How is restaurant week going?
Just thought I'd open this thread for restaurant week info. That way people can have a heads up on what- and what not- to order as the week goes on, as well as where to try that might still have open spots!
We are going to Mercato later this week & I'd love some pointers.
Went to Twenty Manning for Restaurant Week. It was a disappointment. The staff was however, very accommodating to our last minute reservation change. That said, the food was mediocre both in creativity and delivery. At three different times throughout the meal, something which resembled the sound of crashing dishes startled the diners (I suspect I wasn't too far off). My friend even got accidentally stabbed with a butter knife after they removed our appetizer plate. I am in no rush to head back there. Hopefully my fellow Chowhounders expereinced something better there??
Went to Branzino for restaurant week last night with my boyfriend and a friend.
I had never been there, but my friend wanted to go for the Osso Bucco which was listed on the menu on the RW website. Unfortunately, that was not on the menu when we got to the restaurant. My friend ordered the lamb shank as his main course instead (it was similarly prepared) and seemed pretty happy with it, but was disappointed that they didn't have the osso bucco that he chose Branzino for. Also misleading on the RW website: they make it look like Branzino has one appetizer, one pasta and one meat or fish as the three courses. In fact, the three courses are one appetizer, one fish/pasta/meat, and one dessert. This makes much more sense, as it would have been a ridiculous amount of food, the other way! Appetizers were good - my friend enjoyed his mussels, I liked my leek salad, and my boyfriend seemed to like his smoked tuna quite a bit. For the main course, I had the gnocchi which was very good, but I probably should have ordered the bronzino (mildly spiced fish) along with my boyfriend - I had a bite and it was melt-in-your mouth perfect.
Note, they tried to shaft us on the dessert. One of the servers came to the table after we finished our second dish and asked if we wanted coffee or cappucino. Up to that point, I had been very happy with the service (they quickly corked our wine bottle, and the service was perfectly timed), but I do feel that she was trying to avoid giving us our third entree.
All in all: fantastic place for restaurant week. The decor is a little cheesy, to be honest, and the screaming baby one table over didn't help (why not hire a babysitter for a couple of hours with the money you're saving on a fancy dinner for $30?), but really all that matters is the food!
Did our semi-annual Monday at Matyson. Not rushed and great. If anyone going we all voted for the Duck breast as the best appy. The Pork Chork as the best entree and a tie between the brownie and the coconut pie for dessert. I'm a big dinner and I brought half my entree home ffor the next night!
Friday we do La Familigia. (yum!)
well, we went to Mercato last night. the staff was very friendly and accomodating. We enjoyed the fresh bread & gourmet butter, and they were on top of refilling both bread & water without having to ask.
I ordered the grilled artichoke as my app. It was flavored well, but was not a very "meaty" one at all which was disappointing. The others ordered the cheese plate & crab salad, seemed to enjoy. The entrees were braised short rib, shrimp & lobster pyramid pasta & filet (extra charge)(which I did not try). The short rib was good, however, not far off from what I make at home, therefore did not do anything for me to want to return. The waitress pointed out that the lobster & shrimp pasta was the "famous/popular" dish. It too was good, but nothing special- 3 pieces of filled pasta. Both were very small portions- not sure if this is the regular or RW portion size. The desserts were tasty, chocolate molten cake & vanilla panna cotta were our choices.
Overall, it was a good meal, but basic, nothing special that makes me want to return - as other restaurants have done.
Got same day reservations to Amada on Wednesday. I'd been waiting to try it out and it didn't disappoint! They have a reduced tapas menu for restaurant week - actually it didn't look like you could order off the regular menu except for one or two items (paellas). If anyone's considering going I would highly recommend the beef shortrib flatbread and the manchego with lavender honey. Everything was good but these were phenomenal! Oh also the dessert - crema catalana - like creme brulee but with a hint of lavender?
Dinner for 2 at Estia last night.
It was my first time dining at Estia. The food was outstanding. I had the grilled octopus appetizer, the lavraki (Sea bass), and greek yogurt. My companion has the saganaki (sp?, basically fried cheese), the chicken over orzo, and the walnut cake.
