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Not all Washingtonians can spring for fine dining tasting menus dripping with opulence in the form of foie gras. Fortunately, the following chefs and restaurateurs have opened less expensive sister restaurants where diners can get a sense of a chef’s style of cooking sans the big bill.
If you can’t swing Métier, there’s Kinship
Chef Eric Ziebold, formerly of CityZen, has double-decker restaurants at two price points across from the Convention Center. Downstairs, Métier is a near museum of the world’s most luxurious ingredients like Kuroge beef that star on a $200 tasting menu (includes gratuity). Upstairs at Kinship, you can find a la carte delights like oyster chowder that start at $12.
If you can’t swing Pineapple & Pearls, there’s Rose’s Luxury
At Pineapple & Pearls, Chef Aaron Silverman has orchestrated a tasting menu experience as elegant as a ballet for $250 (includes tax, tip, drinks). And it doesn’t hold back on caviar and the other finer things in life. Next door at Rose’s Luxury, you can experience the same degree of whimsy for less, with small plates that start at $13.
If you can’t swing Komi, there’s Little Serow
Komi was one of the original big-ticket dinners in town before fine dining’s 2016 resurgence. The Greek-leaning tasting menu ($150, food only) from Chef Johnny Monis takes diners through light bites like a duo of raw scallops before the grand finale goat course. Next door at Little Serow, Monis cranks up the heat with a spicy and tangy Thai tasting menu ($49, food only).
If you can’t swing Fiola, there’s Sfoglina
Chef Fabio Trabocchi’s first restaurant Fiola is a clinic in luxury, with dishes like A5 Wagyu ribeye or Nova Scotia lobster tucked generously into ravioli. There, a four-course tasting menu plus dessert runs $135. Meanwhile, up in Van Ness, Trabocchi serves a simple a la carte menu at Sfoglina focused on $22–$25 pasta dishes.
If you can’t swing Rasika, there’s Bindaas
Chef Vikram Sunderam serves decadent fish curries, truffle naan, and luscious chaats like avocado banana at D.C.’s fine dining Indian restaurant, where entrees top out at $28. There are also tasting menu options at Rasika ranging from $50–$75. But at Bindaas in Cleveland Park, Sunderam has his hand in Indian street food snacks like kathi rolls and shashlik kebabs that are much friendlier on the wallet ($2.50–$15).