Summer brings Restaurant Week, DC’s first Pink Taco, and lots of other restaurant happenings

Pink Taco Washington, DC

Although the COVID-19 pandemic and related supply chain disruptions have been devastating for many restaurants, the industry remains resilient with lots of positive summer happenings.

Summer Restaurant Week Dates Announced

The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) has announced that DC’s Summer Restaurant Week will be held Aug. 15 through 21. More than

Participating restaurants will offer multi-course brunch and lunch menus for $25 per person, and multi-course dinner menus for $40 or $55 per person for on-premises dining. Many restaurants will also offer cocktail pairings and RW-To-Go dinner meals, available at two price points: $70 or $100 for two people and $140 or $200 for four people.

A number of 2022 RAMMY Awards Finalists are participating in the promotional dining week including Annabelle, Baan Siam, Blend 111, Bindaas Cleveland Park & Foggy Bottom, Bresca, China Chilcano, Convivial, Cranes, Dauphine’s, La Bise, La Cote D’Or Cafe, Mintwood Place, Modena, Nama, Slate Wine Bar, Rasika, Rasika West End, and Sababa.

Pink Taco Now Open

Since its founding in 1999 by restauranteur Harry Morton, Pink Taco has provided customers a one-of-a-kind experience defined by a creative and original menu with farm-fresh ingredients and signature, crafted cocktails — and now it has come to the nation’s capital.

Pink Taco’s new DC location is at 100 M Street SE in the heart of the city’s Navy Yard neighborhood, situated two blocks from Nationals Park and steps away from The Yards. Diners are encouraged to try the Lamb Taco that is available until in DC and to visit on Taco Tuesdays for its off-the-menu items.

Unconventional Diner Launches New Happy Hour

Unconventional Diner, which has held a coveted spot on Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list since 2018, has launched a new happy hour. It is offered on weekdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the bar only. Drink specials included $6 beers and house wines (white, red, rosé, and sparkling), $8 highballs, and $10 cocktails. Discounted snacks include cornbread muffins with habanero butter for $6, kale nachos with cashews and jicama for $7; crab fritters with remoulade for $10, and Unconventional Diner’s beloved pot pie poppers for $7.

Truluck’s Offers Soft-Shell Crab For One Weekend

Mount Vernon Square’s popular upscale seafood restaurant Truluck’s is offering a limited-time entree of two Yucatan soft-shell crabs served deep-fried on a bed of creamed spinach with grilled asparagus and onion salad finished with roasted pepper aioli for $44. An appetizer portion (one crab) will be available for $22. These yummy crustaceans are only available from Thursday, July 14 through Sunday, July 17.

Seven Reasons Launches a Cerviche Bar and Prix-Fixe Menu

Previously named the best restaurant in Washington, DC by the Washington Post and the best new restaurant in the Americas by Esquire, Chef Enrique Limardo and the team at Seven Reasons are shaking up things up a bit. They have officially launched a summer ceviche bar on the highly praised Latin American restaurant’s patio and a new prix-fixe menu.

Highlights from the Seven Reasons’ ceviche bar menu include Tataki de Salmon (Sumac Pickle red onion, ponzu, cucumber mezcal foam, torched Ora King Salmon, charred avocado) and the classic Seven Reasons Ceviche (Aji Amarillo de leche de tigre, fried quinoa, red onion, red long pepper, purple sweet potato). New drinks include the Dando Papaya (Ilegal Joven Mezcal, Abasolo, Papaya, Agave, Angostura bitters, Chile Morita Infused Spirits, Cinnamon) and the Chevere Cambur (Diplomático Reserva, Velvet Falernum, Vanilla Liqueur, Banana syrup, Lemongrass, Lemon juice).

With Seven Reasons’ new prix-fixe menu guests can opt for one dish from four sections, plus an add-ons option. Highlights include the Halibut Tiradito, the Octopus Terrine, Lamb Loin in Causa, and Coffee Roasted Short Rib. The prixe-fixe option is $80.

Slate Wine Bar Introduces New Summer Menu

Chef Danny Lledo has crafted a new three-course summer menu at his Michelin-starred Slate Wine Bar. For just $55 per person Chef Lledo will take you on a culinary adventure through Spain featuring the freshest summer ingredients from grilled octopus and fennel to special Iberian pork and wagyu. To make it the perfect summer date night, you can add a wine pairing for $40 to complete your experience.

Il Piatto Opens in Former Mirabelle Space

Restauranteur Hakan Ilhan has openined Il Piatto, a new Italian concept in the former Mirabelle space, at 900 16th Street, NW. The restaurant serves lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Ilhan has tapped Lina Nicolai as the new executive chef for the restaurant. For chef Nicolai, cooking is a family affair that began in her hometown of Naples, Italy. In 2012, she teamed up with her mother to open Al Crostino in Washington, D.C. The popular family-owned neighborhood gem was successful for 12 years before closing its doors due to the pandemic.

Il Piatto’s menu is a mix of modern and classical Italian cuisine. Familiar dishes on the opening dinner menu include Fettuccine alla Bolognese, Eggplant Parmigiana, and Chicken Milanese.  Newer expressions include Maltagliati Funghi, flat pasta with an assorted mushrooms’ sauce, and Pesce Al Cartoccio, white fish baked with zucchini, onion, and white wine. Starters range from $10 to $15 and entrées are priced from $19 to $35.

Troy Petenbrink

Troy, also known as The Gay Traveler, is a well known travel and food writer. His has been a regular contributor to a variety of outlets including National Geographic, Travel Channel, DCRefined, CBS Local, and Metro Weekly. He also appears on local Washington news outlets as a travel expert.

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