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Small Plates: Holiday Bargains

There’s good news for the budget-conscious foodie: Capital Restaurants will be offering three-course holiday menus for $24 at their six area restaurants. The only catch is that you need to eat from 5 to 7 p.m. J. Paul’s, Georgia Brown’s, Paolo’s, Old Glory, Third Edition and Neyla will be offering pre fixe menus similar to those offered during restaurant week, though this time the price includes a complimentary glass of wine.

J. Paul’s (3218 M St. NW in Georgetown) is offering such scrumptious options as butternut squash bisque with toasted pumpkin seeds and apple cider brined chicken. Mediterranean restaurant Neyla is serving shrimp couscous and Lebanese pastries. The special will be offered every day, even weekends, through Dec. 24.

The wine bar Proof (775 G St. NW) will be offering a deal of its own. For $12, patrons can have lunch and a glass of wine so long as they eat in the bar area. This bargain is considerable since a glass of wine alone at the Chinatown hot spot can go for as much as $17. Proof is open for lunch from Monday to Friday.

Calendar Girls

Several female area chefs are stepping out from behind the kitchen counter and posing in front of the camera lens this holiday season. Women Chefs & Restaurateurs is releasing a calendar of photos and recipes for the holiday season, which includes locals such as Nora Pouillon of Restaurant Nora and Jamie Leeds of Hank’s Oyster Bar and CommonWealth.

“The money directly goes towards WCR and benefitting probably the scholarship and internship program that they put on,” said Jacob Isaac, director of programs for WCR.

The calendar, “Crowning Cuisine: More Than Sugar and Spice,” features recipes, wine tips and advice on preparing different dishes. The idea was initially to do a recipe calendar, but then Leeds and Bonnie Moore, who works for HealthCentral Network and is involved with WCR, got creative.

“They thought: ‘Why not get all the women chefs involved and get a face with the recipe?’” Isaac said.

The calendar is available on the WCR Web site for $12, plus $4 shipping and handling.

Matchbox Deux

There’s a new dining option for hungry staffers on the Hill. After months of construction, Matchbox — the Chinatown restaurant known for its pizza and sliders — opened an outpost on Barrack’s Row (521 Eighth St. SE) Friday. The restaurant, the second one in the city, will be serving dinner seven days a week and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

The new location will offer the same menu as the Chinatown shop, which includes wood-fired pizzas such as the spicy meatball featuring house-made spicy meatballs, bacon, red pepper, garlic, tomato sauce and mozzarella. The restaurant will also feature a “late nite bite” menu perfect for staffers who tend to burn the midnight oil. The menu features sliders, salads and more than 10 pizzas.

Sugarplum Teas

If you’re looking to splurge this holiday season, the Willard InterContinental is a good place to do it. The historic hotel, located a few blocks from the White House, is in full holiday gear with decorations and Christmas-themed events. One option is a Nutcracker Brunch on Dec. 14 and 21. The Willard Room will be festooned with decorations reminiscent of the famous Christmas ballet and dishes such as Sugar Plum’s Pastries will be served. Brunch is $79 for adults and $40 for children.

The hotel is also taking a festive turn with its afternoon tea, served daily in Peacock Alley. Throughout December, customers will receive a chocolate sleigh filled with fruit upon ordering. Seasonal teas such as chocolate mint truffle and pear caramel truffle will be served alongside the hotel’s usual offerings. Tea is served from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

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