As of this week, spring has officially sprung, and the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is making it especially easy to fling into the new season with a special promotion offering days — evenings, really — of wine and rosé.
One of RAMW’s signature promotions, the “Spring Wine Fling” offers specialty two-course dinners perfectly paired with two glasses of wine for a total of $55 (not including tax and tip) at member restaurants now through Friday, March 31.
Among the 32 venues participating in this year’s #WineFlingDC, the following 8 are what we view to be the most appealing offerings, presented in alphabetical order.
For fans of choice, the hands-down best fling to be had is at Central Michel Richard, the large downtown “American Bistro with a French Accent” named for the late French immigrant who helped put D.C. on the culinary map and inspired many of today’s best celebrity chefs with his storied Citronelle.
For a fling, pick from three appetizer options, all paired with a glass of 2020 Sauvignon Blanc Domaine Bellevue “Torraine” from France’s Loire Valley: a Shrimp Spring Roll with mint, cucumber, carrot, and hoisin sauce, Chopped Kale with tomato, celery, dried cranberries, and parmesan, or Watercress Soup with potato, onion, fresh cream, and croutons.
Another three options are offered for your Main Course, with a glass of Riesling 50 Degrees (a 2019 white from Rheingau, Germany) paired with either Arctic Char, served with zucchini, yellow squash, carrot, artichoke, Brussels sprouts, and pesto, or a Fried Chicken Sandwich featuring chicken thigh meat and served with sesame red cabbage slaw, savory pickles, and pommes frites.
A third Main Course option features a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s John and Michelle Cellars vintage 2018 paired with a Flat Iron Steak served with pearl pasta, cherry tomato, baby spinach, and shallot sauce. Central Michel Richard is at 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Visit www.centralmichelrichard.com.
Convivial, Chef Cedric Maupillier’s lively French-American bistro in the heart of Shaw, offers an hors d’oeuvre of Fois Gras and Duck Liver Parfait, duck liver mousse with port wine and caramelized onion jam served with toasted country bread, and paired with a glass of 2021 Chenin Blanc Réserve du Naufraget from France’s Loire Valley, and an entrée of Pot-au-feu: slowly boiled short rib, paleron, and shank of beef, oxtail, bone marrow with carrots, leeks, turnip, and celery root in a ginger-beef consommé and served with sauce gribiche, paired with a glass of Beaujolais-Villages, a 2020 Gamay Noir Mary Taylor. Convivial is at 801 O St. NW. Visit www.convivialdc.com.
With a total of 10 area locations, Matchbox makes it easy to get into its Wine Fling promotion, at least for fans of rosso. The special Red Wine Lover’s Menu offers diners a choice at both courses. A 6-ounce glass of Volpaia Chianti Classico from Italy is paired with a First Course of either Arancini, fried risotto with mozzarella, tomato sauce, pecorino-romano, and basil, or Ginormous Meatball, ground beef, veal, and pork served with pepperoni sauce and wood-fired bread.
That’s followed by a 6-ounce glass of Josh Cabernet Sauvignon from California and either a 10-inch Cremini Mushroom Pizza with roasted garlic ricotta, roasted shallots, banana peppers, and mozzarella or a 10-inch Matchbox Meat Pizza with pepperoni, hot Italian sausage, crispy bacon, and mozzarella. Various locations. Visit www.matchboxrestaurants.com.
Named for a virtuous rabbit in a Buddhist Jataka tale, Moon Rabbit is acclaimed chef/owner Kevin Tien’s modern Vietnamese restaurant on The Wharf. A glass of Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut champagne compliments an appetizer of Char Siu BBQ Pork & Shrimp Dumplings, while a glass of Domaine de la Mongestine Bob Singlar red is paired with your choice of entrée between Salt & Pepper Lobster Tail served with Koshihikari rice or Roasted Quarter Chicken with ginger scallion and sauteed pea leaves. Vegetarian options are available upon request for both courses. Moon Rabbit is at 801 Wharf St. SW. Visit www.moonrabbitdc.com.
Founded by Umbi Singh 37 years ago, New Heights in Woodley Park has long been a great date night kind of destination. The Wine Fling starts with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, a 2020 vintage from Virginia’s Boxwood Winery, paired with Tuna Poke Tacos, three mini wonton tacos with avocado mash and sesame oil. The Main Course features a glass of Carménère, a 2019 vintage red wine from Miguel Torres in Chile, paired with a 6-ounce Tenderloin Filet Mignon Medallions served with chimichurri and bearnaise, oyster mushroom and potato croquette. New Heights is at 2317 Calvert St. NW. Visit www.newheightsrestaurant.com.
Start with a Crab Bisque and Baby Arugula Salad with dried cranberries, orange segments, and orange vinaigrette, at Ophelia’s Fish House & Oyster Bar, the Barracks Row joint, known for its seasonally focused quality seafood, from the Hill Restaurant Group, followed by your choice of entrée between Pan-Seared Sea Bass with sweet pea purée and baby carrots or Grilled Swordfish with beets purée, wilted spinach, and roasted potatoes, both paired with Cambria Chardonnay. Or, if you manage to get to this As You Are Bar neighbor before happy hour ends at 7 p.m., you can actually start with $1 raw oysters. Ophelia’s is at 501 8th St. SE. Visit www.opheliasdc.com.
Home to D.C.’s longest-running Sunday drag brunch and an Adams Morgan institution for almost 40 years, the Japanese-inspired Perry’s is another spot giving diners a choice during both courses with its Wine Fling promotion.
Start with either Shiromi Carpaccio, red sea bream thinly sized and served raw, with Sakura vinaigrette and greens, paired with a glass of Angelo Negro red from Italy vintage 2020, or a Spring Salad with Crispy Lotus Root and housemade ponzu dressing paired with a glass of Chateau Lespault-Martillac Blanc, a French Sauvignon-Semillon vintage 2018.
Second Course is either a Chirashi Bowl with chef’s choice fish of the day paired with a glass of Billecart-Salmon Brut Sous Bois champagne, or a Tamari Braised Short Rib with plum potato, sauteed vegetables, and tamari demi-glace paired with a glass of Skyfall, a Washington state red vintage 2020. Perry’s is at 1811 Columbia Rd. NW. Visit www.perrysam.com.
Last but certainly not least among our picks is Supra, a wise choice any way you slice it, but especially given the fact that the Republic of Georgia is where wine was first produced, dating all the way back to 6000 B.C.E. The Shaw restaurant’s Wine Fling starts with a glass of Tchotiashvili Muskaturi Rkatsiteli 2018, a lovely and floral amber, or orange, wine — said to be the world’s oldest style and also the most popular in Georgia today — paired with a First Course of seasonal vegetable pâtés known as Pkhali, beet and spinach spreads with pureed walnuts, minced garlic, and flavored with floral coriander seed and earthy blue fenugreek along with minced walnut and garlic and served with housemade bread fresh from the oven.
The Second Course features a glass of Komli Chkhaveri 2020, a light-bodied red said to be reminiscent of a Spanish rioja gran reserva. That’s paired with your choice of either the regional classic Lula Kabab, a ground lamb sausage grilled on a skewer and served with sumac onions, tomato satsebeli, and khachapuri-dough flatbread, or the vegetarian Bostneuli Platter, grilled eggplant, zucchini, carrot, red pepper, and potato accompanied by a trio of housemade sauces, including Kakhetian guda cheese dressing, tomato satsebeli, and roasted red ajika. Supra is at 1205 11th St. NW. Visit www.supradc.com.
Spring Wine Fling promotions are available now to Friday, March 31. For a list of all 32 participating restaurants and more details, visit www.wineflingdc.com.
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