stop by Nick Freshman’s eponymous National Landing cafe for a three-course lunch ($22) or dinner ($35). The specials include sweet corn hushpuppies, fried oysters, a grain goddess salad, grilled broccoli & Brussels Caesar, gulf shrimp agua chile,  steak frites,  Peruvian-style chicken, key lime pie, seasonal gelato or sorbet and other creative fare. //2011 Crystal Drive, Arlington (National Landing)


Categories: Food & Drink