For all the foodies out there in Washington, next week will be a second Christmas. D.C.’s Restaurant Week is a week not only full of delicious top-notch food, but also great deals.
From Feb. 4 to 10, hundreds of area restaurants will offer a fixed lunch menu, all for $20.13, and a set dinner menu, fixed at $35.13. A certain set few even better deals for the price.
Many of these places include restaurants that usually charge $25 or $30 dollars per entrée, so these fixed menu prices, which usually include an appetizer, entrée, and dessert, are definitely a bargain, not to mention the fact that this promotion might be the only week us poor college students might afford to experience Washington’s finest dining.
We all know what it is like to get stuck in a rut … and it’s not pretty. Restaurant Week is an opportunity to try something new and expand your palate (literally). D.C. is a hub for exquisite and authentic ethnic food, and if you haven’t been to at least one Ethiopian restaurant, you’re not a real Washingtonian.
Yesterday evening, Luke’s Lobster opened in Georgetown on Potomac Street. Owner Luke Holden graduated from Georgetown University in 2007 with a degree from the business school. The shop is two stories, with the traditional Maine-inspired seafood menu. The restaurant looks great, though Vox has yet to try the food out. Review to come soon.
Nestled on Potomac Street in what used to be GoFresh and Philly P, The Crave has recently opened as Georgetown’s newest sandwich shop. The small eatery prides itself on its corn beef sandwiches, lobster rolls, and gourmet grilled cheeses.
First off, be warned that visiting The Crave will be an experience much different than your usual lunch excursion. The ambiance made us questioning many things, including the legitimacy of the restaurant and even our own sobriety. For example, the loud and unpredictably random music is immediately noticeable (we’re talking a playlist that contained both DJ Felli Fel’s “Get Buck in Here” and the Christmas song, “Joy to the World”). The upstairs eating space, which was more along the lines of an art-collecting hipster’s 70’s style living room, left us wondering if we had mistakenly entered a hookah bar or someone’s apartment.
However, our skepticism quickly subsided as we attacked our delicious sandwiches. With only one person working the kitchen, the food was prepared at perhaps not the quickest speed, but the wait was worth it. One favorite was the “Divine Goat Cheese” sandwich. Layered panini-style with chevre goat cheese, fig jam, honey, zest, and herbs on raisin walnut bread, this was not your average grilled cheese sandwich—nonetheless, it was one of the best Vox has ever tasted.
Other mouth-watering choices included the lobster roll and the grilled caprese sandwich with prosciutto. Both were a perfect portion size and were well deserving of the “It only takes one bite” slogan that the restaurant promotes.
All in all, The Crave left Vox craving more. We can’t say the same for our wallets however. The Crave seemed a bit overpriced, ranging from $7 – $16 per sandwich. But that’s not incredibly surprising—after all, this is Georgetown we’re talking about.
One of France’s oldest bakeries has just opened its newest location right here in Georgetown. With over 120 years of service and 453 shops worldwide, authentic Parisian bakery PAUL has clearly done a thing or two right over the years. Settled on the corner of Wisconsin and M Street right behind Banana Republic, PAUL fits in perfectly with the cutesy Georgetown atmosphere. What’s more, it’s snug location used to house the kitchen of the historic City Tavern, a place frequented by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson back in the day.
So would our man George look fondly upon what’s become of one of his favorite 19th century hangouts? Vox unequivocally says yes. From the cinnamon pear tart to the gooey strawberry macaroon to the buttery chocolate croissant to the tender apple danish, PAUL offers a delicious variety that is sure to satisfy the sweet tooth of every customer. And if you’re more in the mood for savory flavors, that’s no problem.
PAUL also offers a selection of salads, quiches, and sandwiches that will make your mouth water. All of the items that Vox and our companions munched on during our dinner at PAUL were pretty solid—you can’t really go wrong with anything you try. However, what stood out most among the group were the chocolate croissant, the spinach-salmon tart, and a quiche filled with broccoli, turkey, bacon, and Swiss cheese.
The classic bakery set-up makes it easy to grab a quick yet delicious bite when time is scarce. But don’t get the wrong idea—this bakery is not just a spot to grab and go. It also features an upstairs café that offers classic French dishes for a sit-down breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The café is small and cozy, with the capacity to seat just around 30 customers. However, it’s this intimacy that makes the place so charming. This cozy ambiance is further enhanced by traditional French artwork and a collection of vintage baking items used for decoration.
Of the 30 customers the bakery can hold, a lucky four will have the pleasure of dining next to the grand floor-to-ceiling window that overlooks the quaint streets of Georgetown. Can you think of a better way to start your day than to relax with coffee and a crepe in the upper window of PAUL? Didn’t think so.
In middle school, we all learned about the Native American custom of not wasting a single part of a slain animal. Apparently, 1789′s relatively new executive chef Anthony Lombardo subscribes to that same idea, and is sticking parts of the animal not classy enough for 1789 into your Tombs menu.
