Pre-theater/pre fixe menus

It had been more than a year since I had last gone here, but I just went back again.  For a good year and change, no one could talk to me about Rasika without me talking about their popcorn.  Have you had it?  It’s an amazing combination of spices, sweet, salty, spicy — it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s truly like nothing you’ve ever had before. 

  • Food:I went with a friend and we were there in time for their pre-theater menu (I think it’s from 5:30-6:30 PM and $30).  We ordered the calamari chili garlic which was not fried, but sauteed and absolutely delicious.  Then we also ordered the seekh kebab which was spicy with fantastic flavor.  For the entree, w ordered the tandoori salmon which was sweet with a hint of cardamon. 

That’s right — I ordered cardamon.  Here’s what I’ve figured — I don’t know like it when it’s overpowering which is what happens in a lot of Indian restaurants.  Not at Rasika.  It’s perfect. 

I ordered the lamb pistta korma and the sauce was phenomenal while the lamb was moist, tender and awesome.  For dessert, it was the gulab jamun.  It’s 2 dumplings with honey drizzled and super sweet with cardamon ice cream.  The carrot pudding with cinnamon sabayon was shredded carrots, cashews, raisins missed together with the sabayon holding it together.  It reminded me a bit like a carrot cake without the cream cheese frosting.

  • Service: Our server was incredibly nice and was helpful with telling us what was in some of the entrees.  Great servers! 
  • Atmosphere: There is a small bar with only 10-12 stools, but there’s also 7-10 small tables and chairs in the bar.  Then there are two main dining room areas.  With dim lighting and comfortable Indian-inspired interior, it’s an impressive restaurant to take anyone.  But it does get loud and cozy, so don’t go if you need to talk about anything you want to keep quiet!
  • Attire: Business casual
  • Price: $$$
  • Overall: I love Rasika and I think I could eat here every week.  The food is always good and the popcorn is insanely unique.  I have to get that recipe! 


  • Reservations strongly recommended.
  • Hours: Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2:30 pm; Dinner: Mon-Thu 5:30-10:30 pm, Fri 5:30-11 pm, Sat 5-11pm, Closed Sun
  • Address: 633 D St, NW, Washington, DC 20004
  • Ph: 202-637-1222

I’ve been to Vidalia for lunch and I remember really enjoying the meal.  I haven’t been there for happy hour, but I think that’s going to have to change soon. 

Check it out: Monday-Friday from 5:30-6:30 PM, they have a wine tasting with a new theme and three wines for each day of the week.  Vidalia also offers free apps (their Web site lists: House Made Charcuterie, Patés, Rillettes and Sausages Paté of the South (Pimento Cheese) with Onion Crackers; Vidalia Onion Dip with Sweet Potato Chips; Miniature BLT’s; Stuffed Fingerling Potatoes; and Jeff’s Pepper Jelly with Crackers) that changes daily with a few discounted cocktails and beers. 

During 5:30-6:30 PM, they also offer a happy hour dinner menu (appetizer, entrée and dessert) for $39.90 or can be paired with wine for $49.90. 


  • Address: 1990 M Street NW; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202-659-1990

Update 1/5/09 — I’ve made some updates to this list since there were some new additions and changes (such as price increases).  As always, let me know if I’ve missed your favorite!

I posted a few of them herewith 2008’s Winter Restaurant Week, but here are a few more.  I’ll continue to add to the list and if you know your favorite restaurant offers a pre-theater/prix-fixe menu (and it’s available online), send me an email at whereindc AT gmail DOT com. 

This list is in alphabetical order.

  • 1789 Restaurant — Georgetown — Pre-theater prix-fixe menu before 6:45 PM EST for $40.  Menu not available.
  • 701 Restaurant — Penn Quarter/Chinatown — Choice of three courses served daily from 5:30-6:45 PM for $28.95.  Menu is here (click menu then pre-theater).
  • Aria Tratoria–Penn Quarter/Chinatown Three course pre-theater meal (menu here) on Fridays 4-7 PM and Saturdays 5-7 PM for $34.
  • Bastille— Alexandria — Three-course bistro menu Tuesday-Saturday for $35.  Gourmand menu is $45 on Tuesday-Saturday.
  • Bistro D’Oc— Penn Quarter/Chinatown — Pre and post theater three course menu is served daily between 5:30-7 PM and between 9-10 PM for$21.95 and includes a glass of California wine.  The menu is available here (click on menu, then theater). 
  • Bistro Francais — Georgetown — Three course dinner (except on holidays) is served 5-7 PM and 10:30 PM-1 AM for $24.95 and includes a glass of house wine.  The menu is here.
  • Cafe Atlantico— Penn Quarter/Chinatown — Pre-theater three course menu here and offered daily from 5-6:30 PM for $35.08. 
  • Ceiba — Downtown — Pre-theater three course menu here (scroll down) and offered Mon-Sat from 5:30-6:30 PM for $29. 
  • Circle Bistro— Foggy Bottom/Dupont — $35 pre-theater three course menu here and available until 7 PM.
  • Indique —  Cleveland Park — $20 pre-theater three course menu  (click menu then pre-theater) available daily from 5:30-7:00 PM.
  • La Bergerie — Alexandria — Prix-fixe meal from 5-6:30 PM Sunday-Thursday for $38 (menu not posted).
  • Marcel’s— Foggy Bottom/Dupont — Pre-theater three course menu (click on cuisine, then menu) is available for $52 (includes a car to the Kennedy Center) and can be paired with a wine tasting for an additional $33.
  • Oya— Penn Quarter/Chinatown –Monday-Saturday 5-6:30 PM.  Click on “menu,” then $28 pre-fixe dinner menu. 
  • Peacock Grand Cafe— Foggy Bottom — Prix-fix menu is here and is $48.  Monday-Friday 5-6:30 PM, pre-theater is $38.
  • Posh Restaurant– Penn Quarter/Chinatown —
  • Poste Moderne Brasserie— Penn Quarter/Chinatown — $35.08 pre-theater menu daily from 5-6:30 PM
  • Rasika Restaurant— Penn Quarter/Chinatown — Three course pre-theater for $30 menu(click menu, then pre-theater) from 5:30-6:30 PM daily
  • Tivoli Restaurant— Arlington — Pre-theater menu for $30.08 is here (scroll all the way down) and is available 5:30-8:45 PM.
  • Tosca Ristorante— Downtown — Prix-fixe menu is here and is available daily from 5:30-7 PM for $35.

