Nutritionists are quick to note that wine is rich in antioxidants, which help promote a lustrous skin tone, stronger burrowing muscles, and self-styling heads of hair. Today's Groupon brings that potent nectar of grape to the table: for $20, you get $40 worth of bistro cuisine and drinks at Ravenous Restaurant and Wine Bar. For 16 years, the cozy downtown eatery and wine bar has been serving up flavorful bistro fare alongside an eclectic lineup of wines that, like the Superfriends, come from all over the globe and are natural alcoholics.
Whether you stop in for a lingering lunch with a promising first date or a decadent dinner with a debonair art thief, the Ravenous board of fare will keep your hunger-crazed stomach from punching you in the lung. Mid-day munches run the gauntlet of salads, sandwiches, pizzas, calzones, and pastas. The spicy Cajun-shrimp calzone ($9.50), hearty meatloaf sandwich ($8.50), and sesame-chicken salad ($9.50) are all guaranteed routine breakers. For an elegant evening, start with an order of spicy clams and mussels ($12) or focaccia and caramelized onions ($10) before moving on to a red-and-white-sauced Broadway pizza ($17) loaded with chicken, artichoke hearts, mozzarella, and tomatoes. Ravenous's pan-seared rib-eye steak ($24), served with Mediterranean mashed potatoes and drizzled with a mushroom-merlot demi-glace and crumbled blue cheese, will satisfy diners famished after a day of slow-motion car washing over the neighbor's objections, while the smoked-salmon tortellini ($19.50) swims upstream through a decadent walnut and blue-cheese cream sauce.
To ensure that your meal finds its soul mate and avoids dying alone, peruse Ravenous's diverse wine list and select among the numerous offerings by the glass, from local Washington vineyards to Italian, French, Australian, South African, and South American imports. Compare a cool glass of the South African Juno Rosé ($7 per glass) to Washington's Barnard Griffin Semillon ($8 per glass) or the Alamos Cabernet ($7 per glass) from Argentina. Bright, original artwork adorns the bistro's boldly colored walls, and the laid-back atmosphere makes the eatery a wonderful place to enjoy a long, languorous afternoon filled with fine food, complex wines, and breezy, flirtatious decisions over which wire to cut. Reservations are recommended, so call ahead.