Fairfax City Restaurant Week is only in its third year, but it’s already an event that Northern Virginia diners hotly anticipate. Luckily for them, it’s time to start making reservations. The event takes place from Sunday, Sept. 13 to Sunday, Sept. 20. When confronted with a website full of menus, it’s always hard to make choices. That’s why I’m doing the work for you. Here are my recommendations for where to eat during Fairfax City Restaurant Week this year.
The $35 dinner menu here includes a glass of Champagne, but I’m more likely to head in for the $20 lunch special. That’s because it includes three courses and the entree is a thali, which means multiple dishes on its own. You get your pick of veggie, chicken or lamb thali, but also appetizers including Bombay Shrimp, chicken pakora or samosas. Then you still get dessert, either kulfi or saffron rice pudding.//3955 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax
The $22 lunch menu and $35 dinner menu here are the same, but dinner also includes a 16-ounce margarita. Let that sink in, then decide on when you want to dine. Either way, you should start with the carne con crema de maiz, a marinated steak on a bed of creamed corn with chipotle-Bourbon sauce. Al pastor tacos are a good pick for the entree, but be sure to save room for a chocolate volcano cake.//10266 Main Street, Fairfax
For diners who wish to stay home but still partake in restaurant week, this $35 menu for two is just the ticket. Start with Caesar salad or arancini stuffed with sausage, cheese and peas. Entrees to share include homemade lasagna, baked ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs or fettuccine alfredo with vegetables. The mini dessert trio is the best bet for sweet lovers, with Key Lime tart, cheesecake and chocolate mousse. Prefer to dine in? You’ll be treated to filet tips with gnocchi. //10824 Fairfax Blvd., Fairfax
Roasted duck tostada with kimchi? I’m in! Crab and artichoke chowder sounds like a compelling appetizer option, too. Sit on the wraparound porch of the Moore-McCandlish House and enjoy American fare with a few surprises at this neighborhood restaurant for $35. That includes sautéed sea scallops with pesto cream over crispy polenta, lobster and crab ravioli in lobster ginger sauce or pork tenderloin steak with chipotle cream. //3950 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax
The Wine House
The fanciest meal of FCRW is really a steal. This wine-focused New American restaurant has entrees on their restaurant week menu that cost as much as $24. That means that you get your appetizer and dessert for about $5 apiece. But you’ll just be thinking about the food when you bite into dishes like the smoked duck salad, flavored with Champagne vinaigrette, dried cherries in Port and toasted hazelnuts.//3950 University Drive, Fairfax, 703-352-2211
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