The last time I went to Washington, DC Restaurant Week aka DC Restaurant Week was back in January 2022 and it was very unintentional as it just so happened to coincide when I was meeting some of my best friends Brianna and Brittany for brunch (we went to Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown!). Unfortunately, I missed out on DC Restaurant Week in August 2023, since I had happened to be in Maine and Canada for a much-needed vacation. SO, since I was around this past week, I was able to check out two different restaurants for DC Restaurant Week – January 2023!

DC Restaurant Week lasted from January 16-22, 2023. Participating restaurants on their website could offer brunch, lunch, and dinner with a fixed menu at a fixed price of $35, $45, and $55 for three courses (usually just lunch and dinner). I checked out two restaurants: The Capital Grille (the Fairfax/Fair Lakes location in Virginia!) and Earls (located in Tysons Corner Center in Tysons, Virginia!). Before I get into ALL the details behind my experience at both restaurants, I wanted to make note of the fact that Earls was not participating in DC Restaurant Week, but I wanted to include my experiences here since it was during *yes* DC Restaurant Week. For more information on DC Restaurant Week which will be back for Summer 2023, look no further than here: https://ramw.org/restaurantweek

The Capital Grille:

I went here with my Papa and Aunt Amy, as we do monthly/semi-monthly dinners at local restaurants. Aunt Amy and I decided to treat our very well-deserved Papa to dinner and split the check. The Capital Grille was tough to get a reservation at: I ended up monitoring the DC Restaurant Week site’s participating restaurants like a literal hawk until I saw The Capital Grille get added to the list. And, the moment I saw it on the list, I immediately booked us 3 a reservation (the earliest time we could get in was at 7pm) and well, this was a month in advance too. Tip: SO, moral of the story is to book reservations early for the restaurants you do want to dine at for DC Restaurant Week. Luckily, booking The Capital Grille a month out was well worth it and definitely a great idea. The ambience was amazing and the staff was super friendly ALL around, whether it be the bus boys, waiters, or hostesses.

The food was also amazing, too. The Capital Grille had a fixed 3 course meal for $55/person. The fixed menu also included a choice of 1 of 2 of their signature sides (we ended up ordering 2 more not listed on the fixed menu). They also have an extensive list of cocktails and wines (I tried the Espresso Martini *surprise*). And, well, they also have an incredibly delicious assortment of none other than BREAD (!!!). The fixed menu at The Capital Grille was an amazing deal, as it included their signature filet mignon on its list of entrees which can cost $55+ on its own. On the fixed menu, I got the fields salad as my starter, salmon as my entree, and The Capital Grille’s Signature cheesecake aka my favorite cheesecake ever now (!!!) as my dessert. Papa, Aunt Amy, and I also ordered Brussels sprouts and asparagus a la carte, along with the two sides of mashed potatoes and creamed spinach to share from the fixed Restaurant Week menu.

We had an incredible time at The Capital Grille! The food was delicious, the drinks were great, and the service was impeccable. I found the staff whomever they were to be ultra-friendly and truly go above and beyond what I’d expect anywhere else. The Capital Grille is definitely an occasion restaurant for families and lovers, alike, so the staff ensure that everyone feels special when they walk into the room. Along with the main dining area, The Capital Grille has a gorgeous bar that I am definitely interested in checking out sometime. I *for sure* want to come back and dine at The Capital Grille AND enjoy their cheesecake again!

Earls:

After an afternoon at the theatre aka seeing Hairspray at Capital One Hall in Tysons Corner, Virginia (more on that in a future blog post!!), my best friends Brittany and Brianna and their super sweet Mom and I headed for Earls to enjoy a nice dinner together. Earls is a well-known restaurant in Tysons Corner, Virginia. When we got there, it was pretty loud as a group happy hour was right by where we were seated at their gorgeous bar (1/2 in the restaurant!). That all being said, I was a bit apprehensive of the restaurant at first, but didn’t want to let the loudness of those around me affect my views of my time dining at Earls.

As the night progressed and the happy hour attendees flocked to the other bar, my time at Earls truly began to simply blow me away. The menu at Earls is so so so gorgeous, especially with the golden crest on the menu book’s cover (!!!). To start, I tried their strawberry lemonade which was delicious and treated everyone to the chipotle calamari (which included breaded cauliflower and jalapenos, too). And, for my entree I tried one of their salad/grain bowls and added grilled shrimp to it along with their super delicious clam chowder. Personally, the clam chowder and chipotle calamari were my favorites, and I would have easily just ordered those two only if I were to do it all over again (or go back!).

Just like The Capital Grille, the staff at Earls were super kind and truly went above and beyond. Our waitress was super sweet like everyone else along with the manager who was all smiles and came to say hello to every table of folks who were dining tonight. Everyone was so so so kind which made dining at Earls all that more special!

DC Restaurant Week January 2023 was a memorable weekend for the books. I had a blast getting to dine at two incredible Washington, DC area restaurants and look forward to trying some new-to-me places for future DC Restaurant Weeks!!

XOXO – Katie <3

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