I love Restaurant Week! My former coworker GW doesn’t mess around when it comes to his food, so each time RW is announced he is right on top of reminding everyone and we organize an outing, usually composed of employees and ex-employees of The Firm. It’s a nice excuse for me to go over and visit old friends, but trust me, sometimes the grass really is greener.
- Occidental Restaurant (localkicks.com)
Anyway…we went to The Occidental, which is one of those places that’s stereotypically Washingtonian (walls covered with politicians’ photos, luxe banquettes hiding the fat cats as they wheel and deal) and which I have always wanted to visit. It is also, however, located in the Willard and is one of the more expensive places in town, so naturally I haven’t been there. So, Restaurant Week is the perfect time to check it out. This year’s price point, $35.09 for three courses, is lower than the price of several entrees on the regular menu, so that is what I call a bargain!
The place is, of course, beautiful; our server was crisp, friendly, and fast, and the food was omnomnom delicious. Reasonable portion sizes, beautifully presented. I had risotto, steak, and a chocolate dessert. All of which was fabulous! My companions each had different appetizers and one of them had a different entree, and we each tried a bit of the other. I can tell you that everything which came to the table was wonderful. The plating was nice, the aromas were terrific, and the flavors were great. Our cocktails were even mixed well.
Now, Occidental is one of the best places around. It’s not surprising that the food and drink were thoroughly enjoyable. What was especially pleasant for me, was that the service was just as wonderful as if we were running up a $500 check. Folks who complain about RW often complain that the service is bad because the places are so busy. I’ve been RW-ing for long enough, though, to realize that the best bargains are at the best places. Occidental, 701, Tosca, etc. They know how to run their dining room, and they know that the real purpose of RW is to give a person like me a wonderful experience, so that I will go back and pay full price.
Which I will.
DC Restaurant Week, August 24 – 30. Don’t despair, many restaurants (including Occidental) are extending their RW offerings. Book your table!