During restaurant week several DC eating establishments offer 3 course lunches and dinners for $20 and $30, respectively. My wife and I took advantage of this promotion and went to Ceviche a Latin restaurant in Silver Spring this past weekend. I began to wonder why is there a restaurant week? I think there are two main reasons. First, it is likely a period where few people go out to eat, since it is ridiculously hot and muggy outside people do not want to leave their air conditioned homes. So to get extra business everyone lowers the price. This might also explain why lunch is cheaper than dinner, since few people eat 3 course lunches. The Nationals, the DC baseball team, do something similar. When the Nationals play popular opponents such as the Mets and Cubs ticket prices are 25% to 50% higher. Or think about cheaper prices for matinee movies. Second it is a way to attract new customers. I might not be willing to risk $50 a person to try Ceviche, but at $30 I will give it a chance and may come back again. Finally, I wonder if this is a minor form of collusion among restaurants. Perhaps without restaurant week there would be even better August specials. A few years ago in my graduate school home of Madison, Wisconsin a group of bars got together and outlawed drink specials near campus. In the case of Restaurant week prices are dropping so people are unlikely to complain, but whenever a group of businesses get together and set a price we should keep an eye out.
As for dinner, we liked Ceviche. My wife, Marie, got the ceviche sampler for her appetizer and I got scallops in the shell topped with gruyere. Both were well presented and seasoned, we both made noises of delighted when trying these dishes. We also both got drinks, I had a daiquiri which was more the traditional sort with a nice grapefruit flavor and Marie got something flavored with passion fruit. The main courses a yucca lasagna and beef roast were good not great. The desserts a hazel nut chocolate cake was mainly moose and less cake like to the pleasure of Marie. I had tres leches it was good not great, a little spongy and I would have liked more fruit with it. The waitress was excellent and did a great job explaining the dishes. She also helped make sure no cilantro was present in Marie’s food. Their espresso machine was not working, and I would have liked espresso with dessert. Overall I would give it 3/5. A good overall place, but I would suggest going for appetizers and drinks over the main meal.