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Restaurant Week = Craft Beer Opportunities

A number of great craft beer restaurants are participating in Restaurant, and a few are featuring their brews. DC’s winter Restaurant Week runs January 17-23, and Alexandria’s Restaurant Week is January 21-30.

While DC is probably known more for its food than its craft beer (trust us, we’re working to change that impression), DC and Alexandria’s Restaurant Week has its advantages for beer-lovers.  A number of great craft beer restaurants are participating, and a few are featuring their brews.  DC’s winter Restaurant Week runs January 17-23.  A few end a tad sooner, and others extend it through January 30.  Just the 3rd ever winter Restaurant Week for Alexandria runs January 21-30.  Most restaurants offer a standard, $35 (plus tax and tip) prix-fixe menu with three courses for dinner, and some offer a lunch-only menu at a lower price of $20.  A few restaurants, like Birch & Barley and Old Town’s new Pizzeria Paradiso, are pairing beers with their courses.  And who wouldn’t like “Belgian beer doughnuts” from Belga with double chocolate milk and cherry jam?  Krispy Kreme-haters…that’s who.

Anyways…below is our hopefully exhaustive list.  All of these restaurants have great menus, with some featuring superior food while others offering superior beer.  Personally, I’d go with Birch & Barley; but you should also use this opportunity to try some hidden gems (Againn, Columbia Firehouse, Vermillion, etc.) that are more known for their food than their excellent selections of craft brews.

DC Restaurant Week (Runs January 17-23 and all menus feature a $35.11 plus tax/tip, prix fixe, 3-course menu unless noted otherwise.  Links to menus embedded.)

Againn; 1099 New York Avenue NW; 202-639-9830

  • Againn is a hidden gem.  Their extended January 10-30 Restaurant Week menu is a perfect time to try their oyster bar and steaks.  Their 15 taps and 40+ bottles range from Belgians, to a number of UK brands (Scottish, Irish, and English), to a great selection of American crafts.  Oh, and you can even rent out a scotch locker if you’re into that sort of thing.

Belga Cafe; 514 8th Street SE; 202-544-0100

  • Their prix fixe menu ends on January 22.  You fellow Belgian-lovers will love the Belgian beer doughnuts with Belga’s extensive list of Belgian brews.

Birch & Barley; 1337 14th St NW; 202-567-2576

  • B & B is serving roughly 5-6 selections for each course like previous years.  A Restaurant Week version of their regular “tasting menu,” Greg Engert is pairing a brew with each of the selections from their ridiculous vault of brews,.  $35.11 for the food, $16 for the three 6 oz. beer flights, plus tax and tip.  The bliss comes free.

District Chophouse; 509 7th Street NW; (202) 347-3434

  • Enjoy their steaks and modern American fare with their on-site-brewed Chophouse brews like Oatmeal Stout.  Warning: their 10% alc. Double Bock before my seeing “The Fighter” made Rocky look like Karate Kid.

Liberty Tavern; 3195 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.465.936

  • Liberty doesn’t have a large beer selection, but they carry some interesting drafts and bottles like Dale’s Pale Ale and Tilburg Dutch Brown.

Mad Fox Brewing Co.; 444 W. Broad St, Suite I (Eye), Falls Church, VA 22046; 703-942-6840

  • While not connected to Restaurant Week, Mad Fox will host the Scottish writer Robert Burns for a wonderfully-paired 5-course beer dinner.  Cost is $65 inclusive of tax, tip, etc.  Executive Chef Russel Cunningham’s menu is Scottish-themed….Freedom!!!!

Smith Commons; 1245 H St NE; 202-396-0038

  • The newly-opened Smith Commons is extending their offerings through January 30, and including a complimentary draft beer with their prix fixe menu.

Alexandria Restaurant Week (Runs January 21-30)

Bilbo Baggins; 208 Queen St; 703-683-0300

  • The elderly hobbit is offering a lunch ($20) and dinner ($35) option where you can essentially pick any appetizer, entrée, and dessert from their menu.

Columbia Firehouse; 109 South St. Asaph Street, Alexandria VA 22314; 703-683-1776

  • 3-course prixe fixe menu.  Columbia Firehouse is participating in both DC and Alexandria’s weeks.  So expect their steaks, seafood, and excellent selection of craft beer from Jan 17-30. They’re also serving Tuppers’ Hop Pocket Ale on draft as the Tuppers pass their 20,000th-tasted beer at RFD.

The Light Horse; 715 King St.; 703-549-0533

  • Their food menu isn’t very extensive, but The Light Horse carries a nice selection of drafts (12) and bottles (20+) from bigger breweries and a number of smaller breweries like Left Hand and Starr Hill.

Pizzeria Paridiso; 124 King Street; 703-837-1245

  • The newly-opened Old Town location is offering a 3-course dinner for two with two paired, seasonal brews.  So that’s an appetizer, a pizza, dessert, and two beers for $35.  Cheap man’s early Valentine’s Day date? (Note: Only the Old Town location is participating in Restaurant Week.)

Union Street Public House; 121 S. Union Street; 703-548-1785

  • Union Street hasn’t published their menu yet, but it will likely be a $35 dinner for two.  They carry a decent sampling of brews, including from local Virginia Native Brewing Company now brewed by Fordham Brewing Company.

Vermillion; 1120 King Street; 703.684.9669

  • Vermillion is participating in DC’s restaurant week (January 17-23), but not Alexandria’s.  Vermillion has a nice selection of 12 drafts and 16 bottles, featuring regional breweries like Troegs, Victory, and Olde Richmond.  Local musicians play often here about half of the evenings.

Thanks to DCFoodies and Visit Alexandria for compiling participating restaurants and menus.  Bethesda and Chevy Chase have a joint Restaurant Week January 24-30, but their participating restaurants aren’t for the craft beer enthusiasts as far as I can tell.

Let us know in the comments section if we missed any, or if you make it out to any of these places.

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