For the first time in the 18-year history of D.C. Restaurant Week, the winter event is being extended. Local restaurants are banding together to give furloughed feds, as well as the rest of us, more time with these exclusive special menus.

The main draw of Restaurant Week is the incredible pricing. Lunch or brunch for $22 and dinner for $35? Yes, please! This is a delicious opportunity to try some of the best restaurants in the city without hitting your wallet too hard.

At press time, over 180 restaurants have committed to the Restaurant Week extension. View the full list as it is updated here

Courtesy of Tony & Joe's Seafood Place

How to participate

It's easy! Head to the D.C. Restaurant Week website and search for the type of cuisine you want or the neighborhood you'd prefer. Browse the list of restaurants, whether they're offering brunch, lunch, or dinner, and peruse their menus. If they don't have a menu posted on the site, go to their Facebook page or restaurant webpage; it is probably posted there.

Once you've picked one, go back to the main site and make a reservation through Open Table. That's it! When you arrive at the restaurant, be sure to order from the Restaurant Week menu to get the special pricing.

Courtesy of Rare Steakhouse and Tavern

What are the menus like this year?

With so many restaurants to choose from, the possibilities are endless! My top picks for this Restaurant Week extension would be:

Rare Steakhouse for dinner ($35): For a starter, I would have the Orchard Point Oysters DeJonhge, then the 14 oz. Dry Aged Kansas City Strip with the Pomme Dauphine and the Bittersweet Chocolate Rocky Road Pot de Creme for dessert.

Courtesy of Rare Steakhouse and Tavern

Bibiana for lunch ($22): I would start with the House Cured Salmon Tartare, then move on to the Bucatini All Amatriciana and finish with the Hazelnut Panna Cotta.

Courtesy of Bibiana

Tony & Joe's for dinner ($35): First course would be the mixed greens with champagne vinaigrette, then I'd have the Cazuela Baked Sea Bass and finish off with the Raspberry Sorbet. Nice and light with a view of the river.

Courtesy of Tony & Joe's Seafood Place

Are you going to take advantage of the Restaurant Week extension? Make your reservations soon -- popular restaurants fill up quickly!

What is your pick for D.C. Restaurant Week this year? Let us know in the comments below!

Need some help making your rent payment, due to the shutdown? Some apartment management companies are helping out. Learn more here.

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