Enjoy a Comforting Combo: Dining Fireside and Prix-Fixe Menus
We’re not quite there yet, but we’re closer than we think. Once the cold sets in, there is nothing more comforting than dining and enjoying a glass of wine or cocktail beside the warmth of a roaring fire. Oh wait, there is! It’s even more comforting knowing that it you can enjoy a fine meal without it breaking the bank. Now you can enjoy a hearty meal while listening to the crackle of flames without it costing you an arm and a leg. Check out this comprehensive listing of DC area restaurants offering both a working fireplace and a prix-fixe or pre-theater dinner menu.
In Washington, DC
Circle Bistro, located in the One Washington Circle Hotel (1 Washington Circle, NW), offers classic bistro fare with innovative seasonal flavors and quality ingredients. With a fire in the hearth, the soothing orange-papered walls, honey-colored tables, and orange couches give the lounge a warm glow. It’s the perfect choice for diners headed to the nearby Kennedy Center, or for folks looking for an incredible value. The three-course pre-theatre (5-7 p.m.) dinner menu for just $35 per person is a fantastic bargain.
In Penn Quarter, Cure Bar & Bistro (1000 H St. NW; 202-637-4906), the three-tiered lounge inside the Grand Hyatt Washington is a great place to nourish cold souls against the backdrop of the upper level’s smoldering fire. Choose from a great selection of specialty beers, wines, cheeses, meats, and main courses. Service starts at 4pm. Enjoy Chef Kevin Villalovos’ seasonal “farm to table” dinner menu featured each month for just $35, which includes a starter, entree, and dessert. Relax near the flames with a glass of wine in this swanky lounge.
OYA (777 9th Street, NW) offers an innovative menu that fuses the finest Asian ingredients and French techniques in a spectacularly designed space. Located in Penn Quarter, Oya’s deco mod decor features a 2.5 ton chain curtain, 20-foot long waterfall that separates the dining room from the kitchen. The hipster red crocodile bar and white marble fireplace in the lounge with ultra-comfortable high-backed white banquettes provides an ideal setting for romance. Sparks are sure to fly in this trendy hot spot. Enjoy their sumptuous 3-course prix fixe menu available nightly for $35 per person (does not include beverages). Warm up with hearty appetizers such as the Beef Short Rib Wellington and the Grilled Beef Sirloin Daily for your main course. Or for sushi lovers, you may choose any Sushi Roll & Chef’s Selection Nigiri from the menu! If you’re around for lunch, don’t miss their 3-course lunch prix-fixe menu for just $20. The Ribeye Sandwich is to die for!
Plume, located in the Jefferson Hotel (1200 16th St., NW) known as one of the finest restaurants in the capital, offers an elegant backdrop with cozy nooks and warm and inviting fireplace. Executive Chef, Chris Jakubiec draws on both traditional and modern techniques to create seasonal restaurant menus that are inspired by the harvest of Thomas Jefferson’s kitchen gardens at Monticello. Steal a chance to try their 3-Course dinner menu (with two choices) for just $55 offered limited hours between 5:30-5:45 p.m. only, Tuesday through Friday. Presided over by Sommelier Michael Scaffidi, formerly of French Laundry, Plume’s wine list spans more than a dozen nationalities and dates back to 1780. Among the more than 50 vintages are those Jefferson himself enjoyed in his time as well as newer wines he might select were he alive today.
The blazing fireplaces throughout Ristorante Piccolo (1068 31st St., NW), an Italian trattoria, sets the mood and makes it an especially romantic spot to get cozy. Enjoy fresh and seasonal rustic fare, including hand-rolled pastas. Their “Sunset Special” 3-course prix-fixe menu is a steal for just $18 offered Monday through Friday (4:30-6:30 p.m). Sparks will fly with a strolling violinist on Friday evenings. Enjoy a ’hump day’ date night deal on Wednesday nights where couples get a 3-course meal and 2 tickets for any AMC theater for $50.
Situated in the 150 year-old restored Canal Square Building located just steps from the charming C & O Canal, Seacatch Restaurant & Raw Bar (1054 31st St., NW) offers fresh seasonal seafood in a dimly-lit cozy dining room warmed by two historic stone fireplaces. Dinner at Seacatch usually runs a little pricey unless you opt for the $35 3-Course Dinner offered Monday thru Thursday 5-7 p.m. (exclusive of tax and gratuity). Enjoy fresh oysters on the half shell from their raw bar. Don’t miss their popular $1 oyster happy hour.
Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar (223 Pennsylvania Ave., SE) is sleek yet inviting with their low, white-gray couches and comfortable black chairs – the perfect place to settle in on a cold evening. With a warm fire in the hearth and tea lights on the bar and tables, the flicker will help create an intimate atmosphere to set the mood for romance. Sonoma offers Italian-influenced seasonal Mid-Atlantic cuisine with an emphasis on local, sustainable, and artisanal ingredients. Try their 3-course Pre-theater menu, offered daily from 5-7:30 p.m. for just $35.00 and includes a complimentary taste of a select craft beer or wine. Pick a California or Italian wine and venture upstairs to the semi-private Avenue Lounge with fireplace – surely to warm you from the inside and out.
Why bother sitting in traffic or fighting the crowd on the metro when you can enjoy an inexpensive dinner and beat the rush at Tuscana West (1350 I St., NW). Located downtown in McPherson Square, Tuscana West offers an incredible “Sunset Special” offering, a 3-Course Dinner Menu with your choice of four appetizers and seven entrees (4:30-6:30 p.m.) Monday-Friday for only $19.95! You can’t be that deal anywhere! Come in from the cold and warm up next to the fireplace. Relax and enjoy a delicious hearty meal by the warm glow of the fire while sipping a glass of wine or cocktail. If you work nearby, enjoy a 2-Course Express Lunch for just $12.95 (available at the bar) and a 3-Course Regional Lunch Menu for only $19.95.
In Northern, VA
With two modern yet cozy fireplaces in their dining room, you can take a trip around the world, without having to brave the cold weather or needing your passport. Now through Friday, December 9th, Executive Chef Bertrand Chemel at 2941 (2941 Fairview Park Dr.) will offer a special dinner series, “Global Flavors at 2941″ serving menus featuring his take on popular cuisines from around the world. Priced at $42 per person, not including tax and gratuity, the three-course menu will highlight a new country every two weeks (Russia – Nov 4, Nov 7-11; India – Nov 14-18, 21-25; Egypt – Nov 28-Dec 2, Dec 5-9.) Only Available Weeknight Dinner, Monday through Friday.
Venture out to Restaurant 3 (2950 Clarendon Blvd) just steps away from the Clarendon metro, to enjoy a soul-warming menu of southern cookin’ while sitting next to the fireplace in the cozy dining room. Every Sunday from 5 9 p.m., Family Style Meals are offered for just $17 per person and $7 for kids. A different entree is picked every week along with three homestyle sides to share, such as Mashed Potatoes, Collard Greens, or Hoppin’ John.
In Old Town Alexandria, known as one of the top restaurants in the country, Restaurant Eve (110 South Pitt St.) with a cobblestone path leading to the restaurant’s entrance is lined with candles that set the tone of what is to come. Situated in a historic 1800?s warehouse, this quaint yet sophisticated restaurant actually has one of the coziest bar and lounges in the DC area. Tucked away from the main dining rooms, it’s plush with cushioned bar-stools and big leather chairs, and of course, a rustic fireplace. Dublin native, chef Cathal Armstrong’s menus feature seasonal, house-made products–which include 7-9 various breads baked daily and artisanal cheeses. The 34-seat Tasting Room is Chef Armstrong’s culinary showcase. Here, Armstrong features a five, seven, and nine-course prix-fixe tasting menu, priced at $120, $135, and $150 respectively. The courses are headed: Creation (palate teasers), Ocean (seafood), Earth & Sky (meats and game), Age (cheese) and Eden (desserts). The Tasting Room menu changes daily as there are many farmers markets in the area. Also, don’t miss the chance to enjoy the best lunch deal around with their “Lickety Split Lunch Menu” ($13.50 for any two items on the bar menu) and make sure that you get the birthday cake for your dessert (even if it’s not your birthday). The dessert is cause enough for celebration.
Located in Clifton, VA, a historic town born out of the Civil War, Trummer’s on Main (7134 Main St.) is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Formerly the Hermitage Inn, guests can relax beside the fire and enjoy an awe-inspiring meal from a star-studded culinary team. Executive Chef Clayton Miller of Trummer’s On Main has been named one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs of 2010 and the Sommelier, Tyler Packwood, formerly of The Inn at Little Washington has built the wine list that is over 5,000 and growing. Join the Trummer’s every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings for their three course prix-fixe “Rush Hour Menu” at just $38. Available all night! Call to make a reservation and mention that you would like the Rush Hour menu. Items are selected from that evening’s dinner menu – changes daily!