D.C. Restaurant Week is upon us! From August 12 to the 18 restaurants all around the city will be debuting special menus chock full of good deals (or bad deals, always check the fine print and cross reference everything). To guide you through this weeklong food holiday, we narrowed down our recommendations to 10 of the newest spots in D.C. It’s the perfect excuse to dip your toes into some new culinary pools. Get out there and hit up these spots while you can still get a reservation.
After an easy, breezy $50 million revamp, the new W Hotel is 100% open for business. There’s a new lobby, new rooms, an updated POV bar and a brand new restaurant. Like a phoenix, Cherry has risen out of the ashes of Pinea. The new restaurant features a bevy of food kissed by smoke, including chickens, steaks and more. Looking at their Restaurant Week menu, we’re intrigued by the charred avocado, ember seared tuna and hearth potatoes. Their three course lunch menu will run you $22 and dinner is $35.
Tucked into a (mostly) quiet street in Silver Spring, El Sapo Cuban Social is a party. A food party, a booze party, any kind of party you want it to be. The Cuban spot is drenched with color, has a sizeable patio space and an indoor / outdoor bar that makes it easy to let loose. For $35, you can spend the night munching on empanadas, roasted pork and churros (at least, that’s what we would order). It also comes with a complimentary mojito to get the aforementioned party started.
Another hotel pick, Estuary is perched on the third floor of the newish Conrad hotel in CityCenter. Helmed by Bryan and Michael Voltaggio (who you may know from Top Chef), the restaurant focuses on flavors straight from the Chesapeake. They haven’t posted their Restaurant Week lunch menu yet, but if you have the chance to chow down on some blue crabs (or the dreamy Key Lime Pie from Sietsema’s review), go for it.
While not exactly new, Gravitas is still making a name for itself in D.C.’s food scene. We had a great time eating out way through their many course dinner in January and we highly recommend you swing by for a dinner that encourages lingering. Their Restaurant Week dinner menu hasn’t been posted, but we loved the tuna sashimi, gruyere agnolotti and the seared scallops. You can’t go wrong here.
Devoted to the flavors of Thailand, Korea and the Philippines, Kaliwa debuted at the Wharf in 2018. If you haven’t scoped out its massive dining room yet, Restaurant Week might be your best bet. The $35 dinner menu is the same as their $22 lunch menu, so head there early in the day to feast on street BBQ, green curry and pandan cakes.
Another Wharf spot, Officina is a good choice if you’re leaning more Italian. The multilevel restaurant is impeccably designed, it’s the kind of place that makes you want to splurge and their Restaurant Week menu is no different. They have the usual $35 three course menu, but Officina also offers a $53 four course menu that ensures you get your fill of antipasti and paste. This is the place to go if you want to get wild (with the check).
The former Nopa Kitchen + Bar has settled into its new identity nicely. We enjoyed its new Mediterranean-themed menu back in February, but you usually can’t go wrong with whatever Ashok Bajaj (owner of Bombay Club, Rasika, Bindaas, Oval Room, etc) is cooking (metaphorically speaking). Their Restaurant Week menu isn’t live yet, but you can’t go wrong with their perfect spreads.
This downtown Peruvian spot passed the only test that matter, it received a stamp of approval from our Peruvian photographer. Follow his advice and go for the ceviche, which is a $5 upcharge at lunch and a $8 upcharge at dinner.
One of D.C.’s newest Indian restaurants is also one of its most luxurious. Punjab Grill is a gem, the kind of place where dishes come with gold leaf because why the hell not? They haven’t posted their Restaurant Week menu yet, but we’d bet good money it will be jewel encrusted and star studded.
We had a grand time getting drunk off of perfect highballs at Zeppelin back in March, and now that their karaoke is up and running, dining here looks even more fun. Their $35.19 includes the shrimp and vegetable tempura we loved, but you should 100% go for the sushi, which is sourced from Tokyo’s Toyosu Fish Market.