Put on the Ritz (Carlton) with glitz without creating a cash blitz -- Frugal Socialite style!

By Rader Ochea

Who knew you could put on the Ritz for a few cents? I had a blast appearing today on WUSA9's noon news with J.C. Hayward to talk about The Ritz Carlton, Pentagon City's 20th Anniversary deals. New Executive Chef, Frederic Chartier, brought not only his new signature dish, Salmon Rillette, to life on the show, but created a little "a la la" with his French accent! The hotel's Fyve Restaurant and Lounge has a little Parisian flair in the house with the addition of Chef Chartier. Inexpensive and The Ritz Carlton seems to be an oxymoron, but The Frugal Socialite found deals to make your mouth water and your budget stay in tact.

Many of us practically live in the Costco across the street or at least breeze through Pentagon City Mall, but how many times have you valet parked on the other side of Nordstrom or rang the bell tucked away by the mall entrance of the Ritz, near Brookstone on the 2nd level? When you decide to get a little down time after shopping or treat yourself to a night away from home, you’ll forget you are any where near the bustling Arlington area once inside the elegance of the Ritz.


Lucinda, Chef Chartier and CBS DC's JC Hayward dishing some prime rib

Here's the scoop on how to Ritz with Glitz
without creating a cash blitz:

$5 dishes at Fyve Restaurant and Lounge

I’m known for finding upscale food for Extra Value Meal rates and the Ritz serves it up perfectly. From 2:30 PM to 11 PM daily, join the elite executives, power brokers and trendy set in the Fyve Lounge for 15 menu items for only $5! This is the longest Happy Hour in town! Choices range from a mini Black Angus burger with fries to calamari to parmesan risotto balls to antipasto, short ribs and meat filled grilled cheese. Cheesecake, sorbet and a nice little “trilogy” of mini cupcakes finishes the meal, also for $5.00. So, for $10 you can have your cake and eat, too, enveloped in a plush, cushy Ritz style couch.

$20.10 – the year and the price on Thursdays

Complete prime rib dinner inside the intimate and elegant Fyve Restaurant. Really, Do you need more details? Just make your reservation and live it up this week.

Rooms with a view AND a private staff

I soaked up every minute of my recent stay in the Ritz’s Club Level room. For a minute, I forgot Sonia and Mulu, the hostesses with the mostesses, didn’t exist merely to entertain us! Frugal is in. Cheap is a mistake! When debating whether to add the extra bucks to upgrade your room to Club Level, don’t waste a minute thinking when you could be drinking – a glass of complimentary bubbly or drinking in the view of almost all the Washington monuments and haps from the Club windows.

Basically, the Club Level includes access to the private staff and lounge on the top floor. Wine, champagne, beer, fresh squeezed juices, breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert buffets plus the most stunning panoramic views in the area are all included on that exclusive floor. Even kids have their whims nurtured with special treats and personal attention. There’s nothing you can want when you’re “in residence” in the Club and if you can think of something you need, your Club staff try to find it for you. All in all, with food, drinks, and the “cater to you” aspect, this option adds hundreds of dollars’ value per person, per day, if you use all the benefits offered.

Announcing The 5-7 Club – Birthday folks on May 7th, come on down…

The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City created a very special club, and only guests who share the hotel’s official birthday – May 7th – are invited to join. Lucky members of The 5-7 Club who visit fyve Restaurant Lounge during May will be toasted with a complementary glass of champagne; and throughout the remainder of 2010, 20% will be deducted from their total meal tab. (Members only, please – a piece of identification showing date of birth is required.)

The Signature Anniversary Dessert with Pop Rocks, that throw back Candy?

I still have to try it, but Pastry Chef Dallas Marsteller has surpassed herself with the creation of a signature twentieth anniversary dessert. If it’s anything like the other goodies of Chef Marsteller’s, then I’ll also take one, two, or a dozen, to go! Both a throwback to the 1990s and a nod to the capital’s world-renowned cherry trees, this just-unveiled delight is named The Chocolate Chip Cherry Soufflé. Baked to order with pop-rocks ganache and sour cherry compote, it’s complemented by a mocha ice cream trifle on the side. This delightful indulgence will be available only in May.

Go online to:, to read about their contest for returning customers and guests, called, What’s Your Story?” and check out their Signature drink recipes.

Questions about my personal experiences at the hotel and restaurant? Post a comment here or email me at