Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week at 701

Hi guys! Today is my last day in the office before heading to San Diego tomorrow… I am so excited (even though its for work!). I’ve never been to California in my life! Can you believe that?

Since I’m leaving on an early flight tomorrow, I wanted to get my interval run in this morning, so I can do the “easy” 3.5 mile run tomorrow around downtown San Diego. Speed work this week called for 6 .25 mile repeats, so basically 3 miles of intervals. Even though I did one more today than last time, it felt easier. The reason is that I figured out the “secret” – go SLOW during recovery. I was going 5.8mph last time to recover, which is slower than I normally run, but was still fast enough that my heart rate wasn’t lowering enough. Today, I went from 7.0 during the sprints to 5.5 during the recovery, and it felt soooo much better. Before the last interval, I even went down to 5.2mph because my heart rate wasn’t coming down far enough at 5.5. That might seem obvious to some but for me, it made a huge difference today.

I also only warmed up for .25 miles today instead of a full mile, which I also think made a difference in energy levels. So glad to have that over with for the week!

Last night I had an AWESOME meal for Restaurant Week in DC. Do they do these where you are from? Basically, they hold a restaurant week twice a year and over 200 local restaurants participate. You get to pick an entree, main course, and dessert for 35.11 for dinner (this year – lase year it was 35.10) and three courses for lunch for 20.11. It’s a really good deal if you pick some of the swankier restaurants on the list because there’s no way you could eat there – especially for three courses – for $35 for dinner. The menu is usually entrees off of the regular restaurant menu, but sometimes there are special features on there.

My friend Erika and I got together for dinner. She lives in DC too, but we grew up playing soccer together in Connecticut. Even though we live in the same city, we only hang out every few months. Every time we do hang out, we always promise to not let it be so long until the next time, but then all of a sudden a few months have passed and we’re sitting at dinner again having a blast, swearing it’ll be the last time we let it be so long… you know how that goes.

I made the coat check lady take our picture because it felt too funny to take our picture inside the restaurant since it’s so swanky.

701 is a restaurant I’ve wanted to go for ages. The restaurant’s website describes its style as “an inventive approach to Contemporary Continental Cuisine.” Read: swank. 😉

To start off the meal, I ordered the escarole and baby beet salad.

I asked for the dressing on the side, not realizing the moody blue cheese was a dressing in addition the sherry vinaigrette, so the salad seemed a little plain. I sprinkled it with some of the moody blue, and it transformed the taste of the salad. Escarole is pretty milk, but you can see some fresh rosemary in there which just took it to another level. The beets were roasted to perfection and the salad tasted so fresh and delicious.

For my main course, I was really struggling with what to order. There were three things speaking to me. First, a Red Snapper with Saffron Risotto, Peeky toe crab, and Meyer Lemon. Yes, please. Next there was a Scottish Salmon with Parsnip Puree, Coffee Crunch, and a Red Wine Reduction. Finally, Royal Trumpet Mushrooms with Salsify, Swiss Chard, and Blood Orange. I was totally torn, but after speaking with the waiter, I was intrigued most by the vegan mushroom dish, so I went with that. It did not dissapoint!

The Royal Trumpet Mushrooms are across the top, with little segments of blood orange distributed throughout. Underneath there was a swiss chard puree – very similar to a pesto but with little to no oil, plus the roasted salsify. Salsify (which I had never heard of before tonight) is a root vegetable, really similar to parsnips in flavor and texture. This dish was serious out of this world. If I had someone cooking dishes like this for me every day, I could be vegan. Except cheese. Nevermind. 😉

Next up was the dessert course. Tons of delicious things on the menu but I wanted to stay pretty light, so I went with the trio of sorbet with winter berries.

I sort of zoned out when he was telling me the flavors because I was so curious about those sesame crackers, but I know one of the flavors was prickly pear, and all I know about the other two is that they were delicious and I was sad when it was over. I can’t even describe the perfection that were those sesame crackers. They had the slightest hint of sweet and added a perfect amount of crunch against the cool sorbet and soft winter berries. They almost added a biscotti factor to the sorbet, but with a lot less sweet and bulk. So good.

Overall, it was an incredible meal, and I had an awesome time catching up with Erika who I hadn’t seen in months! Let’s not let it be so long til the next time…

Is there a restaurant week in your town? Do you participate? How often do you eat out at restaurants? I only eat out a few times a month, max. I love cooking at home, plus its healthier and cheaper!