The Washington Post

Progressive dining comes to the West End

Ryme Lansari likes to check out new restaurants as much as the next food fan, but she’s tired of her friends suggesting Georgetown, Logan Circle and Penn Quarter. “I’ve never heard anyone say, ‘Let’s go to the West End,’ ” says the general manager of Westend Bistro in the Ritz-Carlton hotel.

(Courtesy Blue Duck Tavern) (Courtesy Blue Duck Tavern)

The neighborhood organizer hopes to change that with the launch next month of West End Wednesdays, a progressive dinner featuring four restaurants within strolling distance of one another: Blue Duck Tavern, Marcel’s, Ris and Westend Bistro.

The event, limited to a dozen diners each week, is a chance for the chefs, sommeliers and mixologists at each stop to show off their creativity with a course and a cocktail, says Lansari. The dishes will include an hors d’oeuvre, a seafood appetizer, a meat selection and dessert, and are expected to change from month to month. To maintain an element of surprise, diners will get their menus at the end of the evening. (No need for a sense of direction; participants will be escorted to the restaurants by managers or chefs and seated at a communal table.)

The cost for the dine-around, including tax and tip, is $130 a person, and the lineup will rotate from Wednesday to Wednesday. For the debut, on April 2, patrons will start at Marcel’s, move on to Ris and Westend Bistro and finish at Blue Duck Tavern. For reservations, visit​.

Weaned on a beige buffet a la “Fargo” in Minnesota, Tom Sietsema is the food critic for The Washington Post. This is his second tour of duty at the Post. Sietsema got his first taste in the ‘80s, when he was hired by his predecessor to answer phones, write some, and test the bulk of the Food section’s recipes. That’s how he learned to clean squid, bake colonial cakes and distinguish between nutmeg and mace.
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