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Philly Restaurant Week coming up

Hounds, if you've ever wanted to try one of the many fine eateries discussed here without forfeiting an upper and lower limb, the Philadelphia Center City District Restaurant Week is coming up from September 14th through19th. I counted 110 restaurants that offer "a minimum" of three courses for a prix fixe of $35 p/p (tax,booze and tip not included) with discounted parking. Not surprisingly, Le Bec Fin, Buddakan and Morimoto are conspicuously absent but Lacroix, Alma de Cuba many other well-knowns are participating. Check out the link below:

http://www.centercityphila.org/life/R...

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  1. there have been inumerable posts about the positives and negatives of this event, make sure to do a board search!

    9 Replies
    1. re: saturninus

      Oh saturnine one, what is your point? There are innumerable posts here touting the positives and negatives about every place we eat. I was offering a friendly reminder to fellow 'burbans that there are some opportunities in the Big Scrapple that might intice the petrol-conscious and otherwise reluctant to venture in.

      If you have some bonafide caveats, don't keep us hanging. Speak up!

      1. re: Chefpaulo

        Well for one thing, it's way too late to get reservations at the good places.

        1. re: Buckethead

          not entirely true, as of last night there was a 7:45 two top at Tinto still available. Your best bet is to go on opentable on the 14th and see whats out there, Amada, Tinto, Lacroix and the Starr spots will all open up

          1. re: Gorp512

            There are definitely pros and cons, I feeling that, if done right, RR can be a real deal for a very good meal. Case in point: Davio's; Le Bar Lyonaisse; XIX; La Familigia. The real danger: spending $35/pp for a great meal and then $70 on a bottle of wine! Davio's usually has a $15 wine flight (one with each course) that is a very good deal.

            1. re: Schpsychman

              Foobooz posted their "guide" to RW:
              http://foobooz.com/2008/09/restaurant...

              I'm done with RW, I think I'll just sit tight and wait for people to start complaining on this board about the service/food/value of their RW dinners. At this point, for me, it's on par with eating out on Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve.

              1. re: urbanfabric

                Say what? That's ridiculous. My wife and I have dined at the best restaurants in Philly and NYC so we know good food, and we never ever dine out on special ocassion times like Valentine's Day or New Year's Eve. But, we are fans of RW because we know where to find the best food-value restaurants. You are being too global in your bashing of RW and throwing out the baby with the bath water.

                That being said, most of the restaurants participating in RW do NOT offer good food to value experiences. But, on the other hand, there ARE values to be had. I have had the RW meal at Davio's twice and the meal and wine flight for my wife and I was a very good value for $90 in my opinion (excluding tax and tip and when it was $30/pp). The same was true of the meal we had at Le Bar Lyonaisse (which was better than Davio's). Service has NEVER been an issue, in fact the service we got at Davio's and Le Bar during RW were both excellent. And, I am sure that, after eating at XIX a number of times, $70 for their meal will be quite a value for what you get as well.

                On the other hand, if you go to places where you'd normally spend $35/pp and often less and/or the food is merely OK, then RW becomes something that isn't that special. There is no one who dislikes "special ocassions" with dumbed-down menu's and overcrowded restaurants more than me. Fortunately, I have rarely experienced that during RW.

                1. re: Schpsychman

                  Good point, but I think the "great value restaurants" are dropping out more and more each RW.

                  1. re: saturninus

                    I agree with you, and that's when I'll stop doing RW. My challenge is going to a nice restaurant for a good value and then not blowing the value completely by purchasing a bottle of wine for $60 that been marked up 400%!

            2. re: Gorp512

              Well, shows what I know! Of course, the value of the RW menu at Tinto (or any other place) is debatable, but that's a subject we've discussed in many many threads..

      2. hello folks. i just arrived in philly last night. i'll be living here for 4 months.
        i'd say that in general. i'm not a major fan of restaurant weeks as many of the entree options are boring salmon and chicken dishes but sometimes it can be fun to just go and check a place out, but not consider it representative of the real restaurant.

        now to the point: being a total outsider (i'm from los angeles) i have no idea of the restaurants scene. i've been recommended bar tinto, bar lyonnaise but is there a sort of short list of places for restaurant week or beyond?

        on top of that are there any good weekday prix fixe nights?

        thanks!

        2 Replies
        1. re: modernist

          check out this recent post for a list of people's favorites
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/551606
          also if you go to opentable and click on the lists of most popular restaurants you'll get a good idea

          1. re: modernist

            My current short list (discounting RW, I'm not a fan) is:

            Ansill
            Zahav
            Osteria
            Kanella (BYO)
            Cochon (BYO)

            Tinto is very good too, definitely worth going to, but I've had better meals at all of the above places.

          2. sweet link!
            thanks!

            any of the more fine dining options have prix fixe nights?

            8 Replies
            1. re: modernist

              Brasserie Perrier has a $35 prix fixe on Sundays.

              1. re: modernist

                Little Fish has a $28 prix fixe on Sundays as well... there was recently a post here about it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/553836

                1. re: modernist

                  Zahav has a prix-fixe Thursday nights, it's excellent.

                  Supper (the restaurant, not the meal) does Sunday Supper on the first Sunday of every month.

                  Ansill does 'Pif night', a French prix-fixe on Sunday. The chef, David Ansill, used to run a much-loved French BYO called Pif, the Sunday prix-fixe is for Pif fans. It's BYO on Sunday if you are ordering the prix-fixe.

                  1. re: Buckethead

                    I was under the impression the they're no longer doing Pif Night at Ansill, but I very well could be wrong.

                    1. re: Boognish

                      They stopped doing it over the summer, but started up again this past Sunday.

                      1. re: Buckethead

                        Thanks for the info! We've missed Pif since it's closed. Glad to hear Squirrely is bring it back.

                        1. re: Boognish

                          Ansill is also doing a special menu for David Ansill's birthday coming up:

                          http://foobooz.com/2008/09/ansill-hap...

                  2. re: modernist

                    thanks guys, this is exactly the info i was looking for!
                    i will for sure hit these spots and these nights up!

                  3. restaurant week is the WORST time to try a restaurant. chefs and cooks dread it, cranking out 800 dinners a night as fast as possible, with a dumbed down menu for the tourists and cheapos who send back their tuna tartare because it "wasn't cooked enough".

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: silverbullet69

                        Is that a true story about the tartare? Funny.

                      2. My gripe about restaurant week:
                        the service is rushed
                        the food is rushed
                        you are rushed
                        they want to get you in and out to move the table, its best to avoid restaurant week.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sueshop

                          I have to chime in again and disagree wholeheartedly because my experiences have NOT been like this. Rushed service? Never. I've had 2-3 hour meals for our party of 4 at Davio's, Le Bar Lyonnaise, Salento, and other places that were NEVER rushed. In fact, the service at Davio's has always been top notch during RW and extremely professional.

                          Now I also had a RW meal at Brassiere Perrier which, in addition to not being worth the money and a pretty lousy meal, was rushed because the restaurant was incredibly packed and noisy.

                          Food rushed? Not at the places I've mentioned. In fact the pace has always been well planned, with appropriate waits in between courses. So I have to disagree with posters here who say that it's a "move 'em in and move 'em out" mentality. I think it depends on where you go. At the restaurants I've been to during RW over the past 5 years I and the couples I've attended with have not had these experiences. If so, I would have stopped going long ago. I'm sure that this will also be the case at XIX as well, but I will report back. Choose wisely and RW can be quite enjoyable. This coming from someone who typically enjoys quiet meals in quaint little hideaways!