- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Summer is no picnic in Washington, nor is it picnic weather, but there’s good news in the offing. Monday through Aug. 7 is Restaurant Week. As temperatures climb, prices will fall.

Many local restaurants will be charging $20.05 for lunch and $30.05 for dinner for three-course meals. Dozens of the District’s best restaurants take part in the promotion, so beat the heat and enjoy a fine meal at a great price. Remember to make reservations early.

Chef Ris Lacoste of 1789 (1226 36th St. NW; 202/965-1789) is extending the concept of a very reasonably priced three course summer special through Sept. 14 for $35. The restaurant’s new pastry chef, Zoe Trillim Behrens, will be creating warm banana tarts and white chocolate creme brulee for dessert. To enjoy the summer special, guests must present a coupon (valid for an entire party) that can be downloaded from the 1789 Web site, www.1789Restaurant.com/main/index.shtml.

For another very special treat, Yannick Cam, executive chef and co-owner of Le Paradou (678 Indiana Ave. NW; 202/347-6780), offers a three-course pre-theater dinner for $45 per person from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The menu includes a fava bean risotto; lobster purse; quail stuffed with wild mushrooms; sirloin of beef with Szechwan pepper; and frozen passion fruit souffle.

The summer season is inspiring menus and drinks galore: At Andale (401 Seventh St. NW; 202/783-3133), chef Alison Swope is offering half-priced wine with dinner on Monday and Saturday, half-priced appetizers with entrees on Tuesday, half-priced enchiladas on Wednesdays, happy hour on Thursdays extended until 9 p.m., and ice cream or sorbet with dinner on Fridays. The special is available through Aug. 31.

The Madison Hotel’s Federalist Restaurant (1155 15th St. NW; 202/862-1600), will show off the skills of its new executive chef Stefan Jarausch in a summer menu he has created. Sweet corn soup, caramelized jumbo scallops, and iced strawberry soup are some summer temptations.

Next door, at the Madison’s Palette, chef James Clark has created a summer tasting menu featuring Maine lobster, Berkshire pork strip loin, and milk chocolate and caramel mousse in honor of the restaurant’s new American Spirit art exhibit. Caio Fonseca, Dennis Ashbaugh, Suzanne Caporael and Mira Hecht are the artists whose works are on show.

Rock Creek Restaurant (4917 Elm St. Bethesda; 301/907-7625) is using the season’s fresh produce to enhance its menu by adding to its menu, among other dishes, a yellow tomato gazpacho, and corn chowder blending lobster with lima beans and scallions. Entrees highlight wild Alaskan salmon and a peach tarte Tatin.

Speaking of summer produce, the Tomatina menu we touted in last month’s “What’s Cooking,” has arrived this month at Jaleo (480 Seventh St. NW, 202/628-7949; 2250-A Crystal Drive, Arlington, 703/413-8181; and 7271 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, 301/913-0003). The special tomato tapas are priced from $5 to $9. From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in August, all three locations will have a small tomato market — at market prices.

Tosca (1112 F St. NW; 202/367-1990) is celebrating the summer with a wine festival. On Aug. 15, Italian women winemakers will show what they can do; Aug. 22, it’s red wine with fish and other great pairing surprises; and on Aug. 29, the theme is Old World versus New World. The wines will be chosen by sommelier Kathy Morgan, and the four-course meals will be designed by chef-owner Cesare Lanfranconi. The dinner’s all-inclusive prices, per person, are $150 for the first two and $175 for the third.

Mr. Lanfranconi’s summer Kids Culinary Camp continues from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 13 and 14, 20 and 21. Each weekend session of two classes is $100 for a child and adult.

Oceanaire Seafood Room (1201 F St. NW; 202/347-2277) will celebrate local seafood with a Chesapeake Bay Festival in August. Executive chef Rob Klink will honor his heritage and prepare delectable Eastern Shore dishes, using line-caught rockfish and bluefish and cherrystone clams from the Bay. The restaurant will donate 10 percent of the proceeds from the festival dishes to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

On Aug. 15, executive chef Vikram Garg of IndeBleu (707 G St. NW; 202/333-2538) will create a seven-course menu, blending elements of the Far East with delicacies of the West, for the James Beard House in New York. Washingtonians will get the chance to cool down and spice up the summer by previewing Mr. Garg’s James Beard dinner Aug. 8 to 12. The Washington dinner costs $125 without wine pairings.

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