According to an article posted yesterday on Washington City Paper‘s food blog Young and Hungry (where we also got that delightful photo to the left), Lombardo sends the “scraps,” or pieces of meat not classy enough to make it into 1789′s $36 lamb shank, downstairs to the Tombs’s kitchen, where head chef Frederick Valentin repurposes them for less expensive bar food. The Tombs’s lamb burger, lamb ragu, and bratwursts (made from, as described by WCP, nondescript “pig parts”) are all part of these waste-not options.
Although the restaurants expect to see some reduction in costs with this system, it was by no means a purely financial decision. It’s also enhancing what Lombardo describes as Tombs eaters’s “gastronomical experience.” Because personally, that’s what comes to mind when I think of beef scraps.
The world of Georgetown restaurants is cut-throat. From cupcakes to kabobs, most end up in ruthless competition with at least one rival. (Think Chipotle vs. Qdoba, Georgetown Cupcake vs. Baked & Wired, or Wingo’s vs. Wing Co.)
The result? The restaurants that survive the brawl are delicious and provide top-of-the-line service. So, when a new crêperie opened its doors last week to challenge the likes of Crêpe Amour and Café Bonaparte, I decided to scope out dessert juggernauts’ competition.
It seems that Georgetown restaurants can’t get enough of college students. More and more establishments now offer half price specials, almost guaranteeing that their lines go out the door on those special days.
So, we’ve compiled a list, including happy hour specials for those of-age. (After all, even upperclassmen can be cheap.) Let us know if we missed any!
[Editor's Note: Asterisked restaurants require a weekly "secret word" that is found on Hoya Connection.]
This week, Vox wanted to offer the Class of 2014 a few recommendations of places to visit in the Georgetown neighborhood. Today, we cover daylife—check back later this week for what to do on nights and weekends. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!
When you’re really sick of Leo’s …
Clyde’s: The original location of the Clyde’s Restaurant Group, Clyde’s offers upscale, traditional American food in a casual setting. Clyde’s claims that its appetizer menu inspired “Afternoon Delight,” but we’re pretty sure songwriter Bill Danoff (FLL ’68) had something else in mind—no matter how much we love the restaurant’s crab cakes and chili.
Sweetgreen: Opened in 2007 as the brainchild of three recent Georgetown alumni, Sweetgreen specializes in creative—and in our opinion, delicious—salads, as well as Sweetflow frozen yogurt. Sweetflow, which tastes like frozen nectar handed down from God himself, is even sold on the streets of D.C. via the Sweetflow Mobile.
Qdoba: Every Monday night, hungry students flood into Qdoba on M Street. Why? Because it’s half-price burrito day! The large meals, free sodas, and 50 percent discounts at this chain fast-food restaurant are an inexpensive alternative to Leo’s.
Tackle Box: ”To-go” and “seafood” don’t often work well together, but Tackle Box pulls it off. As the casual, cheaper version of parent restaurant Hook, Tackle Box offers fresh fish prepared to order and available for dine-in or take-out. (Our favorite meal? The fish tacos.)
Martin’s Tavern: If you’re looking to dine at a restaurant that has served every sitting president from Harry Truman to George W. Bush—Barack Obama hasn’t been there, yet—then Martin’s is the place to go.
1789: The most upscale of the Clyde’s Restaurant Group restaurants, a meal at 1789 is a popular option—if your parents are in town. The pricey restaurant is a favorite of a number of famous Washingtonians and politicos, including Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, but is also more than a little bit out of most students’ price ranges. But if you want to go, try making a reservation while they offer their prix fix summer special.
Since Georgetown Wing Co. soft-opened in June, we’ve suffered from crisis of conscience. Do we stay faithful to Wingo’s, or do we start eating at Wing Co.? Unfortunately, we can’t decide for ourselves.
So, we recruited some help. Some super-secret guest help.
Prepare yourselves—by this time next week, we’ll have put an end to the Great Wing War of 2010.
Georgetown’s favorite pizza place is trying to come back—again.
Philly Pizza & Grill, which D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles once compared to a brothel, recently filed a demolition permit with the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) for its Potomac Street location. However, don’t start dreaming of late-night, ranch-drenched pizza just yet.
According to the recently-approved permit, the building is zoned as a “prepared food shop.” Philly Pizza originally closed because it violated zoning laws about prepared food shops; even if owner Mehmet Kocak reopens the eatery, it can’t be the late-night pizza peddler it once was.
The permit allows for “limited interior demolition” that focuses on equipment that would be needed to make food on the premises. The building’s “kitchen hood, ductwork and exhaust system” are all being removed.
Shortly after Philly Pizza was closed via court order in March, owner Matt Kocak filed papers with the DCRA for a new certificate of occupancy. While the DCRA has yet to approve the application, the renovations suggest that Kocak is angling to reopen his restaurant.
However, those who fought to close the restaurant, such as ANC Commissioner Bill Starrels, are disappointed with the new developments.
“I don’t think [Kocak] has earned any credibility,” Starrels said. “I hope that Peter Nickles will do everything in the law and his power to protect my constituents from having to suffer under these people again and from this place reopening.”
Even if Philly Pizza does reopen, neighbors shouldn’t expect large crowds of customers—the permit lists the proposed maximum occupancy at 18 persons.