St Louis: Downtown Restaurant Week
Just a reminder to fellow chowhounders in St. Louis that this is Downtown Restaurant Week. 25 restaurants offering 3-course meals for 25 dollars - quite a deal. NOTE: I would suggest reservations: we went last night (Tuesday) to Kitchen K - they managed to squeeze us in at 7:00 and the place was jamming.
Curious to see how this year goes. We're going to An American Place tonight, and have done so for that past two years during restaurant week, because, while we go there anyway, it's hard to pass up the opportunity to sit in that space for only $25. Last year they were absolutely swamped, and while the food didn't really suffer, it took us a very long time to be seated.
Sadly, I still often wonder how business is at AAP and whether they're happily staying afloat, because you could call on a Friday or Saturday afternoon any week (in my experience) and get a reservation for that evening.
That, in my opinion, shouldn't be the case. I think the perception must be that it's more expensive then it actually is even on a normal night. That's a whole different conversation, however. I'll report back tomorrow.
I am not sure if the perception of it being expensive is the reason they're not busy. I suspect at their price point, which is at or near the top for the stl market, that it's a bit too adventurous for the type of people that might patronize a restaurant at that price point and location; the native business crowd, and older, moneyed, st. louisans. It also doesn't help that the convention center is a bust. Bump up the portions and dumb it down a notch or two to make it more accessible, and they might stand a chance.
Last year at restaurant week I thought the food was very good at AAP, but I think I ended up getting a burger or burrito afterwards. I wasn't suprised or upset that the portions were small given the quality of the ingredients, and what has to be a lot of labor in the prep and high overhead.
Adventurous? Really? That word does not come to my mind when I think of this place. They're blazing some twisted new trail, more along the lines of "Nuevo Old & Stuffy." I think their problem is that the urban hipster foodies don't like the ambience and the older, moneyed St. Louisans (who would love the ambience) are still too afraid to come downtown.