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Thoughts on Restaurant Week!

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Restaurant week is creeping up on us again this year. It's a wonderful thing to see so many restaurants participating in Providence and the surrounding areas and also wonderful that many of these restaurants will be filled on a nightly for nearly two weeks. A word of caution to the m any patrons that eat out on a regular basis. YOU WILL NOT FOOL US! From previous restaurant week experiences in RI, I received low quality food and extremely small portions. I'm not sure the exact premise behind restaurant week but I thought it was to generate new business during a slow time of year. Some diners may revel in the idea of trying Local 121, Gracie's or La Laterie at a discounted price but the majority of them trying the place out for the first time will go back to dining at Chelos until the next time you offer a discount. So what do restaurateurs gain from this? Is it worth it to fill your establishment with a bunch of regs from Chelos who will eat just once a year and give low quality discounted food to your own regulars? Please fix restaurant week and reward the people who do dine out regularly.

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Local 121
121 Washington St, Providence, RI 02903

Chelo's Restaurant
45 Newport Ave Ste D, Rumford, RI 02916

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  1. Great post foodjunkie!

    I will no longer be fooled into going to these participating Providence restaurants for their "special deals" when they have unashamedly cut back on their quality (it's obvious), cut back on their portions (appetizer-size plate, or smaller!) , offer poor service, and stll charge a nominal price for what you're actaully getting.

    I always thought that the idea behind RW in Providence was the same idea of RW in other cities which I have experienced (last year I was in Manhattan for their RW - phenomenal!)....to lure in new customers who have never been to your restaurant for whatever reason, or to lure back old regulars who have 'forgotten' about the establishment.

    In either case, I would think they would really take the opportunity to offer a 'special' - dinners in usual dinner-size portions, best quality food, top-notch service. Wouldn't this make the experience more enjoyable (as it was for me in Manhattan) than to leave the restaurant and tell others it's over-priced and over-rated for the terrible experience you had during RW?

    Or,like you said - maybe it's jsut to treat the Chelo's customers to something special one week out of the year?

    ?

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    Chelo's Restaurant
    45 Newport Ave Ste D, Rumford, RI 02916

    1 Reply
    1. re: OOliver

      i also forgot to mention the service. Service is typically appaling during restaurant week. A friend of mine told me yesterday that she went to Parkside last year where they offered the restaurant week menu as well as the full menu. When telling the server they would be ordering off the rest week menu, he confirmed their choice by refering to it as the "cheap menu". First of all Parkiside: nothing special at all to begin with. It's sister restaurants are Davenport's and the Little Inn, if that gives you any indication of what you are dealing with at Parkside.

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      Parkside Restaurant
      220 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA 01201

      Little Inn Restaurant
      103 Putnam Pike, Johnston, RI 02919

    2. IMO the best restaurant weeks are in Newport there are menus on line plus the views are very nice.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Frank Terranova

        Providence Restaurant Weeks also has their menus online, www.ProvidenceRestaurantWeeks.com, and we have great views in the city too, like Waterman Grille!

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        Waterman Grille
        4 Richmond Square, Providence, RI 02906

        1. re: iheartri

          LOL! Yes, every deal looks tempting when you view the website's menu and think you're getting a three course meal for a bargain at these 'upscale' restaurants with a beautiful city-side view. You then get seated, order your dinner and wonder why everything is served on a small luncheon size plate, rather than a dinner plate...and you leave starving.

          Maybe next year they should just do 'cocktail lounge week', and offer three drinks for a bargain price, and a view of the city?

          1. re: OOliver

            I like that idea! I have been out of town and haven't heard much about this year's restaurant week. Any different than previous years?