The octopus was definitely the best I've ever had. As a frequent customer of Dmitri's, I didn't know that grilled octopus could be so tender! The sea bass was perfectly prepared and the accompanying sauce added a nice subtle flavor.
I suspect that the portions may have been a bit smaller due to RW...at least I hope so. The grilled octopus was listed at $17 on the menu and my appetizer was quite small.
Estia is quite large and we happened to be seated at a 4 top right in the middle of the action. My companion was constantly being bumped by the bevy of busboys and waiters that would pass by.
The service needs to improve before I return to dine at Estia. For Estia's prices, I expect service befitting a top-notch restaurant. The waiter started a conversation with his manager in the middle of our order! Maybe it was b/c it was Restaurant Week but I suspect not.
Overall, the food was delicious, one of my best meals in recent memory, the space is gorgeous but the service is in need of improvement.
Django for Restaurant Week--we were there last night and it was so good. The menu was generously, impressively imaginative and delicious, not just something slapped together to make money during restaurant week. the chef has a very nice sense of balance in many dishes. I had sweetbreads on yukon gold mashed potatoes, w/ rich shiitake and cipollini sauce, but that doesn't really do the dish justice. The shiitake somehow were the most shiitake tasting shiitake--they were transformed into something shockingly good. The cipollini were crisp, great counterpoint to the mushrooms, but no overwhelming oniony taste. And my husband's appetizer was also rapturously good--quail stuffed w/ sausage, fennel citrus sultana jam. In some restaurants, the description on the menu is better than the preparation. This menu was as it should be--the description sounds good, but you have to taste it to understand it's beyond good. The kind of cooking that makes you feel happy because someone is thinking and creating and you get to enjoy it.
Very noisy, though, so we were shouting to have a conversation.
We hit Lolita and Mercato--first time for both, and they were both excellent. We were surprised that Mercato offered their regular menu for Restaurant Week--nice to have so many choices.
We've been to LaCroix, Estia and Lolita's. We were underwhelmed by LaCroix -- the restaurant week menu was essentially the bar menu and the dishes were not outstanding.
We thought Estia did a great job -- we had the octopus and the sardines for apps and the octopus was absolutely great. We each had one of the fish for main -- mediterranean sea bass and dorado -- and both were excellent. We had the walnut honey cake and the yoghurt with honey for dessert -- both terrific. Yes, the octopus portion was a little small but adequate -- we shared everything -- but the fish would have each been close to $30 by themselves, and they were perfectly cooked!
We finished the week at Lolita's, which was also excellent. We started with an order of guacamole and a pitcher of marguerita mix -- both extra. Then had taquitas of carnitas (?) and seafood ceviche for apps. Both terrific. Main courses were vegetable quesadillas with grilled shrimp and waluu (fish). Again, both were terrific and we shared everything. Desserts were pecan cheesecake and a Mexican tiramisu. The cheesecake was great but the tiramisu was disappointing. Overall a terrific meal.
We went to Davio's on Sunday evening. The first two courses were generous and tasty but the dessert sample was pretty to look at but under whelming to eat. Also I was very unhappy with my $3.50 cup of coffee which was not hot. I asked for a replacement and it too was lukewarm.
Last night we went to Twenty21. The food was good but the service was very slow. One of my guests had the wine flight which was $30.00 and he was almost finished his first course before the wine arrived. Also my mother ordered the prime rib well done and they ignored her request. When it arrived to the table the server tried to convince her to eat it medium rare. I think at the age of 67 my mother knows how she likes her beef.
Went to Estia. Since there were three of us, we played "pass the plates". Octopus good, but I still like Dmitri's better. Had the fried cheese. Very Good. Greek Salad - goot! Entrees, the chicken was excellent as was the lamb shank. Fish was ok but I'm not crazy about fish. I'd definitely go back. Our waiter was a little crazed, but made a very good call on the wine. All in all I'd highly recommend it. And they take credit cards! Rare for a greek restaurant to do that.