Washington, DC New Menu Report: Week of 03/02/15

March Madness specials, Bitter Blonde cocktails, and boozy milkshakes can be found all of town in Washington, D.C. this week

Burger, Tap & Shake have announced their monthly burger and shake specials for March.

701 Restaurant
Happy hour hounds in search of upscale fare that’s easy on the wallet have many choices on the new happy hour menu at 701 Restaurant. This Penn Quarter dining spot is now featuring a tasty selection of signature cocktails, wines by the glass, and bar snacks for $7 each. Slide into a booth Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. and sip the Bitter Blonde made with gin, sweet vermouth, and Suze; or the Cure Royale comprising prosecco, Lillet Blanc, and house vinegar. Executive chef Benjamin Lambert has created tempting tidbits and upscale sandwiches to pair with your drinks like the grilled cheese made with cheddar, red onion, and fig jam; savory duck with pickled kohlrabi and jalapeño; or the oyster slider with Asian slaw and apple rémoulade.

Arcuri  is a genial spot in Glover Park that serves Italian inspired dishes and brick-oven pizzas. The owners and staff are die-hard sports fans, but they believe March Madness is about more than just hoops and stats—it’s an opportunity to highlight some of the more than 40 Lemoncello riffs crafted at the restaurant by the beverage team. Depending on the season, the “cellos” are prepared using a variety of fruits, spices, and sugars, and for March Madness they’ve chosen their top four flavors for a “Final Four Cello Bracket Challenge.” On Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20, guests can help crown the first “cello” champion by filling out a bracket that includes four of the restaurant’s “cellos.” You may choose from the V Cello with anise, mint, jalapeños, lemon, and sugar; the Blood Orange made with sliced blood oranges and sugar; the Strawberry with sliced strawberries and sugar; and the the Bergamot Cello with bergamot slices and sugar. “Cello” samples are available for $5 each or you can order a flight of all four for $9. The champion will be announced during the NCAA National Championship game on Monday, April 6, when “cello” shots will be sold for $1, whistle to whistle. 

Blue Duck Tavern
Blue Duck Tavern has just announced they are now offering family-style private dining at their Chef’s Table. It’s the perfect venue to host private parties for 12 to 20 guests for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Guests can enjoy an intimate meal and interact with executive chef Ryan LaRoche and chef de cuisine Brad Deboy while sampling customized menus created for the group. The menus, created 24 to 48 hours in advance, use only the freshest seasonal ingredients sourced from local purveyors. Guests dining at the Chef’s Table may choose from a customized three-course menu starting at $85 per person, a four-course menu starting at $100 per person, a five-course menu starting at $120 per person, and a three-course brunch menu priced at $55 per person. All the menus are exclusive of beverages, tax, and gratuity and require reservations. For information about times of service, menus, and to make reservations email Marvina Tribbey-Williams.

Burger, Tap & Shake
It’s time once again for Burger, Tap & Shake to announce their burger and shake of the month, so it should come as no surprise that the burger for March is the "March Madness" Kentucky hot brown made with a hearty beef patty, sliced turkey, bacon, Swiss cheese, and oven cured tomato, topped with Mornay sauce. The price is $8 and it goes down easy with the shake of the month—the Grasshopper—a Kelly green milkshake that pays homage to St. Patrick’s Day and is made with vanilla ice cream, mint, and Oreo cookies.

City Tap House
Not wanting to miss out on March Madness, City Tap House is hosting a two-day beer bracket party on Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20. This two-day event will consist of four rounds of play, with each round featuring different pre-selected beers.

  • Round One: Thursday, March 19 from 12 to 5 p.m. The bracket includes 16 beers discounted to $5 each during the first round of play. At the end of the first round 5 p.m., the eight beers that sell the most pints will advance to round two, and will continue to be sold at the discounted price.
  • Round Two: Thursday, March 19 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The eight beers that advanced from round one are sold for $5 each, and at the end of round two at 8 p.m., the four beers that sell the most pints will advance to the third round.
  • Round Three: Thursday, March 19 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. The four beers that advanced from round two are matched against one another, are sold for $5 each, and at 11 p.m. the two beers that sell the most pints advance to the fourth and final round, which will be held Friday, March 20.
  • Round Four: Friday, March 20 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The two remaining beers go head-to-head and the beer with the highest pint sales at 8 p.m. will be poured at the discounted price of $5 from March 20 until the NCAA Championship game on Monday, April 6. 

The prize for the person with the winning beer bracket on Friday, March 20 is a complimentary happy hour for ten friends at City Tap House. In addition, a standard March Madness basketball bracket will also be available, but will be turned in before the first game on Thursday, March 19. The winner of this bracket is eligible to win two tickets to the Firefly Music Festival.  

Drafting Table
Drafting Table is going full court press for March Madness this year and is offering a special beer bracket in honor of the 2015 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. Their beer bracket includes one beer in cans and 15 beers served on draft from Sunday, March 15 to March 23. Diners can choose the beers for their bracket while the games on one of four flat screen televisions. Drafting Table will total the beers that get the most votes, and announce the winners of each round Tuesday, March 24 at 6 p.m., Friday, March 27 at 6 p.m., and Wednesday, April 1 at 6 p.m. The beer chosen as the winner will be available at a discounted price of $4 during the NCAA Championship game on Monday, April 6 and be sure to snag a swag bag because during the tournament, Drafting Table is giving away T-shirts, basketballs, glassware, and more. 

Et Voila!
Et Voila! is a classic Belgian-French bistro in the Palisades now offering a new three-course lunch menu in March. The menu will change every three weeks and will include a choice between two appetizers, two entrées, and two desserts. This lunch special is priced at an affordable $22.50 per person (tax and gratuity not included), and for an additional $6 per person, guests may choose a glass or house red or white wine. The menu features dishes such as smoked haddock with creamy potatoes and poached eggs, and Nutella ice cream for dessert.

The Oval Room
The Oval Room is just steps from the White House and an easy walk from the Metro, so there isn’t any reason you can’t stop in try their new happy hour menu. Monday through Friday, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., The Oval Room now offers select cocktails for $8 and select wines by the glass for $7, exclusively at the bar. Craft cocktails include the Oval Room Manhattan prepared with Old Overholt rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, barrel aged bitters, and a Campari amaretto cherry; The Lady Michelle with sparkling wine, vodka, lemon-lavender syrup, and Crème Yvette; and a riff on the Moscow Mule called the Jalisco Mule made with ginger beer, Añejo Tequila, and sage. The Oval Room’s new chef, John Melfi, has been thrilling guests with his incredible food and his cocktail snacks are just as appetizing. Some enticing choices include the papas bravas made with potatoes, espelette pepper, sea salt, and garlic soubise sauce; marinated olives with boquerones (known to English speakers as white anchovies), cornichons, and pearl onions; jumbo lump crab balls with Sriracha aîoli; and chicken liver mousse with red wine apple butter. Prices range from $9 to $12 each. 

Summer Whitford is the D.C. City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal and the DC Wine Examiner. You can follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva.

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