Michael Harlan Turkell
This year, please don’t simply “mail in” Father’s Day and give Dad an ugly tie or a last-minute gift card. Father’s Day is your chance to say “Thank you” to your dad. Maybe your dad is old school and digs a grilled steak with all the fixings, or he raised you as a health conscious vegan – it doesn’t matter because our list of dining options for Dad’s big day offers something for steak and seafood lovers, vegans, comfort food fans, and dads with a sweet tooth.
If your Dad is a grilling legend but only in his own mind, consider sending him to school. Brant Tesky, executive chef at Acadiana, is teaching a grilling class that will have your dad grilling like a pro, just in time for Father’s Day. This hands-on class is being held Saturday, June 20, from 1 to 3 p.m. and costs $85 per person. In class, Dad will learn the fundamentals of great grilling while dining on a great menu that highlights the flavors you can achieve from cooking with wood or charcoal. The lineup includes grilled potato leek soup, ribs, skirt steak, flat iron, leg of lamb, grilled ratatouille, corn salad, and grilled pineapple with vanilla ice cream and rum sauce. Be sure to buy your tickets online.
For carnivorous dads who crave a meal with Latin flair, try Del Campo. Executive chef Victor Albisu just won Washington’s 2015 RAMMY Award for Chef of the Year, and he is serving a traditional Argentine asado. In Argentina, asados, or what we call barbecues and family gatherings, are an essential part of every celebration, so bring along the family and take advantage of Del Campo’s $45 fixed price menu. It starts with an appetizer of provoleta that is seared provolone cheese served with smoked morel mushrooms and crusty oregano bread followed by a tossed green salad. The meat-centric main course is next, which includes grilled flank steak, Peruvian chicken, prime short ribs, and Argentine chorizo.
Ciao Bello, want to go Italian for Father’s Day? Head over to Graffiato in Penn Quarter, they’re serving rustic handmade pasta, and wood fired pizzas just like they serve in Jersey. Order a pizza made his way or try the Goodfellas: a spicy, savory pie topped with hand rolled meatballs, fresh tomato, provolone cheese, and hot chili flakes that’s slap-your-mamma good. And if Dad has a seafood fixation, order the Jersey Shore pizz, as this beauty comes with fried calamari, fresh tomato, provolone cheese, and a cherry pepper aîoli. If Dad’s just not in the mood for pizza, take him to brunch because Graffiato’s brunch menu for Father’s Day includes a bottomless beer option for an additional $20.
If your dad complains and says he just wants to relax on Father’s Day, bring dinner to him from Jackson 20. For just $28, their special Father’s Day carry out menu includes eight pieces of crisp, juicy, fried chicken; sweet watermelon; and tangy coleslaw. If Dad wants to go the breakfast route, he can order the slow-cooked beef brisket hash. It’s prepared with sautéed Idaho potatoes, green peppers, and onions and is topped with two over easy eggs. Be sure to order a side of Anson Mills cheddar grits too – they are killer. Phone the restaurant to place your order.
MET Bethesda is a Boston classic with four locations in Massachusetts, and now Bethesda. Their seafood dishes are savory, fresh, and give Dad the gift of delicious quality. Exclusively throughout brunch service, Dad can indulge in a Surf & Turf Benedict composed of a beef filet, Maine lobster, and poached egg served on an English muffin with hollandaise sauce and potatoes for $28 per person. Other tasty seafood options on the menu include the tuna, salmon belly with torched tomatoes, and crispy coconut calamari with red jalapeños and crack sauce.
Do childhood memories of your dad buying, and then eating, all of your Girl Scout cookies haunt you? Then relax, we have just the catharsis you both need: new treats memories from Meredith Tomason, chef/founder of RareSweets. This pastry shop’s home base is CityCenter, but on Saturday, June 20, RareSweets is featured pop-up at Salt & Sundry in Union Market. From 12 to 3 p.m. you and your dad can gobble down heavenly goodies like Honeycomb Candy ($6), and Coconut Macaroons ($12). On the other hand, buy the S’mores Kit ($15) and make something at home together. It includes handmade graham crackers, vanilla bean marshmallows, and chocolate. Melting tools not included.
They may not be open on Sunday, but treat your dad to a vegetarian feast on Saturday at Rasika, one of the best restaurants in D.C. They have two locations, in Penn Quarter and the West End, and offer incredible Indian cuisine along with an extensive wine selection. Chef Vikram Sunderam, the 2014 James Beard Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic winner, has created a menu that includes ten kinds of handmade breads, ten mouthwatering vegetarian dishes, house-made chutneys, dishes prepared on the tawa griddle, which includes a standout like ragda patties made with potatoes, chick peas, and tamarind date and served with mint chutney, and three superb chaat or savory sides that everyone will love. Don’t worry; there are plenty of good tasting things for meat eaters, too.
Ray’s the Steaks
It just wouldn’t be Father’s Day if we didn’t include a primo steakhouse in the list and in the DMV, finding one that’s also open on Sunday isn’t easy, but you’re in luck. Ray’s the Steaks is open seven days a week and their steaks are terrific. Their menu includes all the classics you expect from a top-notch steakhouse so your dad can choose from dry aged Delmonico, strip steaks, bone in ribs, filet mignon, butcher cuts, a selection of fab seafood dishes like crab bisque, crab royale, and giant scampi, and tempting side dishes like roasted wild mushrooms and lobster macaroni and cheese.
Jai Williams is a Culinary Photographer whose work will be published in two upcoming travel/food books this summerand a Contributor at The Daily Meal, Industree, and Editor-in-Chief at Girl Meets Food. You can follow her on Twitter @januarijai