**Update 1/20 — Looking for RW prices all year long?  Check out this list of restaurants offering pre-theater/pre-fixe**

I’ve posted on Restaurant Week here and here

But here’s the Holy Grail…it’s a list of the menus (when available) of participating restaurants in the $$$$ and $$$ category.   All of these listed are participating and I’ve included info on the ones who have discounts beyond Restaurant Week (and if possible, those menus!). 

I used the list and location info from OpenTable.

Wow, that was a lot of work!


  • 1789 Restaurant — Georgetown — Pre-Theater prix-fix menu before 6:45 PM EST for $35.  Menu not available.
  • Sam & Harry’s/Caucus Room — Dupont/Downtown — Restaurant Week menu here.  Food & Wine Week (January 21-26th) $55/person and menu is here.
  • Prime Rib — Downtown — Restaurant Week menu (from August) here.
  • Taberna Alabardero — Downtown — Lunch menu is here and dinner menu is here. 


  • 701 Restaurant — Downtown — Restaurant Week menu here (and then click on events). 
  • Acadiana— Downtown — Sunday Brunch prix-fix three courses for $32.  Menu here.
  • Agraria Restaurant — Georgetown — Available Jan 14-27th and the menu is here. 
  • Ardeo Restaurant — Cleveland Park — Restaurant Week (full menu offered with some supplemental charges to certain items) and will be celebrated the following week too!
  • Bastille — Alexandria — Celebrating only Jan. 14-19th, menu is here
  • Bistro Bis — Capitol Hill — Menu here.
  • Butterfield9— Downtown — Celebrating Jan. 7th-27th.
  • Cafe Atlantico— Penn Quarter — Pre-theater menu here and offered daily from 5-6:30 PM for $30.07. 
  • Ceiba — Downtown — Restaurant Week menu here.  Pre-theater menu here (scroll down) and offered daily from 5:30-6:30 PM for $29. 
  • Chef Geoff’s— Uptown– Daily three course prix-fixe meal from 4-6:30 PM for $19.95. 
  • Chef Geoff’s— Downtown — Daily three course prix-fixe meal from 4-6:30 PM for $25.95. 
  • Cucina Vivace — Arlington — Three course meals either $33 or $38 and the menu is here.
  • Farrah Olivia — Alexandria —  Celebrating January 8th-31st, menu can be found here (click on Events then Restaurant Week).
  • Hook — Georgetown — Menu is here.
  • Ristorante i Ricchi — Downtown — Celebrating only Jan. 14-19th and the menu is here.
  • La Bergerie — Alexandria — Prix-fixe meal from 5-6:30 PM Sundays-Thursdays for $35.
  • Mie N Yu — Georgetown –Celebrating Jan. 14th-27th and the menu is here.
  • Mio — Downtown — Celebrating Jan. 14th-31st and the menu is here. 
  • Monocle Restaurant — Capitol Hill — Celebrating Jan. 14th-19th and the menu is here.
  • Notti Bianche — Foggy Bottom — Lunch menu is here and dinner menu is here.
  • PS 7’s — Penn Quarter — Celebrating Jan. 14th-19th and the menu is here.
  • Rasika — Penn Quarter — Menu is here.
  • Tabaq — U Street — Celebrating the entire month of January and the menu is here.
  • Teatro Goldoni — Downtown — Celebrating Jan. 14th-27th and the menu offering is here.
  • The Oval Room — Downtown — Menu is here (and click on events).
  • Tivoli Restaurant— Arlington — Pre-theater menu is here (scroll all the way down) and is available 5:30-6:30 PM.
  • Tosca Ristorante— Downtown — Prix-fixe menu is here and is available daily from 5:30-7 PM for $35.
  • Vidalia — Downtown — Menu here.
  • Willow Restaurant — Arlington, VA — Celebrating January 14-20 and January 20-26th.  Lunch menu is here and dinner menu is here.