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Does restaurant week food suck or just Aquitaine's

I went to Aquitaine for dinner last night and was disappointed. My husband had been there once for lunch and loved it that one time, but after this dinner it just felt like a badly spent $100.

I had:
- boring, under-dressed salad with tiny bit of goat cheese in it
- Duck that was fine, with actually tasty sides of parsnip puree and parsley salad
- decent, but boring chocolate mousse (no choice of dessert).

So before I try to get a reservation for Rialto next week, do restaurants give you what you pay for on the cheapo restaurant week menu or is it always like that at Aquitaine?

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  1. This is a much discussed topic on this board. I have sworn off restaurant week this year because I don't think I ever get the quality of food or service that I would get any other time of the year. I am focusing either on spots that are not participating or those that I can just order off the regular menu.

    1. Did Rialto this week and it was pretty disappointing. I'm convinced, after several RW dinners over the past year, that restaurants fall into two camps: They either skimp on service/food or rush and try to flip tables (Teatro last year) quickly to maximize $$$.

      Rialto was tasty, but disappointing:

      - Busy and hardly attentive service. Although I was impressed when someone came out of the kitchen to confirm that an ingredient was not in a dish (nut allergy). Saw our server maybe twice.

      - Menu was decent and varied slightly from usual menu. A soup for example was similar, except for no lobster.

      - Entrees seemed small overall. Smaller than usual (and we're not big portion eaters). A pork tenderloin dish featured two small pieces sliced deli-thin. And arrived lukewarm.

      Was a nice excuse to go out with friends, but we don't really need an excuse. We'll be skipping RW in the future.

      1. I concur. It's very disappointing. Restaurants should use this week to showcase their talents to what could become regular diners. Instead, they turn tables as quickly as they can and serve overcooked molten chocolate cakes that are more like brownies (what? me bitter?).

        I have also sworn off RW after mediocre and boring meals at Olives, Upstairs on the Square, and some other place I can't remember.

        Aquitaine has always been very good; I used to live nearby and have had dinners and brunch there. So my guess is it's a RW thing that your meal wasn't amazing. And I'm surprised there was no choice in dessert.

        1. I had a disappointing meal last RW at B&G Oysters but went to OM the other night and found its RW menu pretty delicious. I had Okinawa ravioli, which were sweet yam paste in really pretty raviolis (looked sort of shumai-like) and duck with a sort of Moroccan rub and it had this impossibly cute tiny cast iron skillet with a tiny bisteeva in it. The vanilla creme brulee tasted more like vanilla pudding to me, but the tiny cornmeal/hazelnut biscotti with it were quite tasty.

          1. Aquitaine was the first place we tried for RW years ago...can't remember what we had, but we had the same impression and haven't gone near it since :-)