Appetite: 4 Reservations to Make for Winter Restaurant Week

Appetite: 4 Reservations to Make for Winter Restaurant Week

Just in time for your new year’s resolutions to have bitten the dust, Alexandria’s Winter Restaurant Week takes center stage, allowing diners from across the region to taste some of the city’s favorite menus for a fraction of the price.

Sunday in Saigon, 682 N. St. Asaph St.

The upscale Vietnamese restaurant in the shadow of Trader Joe’s has several tricks up its sleeve for a thorough Restaurant Week spread. Take a tour through Vietnam with a three-course $35 dinner or two-course $15 lunch, both of which sport an array of options for nearly any palate. Lunch comes with a choice of three appetizers, from chicken and woodear mushroom rolls to shrimp fritters, and a selection of four entrée options, including a vegan yellow curry and a lemongrass beef noodle soup. At dinner, the selections widen even more; with three appetizers, four entrees and two desserts to choose from, diners won’t go home hungry.

Tequila and Taco, 540 John Carlyle St.

The Carlyle neighborhood’s newest taco-slinging neighbor is entering the Winter Restaurant Week game strong with a three-course, dinner-for-two option. Order up a margarita – not part of the special – and peruse the menu. For $35, two diners will feast on guacamole or queso to start, then move on to a choice of fajitas or any three tacos from the dinner menu. Dessert brings with it a difficult decision: Tres leches cake, key lime pie or churros with ice cream?

Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza and Tap, 401 E. Braddock Road

Del Ray’s top pizza purveyor is back for another Restaurant Week deal. But don’t get complacent – Lena’s special menu strays from the wood-fired pizza and focuses more heavily on the pasta side of the equation. After a choice of four starters (including Lena’s famous giant meatball), choose from a half-dozen entrees, which range from grilled chicken alfredo to lasagna Bolognese to eggplant parmesan. To end things up on a sweet note, select from four desserts including tiramisu or house-made doughnuts.

Sonoma Cellar, 207 King St.

The cute little tasting room and restaurant nestled on lower King Street isn’t just a wine bar. Rather, it offers a full-fledged menu – and during Restaurant Week, the kitchen really struts its stuff. Diners have two options – a $35-per-person dinner or a $15 weekend brunch. For brunch, kick things off with a bellini, mimosa or salad; for an entrée, pick between such treats as a monte cristo, tater tot waffle or fajitas tacos. For dinner, start off with the likes of a quinoa salad with peppers and chickpeas or a chicken tortilla soup to warm things up. Then onto mains you go, selecting from such wintry comforts as beef bourguignon, crab-stuffed salmon or mushroom risotto. Then finish everything off with devil’s food cake, key lime pie or tres leches cake – or a three-ounce pour of dessert wine.

Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at Email her any time at