Look, we love José Andrés. But his more-than-20-course meal at Minibar now runs $275 a head, with beverage pairings available at three tiers ($95, $115, and $195), not including tax or gratuities. So if we were to factor in all of this and go for the mid-range wine pairing (what are we, peasants?), that clocks in at a whopping $514.80. Instead, you could...
- Start off a Friday or Saturday night at Thai X-ing, which offers what is arguably the best multi-course chef’s menus in DC. It’s $40 for five to seven beautiful courses, BYO with no corkage fee, and a deservedly famous pumpkin curry. Bring a nice $20 bottle with you, and your meal will set you back a total of $132.
- Hit up Bamain for Afghani cuisine. Start with the mantu, then order one Bamain platter and one vegetarian platter to share. Pair with sparkling water (they’re, uh, short a liquor license right now) for $56.48.
- Go for two all-you-can-eat Option As at Kogiya, and nab two bottles of rice wine for good measure, $92.40.
- Stop by Aladdin for delicious Bangladeshi fare: start off with some fuchka, then move on to aloo palak, goat biryani, chicken korma -- be sure to order some extra naan for all that sauce -- and wash it all down with a couple of lassis for $56.76.
- Begin your meal at 2Amys with the deviled eggs, order a salad to share, then enjoy what is perhaps the best pizza in the District (we recommend ordering both the margherita extra and the puttanesca pies). Pair it all with a liter of wine for $105.33.
- Finish it all up at EatBar, where you can knock back a couple of beers and delight in a spread of five "meat + cheesy" things (including stuff like wild boar pate), an order of ham fries (just go with it), and a Nutella panini for $71.28.
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Jess Novak is the editor of Thrillist DC, and she dreamt about Thai X-ing’s pumpkin curry last night. Follow her on Twitter @jesstothenovak and on Instagram @jtothenovak.
Tim Ebner is a food & travel writer based in Washington, DC. For more cheap eats dining, follow him on Twitter @TimEbner.