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Jan 8, 2008 12:28 PM

Why does restaurant week food suck?

Isn't it a shame that even at great restaurants, restaurant week food always sucks? I've been to many a restaurant week lunch and dinner and somehow was never quite blown away, and I am not picky or negative...I'm looking to enjoy it. But I found out something upsetting a while back when I worked at the Royalton hotel. I asked that same question to the executive chef, and he told me that it's because restaurants will use lesser quality ingredients since they are banging dishes out in larger quantities. Disgrace! Why use shitty ingredients when you should be putting your best food forward and hopefully hooking future restaurant devotees. I'll never look at Restaurant week the same again.

Anyone have a place that doesn't have sucky restaurant week food?

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  1. I certainly have been underwhelmed during RW. However, I did have a memorable experience at Mesa Grill and Gramercy Tavern.

    2 Replies
      1. re: bastet212

        First visit to Perry Street was during restaurant week and have been going back ever since. That said, and this is a rareity, I had a bad meal (the only one) at Babbo during restaurant week. My fault; got talked into some seafood flight, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    1. Danny Meyer's restaurants don't dumb it down too much for RW. You don't get the same variety as the regular menu but it's all good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Miss Needle

        Agreed. I think it's a reflection of his attitude toward hospitality (even at the expense of the bottom line). Employees of his agree.

      2. I was thinking of putting in a rez at EMP, are you suggesting this is a bad idea ?

        5 Replies
        1. re: cmballa

          I went there the past summer with 4 friends and the food underwhelmed me (the service was still very good though). I ate there before RW and had their Gourmand lunch, which was spectacular. Eating RW's food left a bad taste in my memory that haven't eaten there ever since.

          But I had a good experience at the Modern Bar Room for dinner, despite the fact service was a bit inattentive since it was a Friday night and it's RW.

          1. re: chocokitty

            I think that the restaurant week dinner i had at the modern was actually one of the worst restaurant week experiences i've ever had. every course i had i didn't like. i still have the memory of the cherry claufouti that i had there -- awful. it tasted like scrambled eggs. usually i give a place the benfit of the doubt during restaurant week if its at least decent, but this was just bad. and the stuff i didn't order that i saw at other tables didn't look too impressive either.

            1. re: Renguin

              I agree with chocokitty actually. I had a really delicious meal at the modern..... It just goes to show that everyone is different!

              1. re: bastet212

                I had heard generally positive things about it. did you go the dining room or the bar. the people i know that liked it more ate in the formal dining room i think.

                1. re: Renguin

                  The RW offer is only applicable to the Modern bar room and not the main dining room. I was there once during RW and found the selection and the food just barely ok. The service was utterly poor. The lunch at Eleven Madison Park was much better, though comparing to their normal menu or dinner, it was still noticeably inferior. I still remembered that ice-cold butter that was impossible to cut through, something that I didn't expect from EMP (note that I love EMP for regular dinner and have often reommended it to other people in this board)

                  My dinner at Maze at the Londen Hotel during the RW week was far superior than that of Modern Bar. The food was perfectly prepared and the service was SIGNIFICANTLY better. This year they only participate in RW lunch.

        2. I'd assume you've hit the nail on the head. It sucks for the same reason that festival food sucks, no matter what reputable restaurant has a booth, and the same reason that Monday fish specials (or any 'special') sucks. They're liquidating old product.

          My Blog:

          1. RW could be a hit or miss. Since it is really a promotional week for restaurant industry and all the participating restuarant have to offer a prix fix menu at reasonable price; many restaurants keep it simple. Options are limitted and ingriedents are not lower in quality there are just less expensive one's. Often time the food serve during RW doesn't reflect the menu and the food that is normally served. However, some restaurants do a better job at it than others. The objective of RW is to get a sneak pre-view of what a restuarant has to offer. People have to undestand that your not going to get the same experience when your paying something like 30-50 dollars for 3 course prix fix (say Jean Georges) when typically the check avg. per person is 400 dollar with wine that is. So as for RW it really about getting a pre-view of a restaurant you might want to have serious dinning experience in the future then getting a cheap meal. In the end RW is a hit and miss as some restaurants do better then others.