What to Eat During Winter Restaurant Week

Dig into house-made pasta, Wagyu pot roast, 'rotissifried' chicken, campfire cookies and more. The deals start Jan. 16.

Sample West Coast-inspired dishes by chef Jonathan Till at Bar Ivy in Clarendon during Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s Winter Restaurant Week (Courtesy photo)

Let the dining extravaganza begin! Winter Restaurant Week runs Jan. 16-22 across the DMV, with more than 50 participating restaurants in Northern Virginia alone, where you’ll find special, discounted menus and beverages. Consider this your cue to book dinner at that new hot spot you’ve been eyeing, grab take out at your neighborhood go-to or stop in for a mid-week lunch with friends. Here’s a taste of what’s cooking.


The “rotissifried” chicken sandwich with pickled Thai salad and beef-fat fries at B Side in the Mosaic District (Courtesy photo)

B Side

If you’re a carnivore, you can’t go wrong with a cocktail bar that shares space with a butcher shop. Chef Nate Anda’s Mosaic District joint is offering a three-course dinner deal for $40 that draws heartily from the adjacent Red Apron butcher counter.  Start with a charcuterie plate, beef-fat fries with house ranch, or the crispy grits with black-truffle butter and parmesan. The entrée options include double-patty smashburgers (including the P(h)atty Melt, which has grilled cheese for a bun), bacon meatloaf, or the “rotissifried” chicken sandwich with pickled Thai salad and chilies. End on a sweet note with cheesecake cigars, peach shortcake or a classic flourless brownie with crème anglaise. On the libations front, B Side has a sizable spirits list that leans heavily toward whiskeys, and it pours a dozen draft brews and stocks 120 cans and bottles. // 8298 Glass Alley, Fairfax. (Mosaic District)

Wren Ramen

Miso ramen at Wren in Tysons (Courtesy photo)


Chef Yo Matsuzaki’s Japanese izakaya on the 11th floor of the Watermark Hotel is offering two three-course dinner menus for different size appetites—a smaller  one for $40, or a $55 option that includes an additional main course. Sate your appetite with Wagyu beef tartare, chilled oysters, and heartier plates like Tokyo fried chicken, pork belly bao and miso black cod.  You can also fight the chill with two types of ramen (one of which is vegetarian). The restaurant is also offering its full menu a la carte, plus daily specials and $40 bottles of wine and sake.  // 1825 Capital One Drive S., McLean (Tysons) 

Sfoglinac P

Cacio e pepe at Sfoglina in Rosslyn (Courtesy photo)


The Rosslyn outpost of chef Fabio Trabocchi’s pasta house is serving up $25 multi-course lunches and $55 dinners, featuring several house-made pastas, which are rolled out daily behind a window that allows guests to watch the magic. Take comfort in a pile of ribbed garganelli topped with spicy pork ragu and smoky Calabrian chilis, or Rome’s trademark cheese-and-pepper pasta, cacio e pepe, made with ruffled radiatori—so named because the noodles are shaped like car radiators. Another winning cold-weather dish is a brilliant burrata, served with pomegranate seeds and charred blood orange for a citrusy bite. // 1100 Wilson Blvd, Arlington (Rosslyn)


Campfire cookies at Ruthie’s All-Day (Photo by Rey Lopez)

Ruthie’s All-Day

Dinner guests can enjoy Ruthie’s entire fire-fueled menu for $40 during Restaurant Week, from the tender smoked brisket to the gooey campfire cookies (chef Matt Hill smokes the butter for this tantalizing version of the classic tollhouse treat).  The Best of Arlington winner is also offering a special lunch menu for $25, with choices such as yellowfin tuna tartare with radish and avocado; Brunswick stew with chicken, sausage and corn; and a bevvy of smoked proteins and sides, including warm biscuits, which are baked all day.  // 3411 5th St. S., Arlington (Arlington Heights)


Spice Kraft’s fiery Madras cocktail features jalapeno-infused tequila, orange liqueur, mango puree and smoked paprika. (Courtesy photo)

Spice Kraft

This contemporary Indian restaurant in Clarendon is offering a $55 menu for two, making its RW dinner one of the best values in Arlington. The four-course meal comes with naan and rice, a starter (try the pineapple and cumin chicken with house-made chutney), yellow lentils and a shared entrée, such as salmon Jalfrezi or fan-favorite chicken Tikka Masala—plus a dessert. Vegetarians will also find plenty of tempting choices, with meatless options for each course. For $12, pair your feast with a vibrant Madras cocktail for two, made with jalapeno-infused tequila, orange liqueur, mango puree and smoked paprika.  // 1135 N. Highland St., Arlington (Clarendon)

Salt Line Ballston Coddies

Coddies at The Salt Line in Ballston (Photo by Jen Chase)

