Ready For Restaurant Week? Here's A Cheat Sheet For Chowing Down

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Being blessed with teensy kitchens and adventurous tastebuds means we’re always looking for new opportunities to eat out. But hitting up our favorite spots and checking out the new culinary kids on the block can be an expensive, albeit tasty, habit. Thankfully, D.C. Restaurant Week comes around every so often, making it easy to indulge without breaking the bank — a three-course lunch is $20.12 per person, while a three-course dinner is $35.12 per person. The event kicks off on Monday, January 9, and runs through Sunday, January 15, and to help you navigate the destinations, discounts, and dishes, we’re singling out four places at the top of our must-visit list.
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Birch & Barley
Famous for its artisanal beer selection and fresh-off-the-farm cuisine (think out-of-this-world flatbreads and a hearty mix of meats, veggies, and scrumptious desserts), Birch & Barley is one of our favorite down-to-earth haunts. If you’re a brunch aficionado or a brew connoisseur (who isn't?), you can't go wrong booking a cozy booth or a table in front of the open kitchen.
Where: 1337 14th Street NW; 202-567-2576.
Graffiato
Need a break from those packed lunches you've been wolfing down in front of your computer? Treat yourself to a lunchtime trip to Italy, by way of New Jersey, at Graffiato. Helmed by chef Mike Isabella, this buzz-worthy spot serves up dishes inspired by the ones Isabella's Italian-American grandmother made for him, when he was a kid. We say: More, please!
Where: 707 6th Street NW; 202-289-3600.
Zola
Zola, the tried-and-true Penn Quarter spot, is our must-visit venue for contemporary cuisine. Think all-American comfort food with a side of subtle luxury — the braised pork belly, brown-butter trout, and sweet-onion lamb shank are all worthy options.
Where: 800 F Street NW; 202-654-0999.
El Centro D.F.
Looking for inspired Mexican food way above the border? El Centro D.F.'s taqueria-tequileria combo offers a casual atmosphere, top-notch margaritas, to-die-for enchiladas, and a lovely rooftop bar. We could live off the tacos alone, but there are plenty of other palate-pleasing options on the menu.
Where:1819 14th Street NW; 202-328-3131.
Photos: Via Graffiato/Greg Powers; Via El Centro D.F.
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