On Monday, August 9, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) kicks off its highly anticipated Summer Restaurant Week. The one-week event, which runs through Sunday, August 15 and offers diners the opportunity to try three-course meals at an eclectic variety of 250+ restaurants across the DMV, returns with a few changes.
The family-friendly “RW-To-Go” dinner options and cocktails popularized during the pandemic are highlighted features of this iteration. Participating establishments will offer brunch and lunch menus at $22 per person and multi-course dinner menus for $35 or $55 per person for on-premise dining.
Another favorite feature for regulars and newcomers alike is the slate of new restaurants joining the mix in a city where award-winning restaurants expand each season. This year, the list includes Angolo, ANXO, Flower Child, Le Sel, GATSBY, Glover Park Grill, Gypsy Kitchen and Truluck’s, among others.
For many of the establishments celebrating their inaugural Summer Restaurant Week, it’s a welcome chance to fully showcase their eateries, in addition to further entrenching themselves in the rich local dining community.
“It’s definitely exciting not just for new restaurants like Le Sel, but all D.C. restaurants who are participating this summer,” Director of food and beverage at the Kimpton Banneker, James Lee, says [Ed. note: Le Sel is a “modern French and bar concept” housed in the Kimpton Banneker Hotel]. “For many new restaurants like us that opened during the pandemic, it’s a great opportunity to partner with RAMW to participate in Restaurant Week because it allows us to showcase our amazing food and beverage program.”
For others, who’ve also recently opened their doors following the shutdown, there’s a deep appreciation for the opportunity to ramp up operations and get fully acquainted with Washingtonians.
“[We’re] grateful to already be busy, excited to share who we are and meet our new diners,” La Bise Executive Chef Tyler Stout says.
And while 250+ restaurants feels like a daunting list of restaurants to choose from, the promise of an almost endless index of mouthwatering menus to peruse before committing to a reservation is a welcomed dilemma. It’s the “new normal” and a result of the DMV’s exploding restaurant industry that’s broadening the variety of tastes, textures and cultures redefining the capital city’s identity.
“D.C. ‘s restaurant community hosts some of the most diverse collection of cuisines all around from cheap eats to Michelin star dining’s categories,” Lee says. “During the pandemic, I was surprised to see so many new restaurant openings, but it showed that the presence of [dining] in D.C. only took on a road bump during this past year and will see a great growth for years to come with fresh cuisine ideas that’s sure to grab anyone’s attention.”
From food halls, to pop-ups, to innovative fast-casual concepts, to traditional upscale restaurant ventures, the culinary energy permeates every corner of the region and manifests in a diverse ways. In that vein, Summer Restaurant Week presents a scrumptious storm of options.
And restaurants, like Le Sel, are rolling out a red carpet of deliciousness for those already revving up their taste buds.
“What I’m most excited about is showcasing Le Sel’s food offerings to our patrons,” Lee says. “Classic dishes like escargots de Bourgogne that’s baked in garlic & parsley butter will have you wanting more and pairing that with Roquefort crusted filet mignon will be the best decision of the night. Of course, you can’t forget about our summer seasonal dessert offering of peach Melba, served with vanilla ice cream and lavender meringue for a refreshing finish.”
In addition to the abundant dining possibilities, Summer Restaurant Week is a unique occasion for patrons to stretch their culinary wings.
“It’s an awesome opportunity to try a restaurant outside of your comfort zone. The menus are priced so well you can splurge on a bottle of wine you might not have otherwise ordered,” Stout adds.
Still, what ultimately makes this Summer Restaurant Week so special is the feeling of authentic community it evokes among restaurateurs, who relied on the kindness and camaraderie that was so tangible across the District during the most challenging moments of 2020.
“Along with the variety of eclectic dining choices, I believe our sense of community is strong. A lot of restaurants turned into resources for a lot of us during the early part of the shutdown.”
Would-be diners are just as eager for Summer Restaurant Week to return and will be welcomed back with open arms, leave with satisfied bellies, and maybe a new favorite place to enjoy a meal.
View the full list of participating restaurants, make reservations or place your orders here.
Enjoy this piece? Consider becoming a member for access to our premium digital content. Support local journalism and start your membership today.