The Salt Line

The Salt Line is offering a two-course lunch for $25 and a three-course dinner for $55. Grab a spot on the covered, heated patio and tuck into a bowl of hearty clam chowder studded with bacon or a plate of piping hot coddies (salt cod and potato croquettes). The dinner hour finds options like lump crab and pimento cheese dip with Old Bay crab chips, and Portuguese seafood stew with mussels, fish, clams, chorizo, potatoes and fennel. From the libations list, get toasty with one of the bar’s warm cocktails ($10), such as the Timeless Toddy (Irish whiskey, lemon, Chai honey) or an espresso martini. Prefer carryout? The Salt Line now offers an extensive to-go menu for lunch, brunch and dinner, including its briny seafood towers, which pack up nicely for a home presentation. // 4040 Wilson Blvd, Arlington (Ballston)

Yume Sushi Bar

Yume Sushi in East Falls Church (Courtesy photo)

Yume Sushi

Need a sushi fix? Yume is rolling out a four-course meal for $55, with the option to upgrade if you feel like splurging on Wagyu beef or sea urchin. From the appetizer list, try lavender-smoked salmon tataki, or raw sea scallop with mango salsa and spicy yuzu sauce. Then move on to your choice of maki, nigiri and sashimi, plus dessert. Restaurant Week diners can add any signature drink from Yume’s extensive cocktail menu for $15. Hungry for more? Keep an eye out for sister restaurant Kyojin Sushi, which is slated to open in Georgetown this spring.// 2121 N. Westmoreland St., Arlington (East Falls Church)


Duck Galantine at 2941 (Courtesy photo)


Tables book up quickly at chef Bertrand Chemel’s French fine dining establishment, so plan ahead and make a reservation. This winter’s sumptuous and complex dinner menu ($55) includes starters such as pork belly confit, king salmon crudo and duck Galantine—a boned and stuffed duck breast with lardo, pistachio and pear gelee. From the mains, choose among dishes such as Cabernet risotto with braised short ribs and peppery Pecorino pepato, or pan-seared Atlantic fluke with cremini mushrooms and leeks. An additional $10 puts you in touch with the Earth & Ocean entree, which highlights the best of land and sea: butter poached lobster and roasted chicken breast. Note: The restaurant’s usual three-course menu is not available during Restaurant Week.  // 2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church 


Mushroom toast at Bar Ivy (Courtesy photo)

Bar Ivy

Still haven’t tried this Clarendon newcomer helmed by master forager Jonathan Till, former chef of Del Ray’s beloved Evening Star Cafe? Here’s your opportunity. The West Coast-inspired fare on the 3-course, $40 dinner menu includes an earthy toast topped with wild mushroom cream (a favorite of our dining critic), blue crab Rangoon with roasted-pineapple sauce, and a vegetarian golden beet hummus.  From the mains, choose savory stunners such as a Wagyu pot roast with carrots, potatoes and cippolini onions, and an Asian-inspired salmon with spicy gochujang and XO butter. Pro tip: Bar Ivy has VIP program where guests can sign up for sneak peaks at secret menu items. // 3033 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Clarendon)

Trio Salmon

Hickory-grilled salmon with sweet potato puree and cranberry coulis at Trio Grill in Merrifield (Courtesy photo)

Trio Grill

Trio is offering two dinner menus, priced at $55 and $70 (the latter includes a glass of wine), with options such as hickory-grilled salmon, shrimp and grits, dayboat scallops, seared tuna, a 7 oz. filet or braised short ribs. End your meal on a sweet note with dark chocolate torte, carrot cake or key lime pie. Classy and loungy with mood lighting and a steakhouse vibe, the Merrifield establishment (a sister restaurant to Circa and Open Road) features live piano music on Friday and Saturday nights.  The Restaurant Week deals also include discounted prices on select bottled wines.  // 8100 Lee Highway, Falls Church (Merrifield)


Steak frites at La Côte D’Or Café in East Falls Church (Courtesy photo)

La Côte D’Or Café

Francophiles will be delighted to know that Chef Jacques Imperato is offering four special menus and extending the deals at his bistro for an extra week, through Jan. 29. The $25 lunch includes classic French comfort dishes like chicken Basquaise—braised bird with peppers—and steak haché with a choice of mushroom or peppercorn sauce. Dinner guests can choose between two prix-fixe menus ($40 or $55) with entrée options such as calf liver Lyonnaise, lamb shoulder, or a meaty cassoulet featuring duck confit, pork shoulder, garlicy sausages and pork belly. All menus are also available for carry out. On Saturday and Sunday, a special three-course brunch for $25, includes options like eggs Benedict, quiche Lorraine and Monte Cristo French toast. Note: the cafe is closed on Mondays. // 6876 Lee Highway, Arlington (East Falls Church)

Wildfire Crabcakes

Crab cakes at Wildfire


Planning a shopping trip at Tysons Galleria? Take a break and sample the $25 lunch and $55 dinner menus, plus specialty cocktails, at this tony seafood-and-steak chain, where the specials include lump crab cakes, beer-braised short ribs and a horseradish-encrusted petit filet mignon. From the bar, sip a Tequila Passion Tini made with Camarena agave, fresh lime juice, passion fruit and Prosecco. If the fish-of-the-day is the cornbread-crusted Atlantic Cod, order it. This winning dish is only available a few months a year. // 2001 International Drive, McLean (Tysons Galleria)

For a complete list of participating restaurants and menus, visit the Restaurant Association Metro Washington website.

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Categories: Food & Drink