another Restaurant Week post :)
I'm considering the following for RW/my birthday...
Bindi, Bistro 7, Bistro St. Tropez, Django, Farmicia, Gioia Mia, Mercato, Meritage, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Ristorante Panorama, Valanni, and Twenty 21, and XIX.
You might have to check with others, I think RW isn't a value at all. If I had to choose within your options maybe Le Bar Lyonnais?
All of these restaurants (in my opinion) are not good:
Bistro St Tropez
Chris Jazz Cafe
Friday Saturday Sunday
Le Champignon de Tokyo
The Melting Pot
Philadelphia Fish and Company
Sansom Street Oyster House
Tir Na Nog
All of these restaurants wouldn't be worth $35 any other night:
Chris' Jazz Cafe
The Melting Pot
Palace at the Ben
Philadelphia Fish and Company
The Plough and the Stars
Tir Na Nog
And for the few that aren't in either of these two categories I feel that the service and quality suffer so much during RW it's almost impossible to get a good meal. I haven't gone in over 3 years.
I think for the most part these restaurants are serving for people that AREN'T like us. That maybe travel to Philadelphia to eat one or two times a year, that wouldn't notice the difference in quality and will most likely never return.
Funny, I've only started going the past 3 or so years, and I've never noticed a service problem, except maybe where I'm waiting longer due to there being a crowded restaurant but that isn't really a service problem.
In any case, since I'm posting anyway, might I remind the OP that, unless something has changed in recent dates, Twenty21 has always run a prix fixe menu on Friday nights, one that isn't very limiting at all. In fact, the problem of quality-price ratio with RW runs toward the fact that many of the restaurants on the list run some sort of prix fixe special during the week.
i think i'm with you. especially when it comes to the places (which is most of them) that don't offer the full menu. whenever i make bookings for rw, it fails because i end up ordering off the rw menu, and the places are generally more packed to boot, so service and food quality can suffer.
siam cuisine? the thai place in chinatown? you'd be hard-pressed to spend $20 a head there, if it's the same as the last time i was there. good, but not a place to book a $35 meal. i'd really have to love a place already to make that sort of committment, i think.
only place i've had a good rw experience was estia.
I enjoyed Bistro St. Tropez. They had lots of choice for each course. The service was friendly and quick. The room was full and people seemed to be having a good time. Twenty 21 had a limited menu and the service was not as good as the 2 times I went there when it was not RW. Worst of all was the kitchen refused to prepare the beef well done and the waiter served my mother this almost raw meat and then tried to convince her she would like it if she tried it. What happened to the customer is always right? I thought the food at Farmicia was boring and the service slow and poor when I went there with a big crowd on a non-RW night so I would not go there for RW.
I ate at Meritage just the other night and the group I was with had just about everything on the menu....there were 6 of us....The roast chicken is great (gotta respect a place with a good roast chicken)...the risotto (lobster app, lamb entree) were very respected and the scallop app and duck confit were tip top....for 35 bucks...if you get a tasty of any of this...its well worth it. The staff is friendly and the owners are very present and good peeps....try Meritage...even with out RW....its a nice spot. And you get to head over to Chaucers across the street either before or after and have a drink...that place is a great corner bar
Have to disagree with the many negative takes on RW. I eat out often and at many different types of restaurants and I AM a fan of RW, if it is done correctly. While I agree that there are MANY places that aren't worth $35 on ANY night, that being said I have had many excellent RW meals at a fraction of what it would have cost me on a normal night and without poor service whatsoever. Examples would be: Davio's (their $15 add on wine flight adds to the bargain IMO), Le Bar Lyonnaise, Alma de Cuba, etc. Other places, such as Django (where I may have had my best RW meal) are not as great of a bargain but still very much worth going to. Other examples of great places to eat but where the price for RW is really little different than normal would be places like Lolita. The places that are serving 4 courses (i.e. Salento) are also great bargains as well. All in all I am a fan of RW and use it to dine at places I normally might not go because of cost and to get together with friends for a fun time.
My husband and I went to Bistro 7 two restaurant weeks ago and LOVED it. I'd definitely recommend. The gnocchi was incredible. Also, it's a small, cozy little place which might be kind of nice for a bday dinner.
This go-around we're doing Valanni.
Now that they raised the price to $35, I'm kind of on the fence about Restaurant Week. I've been to Panorama and Twenty21 outside of Restaurant Week and they are good. Not spectacular, but good.
I think the Prime Rib is one of the best RW deals, although I've heard they do that deal throughout the year. Estia was also fantastic.
I agree the Prime Rib is a good deal during RW and anytime they offer that special. On the other hand, while the food was good, my dinner at Philadelphia Fish and Co. came right off the regular menu and I think they owed me a few dollars back at the end of the night so now that the price is 35 dollars I would not consider going there for RW.