The Washington Business Journal is reporting that this winter’s D.C. Restaurant Week promotion will be pushed back to February, in deference to the Barack Obama‘s inauguration on Jan. 20. The move makes sense to me: The D.C. dining market will be flooded with hundreds of thousands of tourists in mid-January, the traditional period for this mid-winter dining discount. Restaurateurs would be complete tools to sell their plates on the cheap this year.
Which brings me to Alexandria’s “Inaugural Restaurant Week,” which debuts right in the middle of the biggest presidential inauguration in decades. The NoVa version of Restaurant Week runs from Jan. 17-25 and like its D.C. cousin, the promotion allows patrons to order a three-course, prix-fixe dinner for $35 (or, in a few cases, a dinner for two for $35).
The question, of course, is why? Why would Alexandria restaurants offer steep discounts when they already have a captive audience?
I think the answer lies in the 25-plus restaurants that have signed up for the promotion. Most are mid-level eateries that couldn’t attract a dog’s attention without placing meat outside the front door. But the promotion also includes one very good restaurant, Farrah Olivia, that’s simply too far off the beaten track to benefit from the high-volume of waddling foot traffic that will hit Old Town later this month.
Still, I have to wonder: Didn’t these restaurateurs get the memo? It’s gonna be real hard for a lot of folks in Virginia to cross the bridge into D.C. on inauguration day. They’re gonna need to eat somewhere, and they can’t all dine at Restaurant Eve.