There’s no arguing that restaurants are struggling right now. And between omicron and New Year resolutions, many diners are staying home. But that shouldn’t stop you from participating in Alexandria Winter Restaurant Week. The promotion, which runs from January 21 through 30, features nearly 70 different restaurants, many of which are offering their meals for takeout. Here are what I think are the best deals this time around.
This Restaurant Week first-timer has quickly earned a reputation (and an often-full reservation book) for its outdoor riverside seating. You can still enjoy it with heaters, so keep warm with a bowl of parsnip soup, roasted tiger prawns with Calabrian chiles, and dulce de leche-flavored brioche bread pudding, all for $35.
Bastille Brasserie & Bar
The $35 menu includes three courses of hits like moules marinières, steak frites, and chocolate profiteroles. But I think it might be worth the upgrade to the $55 bill of fare, which includes deluxe dishes such as rock shrimp beignets; cassoulet filled with lamb shoulder, duck confit, and duck sausage; and sea scallops served over mushroom-and-truffle risotto.
Though it’s best-known as a waterfront brunch spot, the $35, three-course dinner menu offers compelling reasons to head to this diverse eatery in the evening. Diners can start with a charcuterie and cheese board that features famed triple cream Mt. Tam. After lobster mac and cheese or veggie pot pie, make sure to try the corn doughnuts with salted caramel.
Venture into the newly renovated 19th-century home in Fort Hunt for fine dining with a historical bent. To start, profiteroles are filled with deviled ham mousse and paired with sweet apricot sauce. Pappardelle with braised lamb features homemade pasta, and long-stewed coq au vin includes potato dumplings. The $35 menu only includes two courses, but it’s probably worth the $9 upcharge for a taste of Virginia peanut pie.
Del Ray Café
The eats on the $35, three-course menu here promise to be just as tasty at home for curbside pickup as at the restaurant. Start with French-inflected escargot or pâté de campagne before supping on venison stew over polenta. Finish with French cream puffs with chocolate and raspberry sauces or beignets with Grand Marnier crème anglaise.
Hops N Shine
The $35 price tag applies to a meal that feeds two people at this beer specialist. For an extra $10 they can add a four-brew flight. The grilled cheese-centered menu includes a Cubano, a Reuben, and a bulgogi sandwich that’s flavored not just with marinated, thinly sliced ribeye, but also cucumber kimchi and Muenster cheese. End the meal with s’mores bread pudding.
Junction Bakery & Bistro
This small, local chain allows a pair of diners to share an appetizer and dessert and each select an entrée for $35. The international menu includes starters like General Tso’s cauliflower and mojo mac and cheese, as well as entrées such as falafel or short-rib pot roast.
King & Rye
Dine inside a heated igloo to conjure the Southern experience suggested by the cuisine at this locally focused restaurant. Order a carefully curated Bourbon, then choose between a starter or dessert for a $35 meal. Whether you decide to go sweet or savory, entrées include meats from Virginia farms including Seven Hills Food and Autumn Olive Farms.
For $35, two people can enjoy a meal of dishes from Sonora and Baja California in the North of Mexico. Diners start with a Tijuana-style Caesar salad, then choose from a bacon-wrapped Sonoran hot dog or one of three types of birria: torta, tacos, or quesadillas. The meal also includes a choice of rice and beans or guacamole and tortilla chips.
Yunnan by Potomac Noodle House
This southwestern Chinese restaurant goes beyond the appetizer/entrée/dessert model with its three-course, $35 meal. Diners can select one each from shareable small plates like minty cucumbers, buns and dumplings such as crispy pork belly buns and beef short rib dumplings, and finish with a bowl of mixian rice noodles.
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