Since the start of the pandemic, the Washington region has permanently lost 157 restaurants — 110 of those in D.C. alone, according to data from the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington. “That’s substantially more restaurant closures than in a typical year,” says Kathy E. Hollinger, the association’s president and CEO.
Unfortunately, 2021 has gotten off to a rather somber start. “Between the pandemic-related restrictions currently in place and a much different Inauguration this year,” Hollinger says, “any opportunity to encourage people to support our local restaurants in whatever way they feel comfortable is critical.”
Next week, RAMW will launch a Restaurant Week promotion that will officially run for a full two weeks. “Our Summer Restaurant Week promotion provided a much-needed boost at that time, and we hope that diners will once again take advantage of the delicious to-go menus, or will bundle up and dine outdoors — as the restaurants have put a lot of effort into outdoor heaters, firepits, and other ways to [make] their outdoor spaces cozy and creatively outfitted.”
RAMW has enhanced its online directory to allow more targeted searches based on whether participating venues offer delivery, drink pairings, or heated outdoor dining. Floriana’s, Logan Tavern, Iron Gate, and Laos in Town are among those offering a warm wintry al fresco experience. Another is Belga Cafe on Capitol Hill, where you can choose either the heated outdoor patio or one of the private, glass-walled heated greenhouses from which to enjoy Chef Bart Vandaele’s creative standouts inspired by his native kingdom — guaranteed to be unlike anything else around.
In all, more than 200 area restaurants will offer multi-course menus ranging in price from $22 for lunch and brunch to $35 and $55 for dinner per person (not including tax, tip, or service charge). Some will also offer to-go dinner packages intended for sharing and priced at $60 or $100 for two, and $120 or $200 for four.
Other notable participating venues are Shaw’s Tavern, Nobu, Station 4, Perry’s, Bammy’s, Freddie’s Beach Bar, Succotash National Harbor, and Officina.
And then there’s the newcomer Immigrant Food, the globally-focused fast-casual fusion eatery from Chef Enrique Limardo, where the multi-course menu includes either soup or harissa hummus with na’an, followed by a choice of a Viet Vibes Bowl with Adobo-spiced chicken, rice noodles, and broccoli, Asian-BBQ Chicken Wings, the Old Saigon (banh mi-style) sandwich, or a Naanwich with harissa-spiced red lentil patty, and a sweet finish with either Flan or the dulce de leche confection Alfajores. As an added bonus, Restaurant Week guests will be served an Agua de Jamaica, or hibiscus iced tea, on the house.
Winter Restaurant Week kicks off Monday, Jan. 25, and runs to Sunday, Feb. 7, at participating restaurants in D.C., suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Visit www.rwdmv.com.
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