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Sep 15, 2009 12:54 PM

Are Sunday nights a good or bad night to eat out at upscale restaurants?

This is something I'm wondering about. Your thoughts / experiences?

Our wedding anniversary falls on a Sunday, but I have this perception (maybe faulty) that the food offerings at nicer restaurants are in top form on Friday-Saturday, but B quality on Sunday nights since it's the end of the week, the kitchen may have run out of best ingredients and the head chef may not be working.

We're heading to the North Shore soon for a Sat-Mon weekend and I'm trying to figure out our plans - should we eat our fancy anniversary dinner on Saturday night or Sunday night?

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  1. We went to Alma (in MSP) last Sunday for an anniversary dinner, and it was FABULOUS. I like eating out on Sundays because it's often easier to walk in without a reservation. Alma was 1/3 full when we waltzed in at 7:55 (they stop seating at 8 on Sundays). The head chef might or might not have been there - Alex Roberts wasn't, but he usually doesn't head the kitchen on a nightly basis, anyway. But the food was exquisite (melon-crab soup, the best salad I've ever had, glorious grilled swordfish, and jaw-droppingly wonderful ribeye). Sundays at Alma are certainly A-quality nights.

    Truth to tell, our actual anniversary was on Thursday, when we went to Ngon to celebrate. (We were too bone-tired to dress up for Alma, not that it's all that fancy....) Ngon wasn't very busy, either, and was also wonderful. So there you are.

    However, some places are closed on Sunday, so that certainly would factor into your decision. This might be an issue on the North Shore. Otherwise, I'd say go for the night you want, and don't worry too much about a possible B-food night.

    Happy Anniversary!

    1. Amy,
      Friday and Saturday nights are called "amateur nights" by industry professionals because they are the nights where "everyone has to go out". Sunday and Monday usually are the head chef's nights off, but any top quality place has a good sous chef and very competant line cooks. Truth be told the head chef normally doesn't cook your meal on any given night, even when she's there. Go out on Sunday and get better service and a more relaxed meal.

      1. Well, now I know.

        For some reason, I was thinking I read something like that in Kitchen Confidential (maybe it was, don't order seafood on Sunday/Monday??) Whatever. I'm over-thinking this.

        Thanks for weighing in!

        BTW - Anne, Alma's my favorite restaurant, we always have excellent meals when we're there.

        1. My husband and I recently had a belated anniversary dinner at Meritage on a Sunday night. It was beyond wonderful, and since many restaurants are trying to drum up more business for Sundays & Mondays, we got a 1/2 price bottle of wine (from Dry Creek Winery- one of our favorites), my husband had a terrific $24 prix fixe three course meal, and what would have easily been a $150 meal was only a little over $100. Even though they were fairly busy (about 3/4 full), our server was very attentive and made the whole experience one to remember. I'm in the industry and I can honestly say that Sundays are (generally) a nice night for diners as well as their wallets.

          1. I was in the business for 30 years and I avoid Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday was always my favorite night to work. That's when the serious diners go out.