The Bright Side of being a Foodie: Restaurant Week!

[Repost from my Daily Bright Side blog}

On recently I had a friendship date with my dear friend and fellow UU alum Rachel Melton and we decided that it would be a good idea to partake of the DC August Restaurant Week!

For those of you who don’t know, DC, New York, Chicago and other big cities around the US will host a special restaurant week, typically twice a year, and offer pre-fix menu options for about $35 per person. Many of the restaurants that participate are typically $50 and over per person, so getting to try an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert for $35 is really a great deal.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Rachel and I decided to dine at Zengo in Chinatown. This is one of my favorite spots in DC and Rachel had never been so that was an easy decision.

Zengo is one of those fun places with a chic interior design and fusion menu. This is the only place Ive ever been where I can eat sushi, empanadas, and steamed dumplings all in one night.

Zengo is Japanese for “Give and Take” and the small plate portion sizes are meant to be shared around the table.

According to

Zengo, which translates to “give ‘n take”, merges flavors of Chef Richard Sandoval’s heritage with his passion for Asian cuisine. This melding of flavors and cultures results in intriguing shareable dishes.

For Restaurant week, Rachel and I chose one appetizer, one entree, and one desert and shared… give and take style.

Our selections included the Angry Zengo and Volcano sushi rolls for starters. For entrees Rachel ordered the beef tenderloin and I ordered to tuna.

Rachel’s tenderloin was the favorite by far, cooked to medium rare perfection in a bed of onions and peppers. My tuna was also excellent lightly seared in a delightful spice rub and finished with avocado and a red wine reduction sauce.

For desert we both enjoyed one chocolate tart each because girls don’t like to share their chocolate. 🙂

Restaurant week officially concludes on Sunday August 30 but many restaurateurs are extending their restaurant week menus by a week “due to popular demand” so check your favorite restaurant’s website to see if they are extending their offering.

If you missed restaurant week, don’t worry, it will be back in January 2010.

For more from Chef Sandoval, check out his interview from the CBS Early Show, he shares three recipes on the site including the recipe for the popular Give and Take Chicken Salad, which I plan to try my hand at preparing this weekend.

Bon Appetite!

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