What to Eat During Winter Restaurant Week
Enjoy tasty specials Jan. 25 to Feb. 7. The options include heated patios and tons of takeout.
Restaurants are hurting, we’re all tired of our own cooking and heated outdoor patios are the new normal. We’re also seeing gourmet takeout options like never before. More than 50 Virginia dining establishments are participating in Winter Restaurant Week with discounts on lunch, dinner and (in a few cases) brunch. Below are just a few of the places we can’t wait to visit over the next two weeks. For a full list of participating eateries and menus, visit the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) website. Let’s eat!
Starting Jan. 27, Joe and Mandy Neuman’s Lee Highway ‘cue joint is offering a special package for two ($58) or four ($99) that includes pimiento cheese, chicken, ribs, your choice of sides, banana pudding and mud pie. Bundle up and enjoy a feast in the outdoor whiskey garden, where the owners are encouraging patrons to embrace the Nordic tradition of friluftsliv (which translates as “open air living”). //5731 Lee Highway, Arlington
Save your appetite. Chef Bertrand Chemel’s 3-course dinner menu, available daily from 5-8 p.m., includes appetizers like yellowfin tuna tartare, Acadian oysters or crispy calamari with lemon-tarragon aioli, after which you can move on to mains such as beef short rib “bourguignon,” pan-seared scallops, duck with quince confit or parmesan risotto. The desserts include yuzu frangipane, chocolate cake with mint ice cream, or espresso Apollonia sablé with coffee ganache and caramel. //2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church
Ivan Iricanin’s Balkan restaurant in Clarendon now has a tented winter garden with heat lamps and separate dining pods for small parties, where you can partake of an all-you-can-eat selection ($22 per person at lunch; $35 per person at dinner) of spreads, charcuterie, soups, salads, grilled skewers and more. Try the Balkan kabob sandwich; piquillo pepper croquette; cauliflower with parsley-tahini spread; beef short-rib goulash; pork belly stuffed cabbage; or sesame-crusted salmon with eggplant jam. Another option: take it all to go and feast at home. // 2901 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington (Clarendon)
Dine like Spaniards do with tempting options such as chicken-liver pate with berry compote; beet salad with grapefruit, oranges and goat cheese; quail in escabeche with quinoa; grilled salmon with vegetable ragout and poached egg; or pork tenderloin with spinach and pine nuts in red wine sauce. The selection of sweets includes chocolate flan with pistachios, or crepes stuffed with Nutella, custard and orange whipped cream. // 1110 N. Glebe Road, Arlington (Ballston)
Cold weather calls for Italian comfort food, whether it’s pizza, rigatoni bolognese, cacio e pepe, chicken parm, meatballs with whipped ricotta, or salmon with lentils and pancetta. Finish a meal from this Mosaic District trattoria with cannoli or tiramisu. //2911 District Avenue, Fairfax (Mosaic District)
There’s no special Restaurant Week menu at the beloved Clarendon tavern operated by brothers Steve and Mark Fedorchak. Instead, the entire dinner menu is discounted through Feb. 7 (as is also the case at sister restaurant Lyon Hall). Choose any appetizer, any entrée and any dessert for $35, and then go back. Perhaps do fried chicken one night and then return for lobster ravioli or steak frites? //3195 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Clarendon)
Order up some chips, guac, fried yucca and margaritas and pretend you’re on a Mexican beach. Then move on to enchiladas, tacos or a fiesta platter. The restaurant’s covered rooftop bar is heated and offers lots of space to spread out. //2900 Wilson Blvd Suite 103, Arlington (Clarendon)
For a steakhouse experience, visit this Great American Restaurants establishment and enjoy classics such as shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, filet mignon, duck-fat fries, or pan-seared halibut with wild mushrooms and andouille. Over-the-top desserts include a massive slab of chocolate cake that will put you in the happiest kind of food coma. //8051 Leesburg Pike, Tysons
The five-course dinner menu at Jose Andres’ Crystal City outpost includes classics like spinach with pine nuts, raisins and apples; fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and aioli; butternut squash soup with pumpkin seeds; chicken croquettes; garlic shrimp; pork loin with blue cheese sauce; Catalan stew; arroz con leche; and pan con chocolate (chocolate custard with caramelized bread, olive oil and brioche ice cream). //2250 A Crystal Drive, Arlington (Crystal City)