DC restaurants host Restaurant Week twice each year, in August and January. The idea is to get people out during the slow months for the restaurant business. Well it works! People go crazy when the list of restaurants are announced, many begin to make reservations right away. I usually tend to wait to check out the menus which Lisa of Dining in DC does so well! She's my go-to every Restaurant Week. After perusing the numerous menus, 3 of my girlfriends and I decide based on two criteria: best deals for the $35.11 price per person and it must be a restaurant none of us have been to.
This past DC Restaurant Week, we chose DC Coast because they didn't limit their menu. You had to select from a smaller list of appetizers but all of their entrees were available (some with an upcharge i.e. lobster & ribeye). Having a lot of options appeals to us in making our final decision.
Our reservation was at 6:30, right in the middle of rush hour traffic of course. I was a bit stressed because I know some places can be a little strict about the time especially during Restaurant Week. I gave them a quick call and said we'd be a few minutes late and the host was very cordial and nice and we had our table as soon as we walked in, even 15 minutes late! Big props for being so accomodating, DC Coast.
For the appetizer, I chose the risotto fritters, three fritters in a tomato based sauce. Pretty decent but heavy for an appetizer. After a long debate with myself over whether to get the duck or pork chop for the entree, I chose the duck. Man, am I glad I did! Duck breast served with sweet potato and apple puree and brussel sprout leaves in duck ju. I have to say, this duck was cooked perfectly with lots of flavor and not overly greasy like it sometimes can be. It paired so well the sweet potato and apple puree as well.
Needless to say, I wasn't hungry for dessert but I chose the chocolate mousse tart. It was like a dense chocolate pie in a crusty tart shell. The dessert was a bigger portion that I really needed.
Our overall experience was great. From being a few minutes late to the service to the food. Oh and did I mention, I had a pear martini with dinner! Great friends with great food. It doesn't get better than that!
Well maybe...sharing it with the one I love.
Since I love Restaurant Week so much, I also decided to go to Willow in Ballston with my boyfriend. Living in Ballston, this was super easy to get to and I've always heard rave reviews from fellow bloggers. This restaurant fits my two criteria as well: great selection and it's somewhere new to us. We made early reservations and arrived on time. It wasn't packed yet. The decor was nice and the hostess was very inviting. We had a nice romantic spot in a nook in the back. It was great for a romantic date night, like ours.
The menu included a wide range of choices all of which sounded great. I finally decided on getting the paired wine flights with my meal for an extra $15. So worth it. They were basically full pours and you never had to worry what wine to order. For the appetizer course I got the Coquilles St. Jacques which is scallops in a creamy wine sauce with mushrooms and gouda bread crumbs. This was the perfect portion size and the scallops were tender. All around a perfect course paired perfectly with an Orvieto from Italy.
On to the entree course. I ordered the crispy foie gras stuffed chicken breast with mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts with bacon. Again, the dish was prepared beautifully with a great portion size. The chicken and foie gras were very tender and juicy. And you can never go wrong with mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts! The presentation was also very appealing. This course was paired with a Sangiovese also from Italy.
Again, I was stuffed before dessert came out but I definitely tried to eat as much as I could! For dessert, I ordered the pineapple upside down cake in a caramel sauce with vanilla bean ice cream! Perfect to pair with the Moscato d'Asti.
So all in all, it was a great DC Restaurant Week for me yet again! Both of these restaurants, I will gladly recommend and visit again. I look forward to trying some new places come August.