Small Plates: Restaurant Week Enlivens Late Summer

Posted July 28, 2009 at 4:41pm

It’s that wonderful time of year again when Congress leaves town and some of the best restaurants in town drop their prices in celebration of Restaurant Week.

Restaurant Week will occur later than usual this year, spanning Aug. 24 to 30. A three-course prix-fixe lunch will set you back a mere $20.09, while dinner goes for $35.09.

More than 150 restaurants will participate, including such foodie favorites as Vidalia (1990 M St. NW), Rasika (633 D St. NW) and Ten Penh (1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW). Capitol Hill locales Art and Soul (415 New Jersey Ave. NW), Bistro Bis (15 E St. NW) and Charlie Palmer Steak (101 Constitution Ave. NW) will all be opening their doors to hungry diners who love a good deal.

Reservations for Restaurant Week can be made through opentable.com and are highly recommended.

New Hill HauntGoes Italian-Style

Capitol Hill is quickly transforming itself from the place for dive bars to a foodie locale. From the newly opened Cava on Barracks Row to vino-loving staple Sonoma on Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast, the Hill is now a great place to grab a meal.

Daniele Catalani, formerly of Galileo, is the latest chef to jump on the bandwagon and is planning to open Toscana Cafe at 601 Second St. NE next month.

Sommelier Andrew Stover, who consulted on the project, says the concept will be country-style, rustic Tuscan deli. The cafe will offer 60 outdoor seats and a second-floor dining area that can be reserved for private parties.

The menu is expected to include fresh salads, sandwiches, pizza and homemade pasta. A sample menu offered fettuccini lobster and risotto of the day as well as a wine list created by Stover, best known for his work at Oya.