Restaurant Week: Try upscale versions of near-campus favorites

Media Credit: Alyssa Bogosian | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Tonkitsu spicy miso ramen (top left), pork goyza (top right) and black snake roll (bottom center) are included in Rakuya's Restaurant Week menu.

D.C. Restaurant Week starts Monday with 250 local restaurants offering three-course lunches or brunches for $22 per person, or three-course dinners for $35 per person. With low prices for typically expensive dishes, D.C. Restaurant Week gives students the opportunity to try something a little more classy without breaking the bank.

Check out these upscale versions of near-campus favorites:

If you like Il Canale, try Casa Luca

Il Canale is the go-to restaurant if you’re craving classic Italian. They have everything from starchy gnocchi to fresh caprese salads. It’s the perfect place for students because of its easy access from campus.

For Restaurant Week, jump a little outside of your comfort zone and dine at Casa Luca. Minutes from CityCenterDC, they serve up your favorite Italian dishes with a twist. An average three-course dinner at Casa Luca can cost around $50, but during Restaurant Week you can sample this tasty menu for only $35.

If you’re seeking something creamy and crisp, try the Burrata of Buffalo Mozzarella Caesar salad to start. It’s served with tangy anchovy dressing and fresh shaved egg.

The Spaghetti All ‘Amatriciana, which is a special dish served only during Restaurant Week, is a must when ordering a main course. The dish is filled with flavorful tomatoes and melted onions. And it’s topped off with Formaggio di Fossa, a sharp Italian cheese. This dish stands out from Il Canale’s plates because it incorporates a myriad of ingredients and strays from the simple.

To finish your meal off with something sweet, try the Caramel Budino. It’s filled with sweet blood orange, spiced citrus espuma and toasted meringue. The budino is the perfect dish to satisfy your sweet tooth, while still having a fresh and light flavor.

1099 New York Ave. NW

If you like Maxime, try Bistro Bis

Maxime is a parent’s weekend hot spot that’s known for their quaint French bistro feel. With a location close to campus and reasonably priced menu for a quality dinner, Maxime is frequented by students for special occasions or when family is in town.

For Restaurant Week, skip Maxime and head across the city to dine among the Washington elite on Capitol Hill at Bistro Bis. On a regular night, Bistro Bis serves up entrees that are between $30 and $40 a plate, but during Restaurant Week you can score a three-course meal for just $35.

Start off your meal with an upscale take on classic french onion soup. The onion soup les halles is a rich beef broth with caramelized onions and homemade sourdough croutons all topped with melted gryuere cheese.

The steak frites at Bistro Bis, which regularly are sold for $38 on their dinner menu, are made with local beef from Roseda Farm in western Maryland. The frites are pan roasted with red wine shallot butter and served with a mesclun salad. The addition of red wine and shallot butter makes this dish even more flavorful than Maxime’s version.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try the magret de canard au poire. This classic French dish is pan roasted duck breast topped with walnuts and caramelized pears and finished with a tart vinegar sauce.

Finally, if you can find any room, you’ll want to finish off your meal with classic apple pie. At Bistro Bis, nothing is ordinary, so their take on old fashioned apple pie is topped with an apple Brandy sauce for a boozy twist.

The Kimpton George Hotel, 15 E St. NW

If you like Nooshi, try Rakuya

On weeknights between 3 and 7 p.m. Nooshi is filled with GW students getting half-price drinks and appetizers during the restaurant’s “crazy hours.” While Nooshi’s Pan-Asian dishes aren’t the best example of quality, they do come at a great price, which is a draw for college students.

During Restaurant Week, head over to Rakuya in Dupont Circle, just a few blocks north of Nooshi, for a more upscale Asian dinner option. Because the restaurant just opened in August, this is Rakuya’s first year participating in Restaurant Week. Take advantage of the opportunity to sample their menu, which mixes traditional and contemporary Japanese food with seasonal ingredients.

As an appetizer, try ordering the octopus and herb salad. This zesty starter comes topped with ponzu, peanuts, cilantro and fried ginger all covered in a light sesame oil.

For the second course, order the four-piece nigiri sushi – thin slices of raw fish over pressed vinegared rice. Sushi is a favorite dish at Nooshi, but Rakuya’s premium selection features seafood that is locally sourced.

Rakuya’s rack of lamb is served along side ratatouille, a French stewed vegetable dish, which adds a slight variation to the Asian fare that other local restaurants like Nooshi serve. The dish is topped with a spicy bearnaise sauce and eggplant dengaku fingerling potato.

1900 Q St. NW

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.