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Ever since the heydays of Laboratorio del Galileo and the original Minibar in Café Atlántico, some of D.C.’s most rarefied dining experiences have taken place at restaurants within restaurants—kitchen-side settings where chefs show-off experimental or extravagant dishes at a premium price. Now, lots of restaurants are reserving special seats for prix fixe menus and a direct view of the kitchen. Here are some of the newest.

Del Campo’s Asado Bar

777 I St. NW

Seats: 9

What you’ll eat: A board of grilled, smoked, and charred meat and seafood is the main attraction from chef Victor Albisu. Starter dishes include grilled king crab with smoked caviar and crab mustard and grilled anchovy with goat cheese and burnt tomato. Desserts include grilled ice creams and grilled cheeses.

Price: $77 or $44 for the vegetarian menu

Wine pairings: $22

Courses: 4

When: Two seatings per night at 6:30 and 9 p.m.

How to make a reservation: Call (202) 289-7377


Roberto’s 4 at Al Dente Ristorante

3201 New Mexico Ave. NW

Seats: 4

What you’ll eat: Chef Roberto Donna brings elements of Laboratorio del Galileo back to life with whimsical twists on Italian cuisine. Look for dishes like fried head-on shrimp with a saffron mayonnaise and a two-inch pizza served in a mini pizza box with taleggio cheese, shaved truffles, and quail egg. Vegetarian tastings can be requested in advance.

Price: $85

Wine pairings: $45

Courses: 12-plus

When: One seating per night at 7 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays

How to make a reservation: Email robertos.four@gmail.com


Chef’s Counter at B Too

1324 14th St. NW

Seats: 8

What you’ll eat: Chef Bart Vandaele, of fleeting Top Chef fame, improvises Belgian dishes with a modern flare using seasonal ingredients.

Price: $65

Wine, beer, and cocktail pairings: starts at $35

Courses: 4

When: Flexible

How to make a reservation: Call (202) 627-2800


Chef’s Table at Beuchert’s Saloon

623 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Seats: 6, or up to 9 for a full buyout

What you’ll eat: Chef Andrew Markert will tailor the meal to diners’ likes and dislikes using seasonal ingredients. At the request of one diner, he did a full Southern feast. Markert has never prepared the same menu twice.

Price: $75 to $95

Wine, beer, and cocktail pairings: $30 to $50

Courses: 5 to 7

When: Tuesday through Thursday

How to make a reservation: Call (202) 733-1384 or email events@beuchertssaloon.com at least 72 hours in advance

Photo of Del Campo’s Asado Bar by Greg Powers