“We always used to say that August is a slower time of year for restaurants,” says Kathy Hollinger, president of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW). “[But] as Washington has become such a strong dining destination, it’s not so much the case.”
Area restaurants will be buzzing over the next week as part of this year’s Summer Restaurant Week, RAMW’s biannual promotion that has expanded significantly since it was launched nearly two decades ago. Over 250 restaurants will participate, offering multi-course meals at dinner for $35 — with many also adding fixed-price options at lunch or brunch for $22.
Restaurants are increasingly throwing in additional specials to stand out in this increasingly active and competitive era. Roofer’s Union in Adams Morgan, Ris in the West End, and BRABO Brasserie in Alexandria, for instance, are among a handful featuring cuts of world-renowned Argentine beef during the promotion, the result of a collaboration between RAMW and the Embassy of Argentina.
Another 25 establishments will go beyond standard wine pairings to complement their entrees with specially crafted cocktails featuring Woodford Reserve Bourbon, including The Pig in Logan Circle, City Winery in Ivy City, Karma Modern Indian in Penn Quarter, and the French brasserie Bastille in Alexandria.
RAMW is highlighting establishments recognized at its 2019 RAMMY Awards, including several notable chef-driven, fast-casual spots — from Casual Restaurant of the Year finalist Bindaas Cleveland Park, the trendy modern Indian eatery from famed Rasika chef Vikram Sunderam, to Favorite Fast Bites of the Year finalist CHIKO, the acclaimed Chinese/Korean gourmet mashup with locations in Dupont Circle and Capitol Hill.
“Looking at the range of restaurants participating, you have this nice, inclusive grouping,” she says. “[It’s an] intersection of diners’ favorites from over the years [with] brand-new restaurants. It gives a diner an opportunity to look across the region at all of these developing and emerging neighborhoods and to pick from a variety of restaurants.”
Summer Restaurant Week runs Monday, Aug. 12, through Sunday, Aug. 18. For more information, including exclusive deals on meals as well as prizes through RAMW’s Diner Rewards Program, or to make reservations, visit www.rwdmv.com.