Some of Washington's finest restaurants make you an offer you shouldn't refuse: a three-course dinner for just a little bit more than the cost of a typical entree. It's the pretheater dinner, available in the early evening on certain nights at certain restaurants, and while your choices may be limited, your meal will undoubtedly be delicious.
At one end of the spectrum is Marcel's, whose $58 fixed-price includes any three courses from the regular menu, perhaps an arugula salad with caramelized shallots to start; an entree, like pan-seared Norwegian salmon; and a dessert, perhaps crème brûlée or chocolate terrine. Marcel's offers this menu nightly from 5:30 to 7pm or so and throws in complimentary limo service to and from the Kennedy Center, returning you to the restaurant after the show for the dessert portion, if you haven't already consumed it.
Café Atlantico's pretheater menu allows you three courses for $35: conch fritters, soup or salad to start, seared trout, flat-iron steak, or a similar choice for the main course, and sorbet or warm chocolate cake to finish. The restaurant's pretheater menu is available nightly between 5 and 6:30pm.
Many other restaurants offer a pretheater menu, including Ceiba, Rasika, 1789, and Café Saint-Ex.