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Recommendations for Restaurant Week next month?

SnowCat Aug 18, 2010 12:15 PM

Just had a chance to check out the restaurants and menus for restaurant week next month. Would like to start making reservations soon. Given the limited menus available at the special pricing, what is everyone's top 3 picks? Thanks!

  1. f
    FattyFatMan Aug 18, 2010 12:23 PM

    I tend to lean towards places that you wouldn't usually go to because they are good, but overpriced for what you get.

    My recs: Estia, Le Bec-Fin, R2L

    Generally, no point in going the BYOBs since most of their price points are close to $35 when not restaurant week and you can avoid the mobs.

    For some of my favorite restaurants the restaurant-week menus aren't what I would go there for. An exception: Amada's offerings look pretty generous during restaurant week.

    1. r
      rocknroll52 Aug 19, 2010 04:26 AM

      Zahav looks like a good value and I'm also intrigued by the menu at Joseph Poons

      12 Replies
      1. re: rocknroll52
        bluehensfan Aug 19, 2010 05:20 AM

        Estia was good a few years ago for RW. Reminds me a lot of the business lunch special they do which is always a great value. I have heard good things about Zahav's RW menu but all in all I am not a big RW fan...

        1. re: rocknroll52
          FattyFatMan Aug 19, 2010 06:30 AM

          That is the same menu that Zahav has all the time as their prix fixe, only during restaurant week it is $35 instead of $36. So you save $1 but have to put up with restaurant week mayhem.

          1. re: FattyFatMan
            Beulah Aug 19, 2010 09:41 AM

            I agree with FattyFatMan on going to the more expensive restaurants -- we reserved at Butcher & Singer so far. Last time RW at LBF was a jungle, so we won't do that this time. Lacroix would be good and we're thinking about Barbuzzo when it opens.

            Butcher & Singer
            555 Lincoln Dr W, Marlton, NJ 08053

            1. re: Beulah
              barryg Aug 19, 2010 09:49 AM

              Lacroix offers a $35 prix fixe mon-thurs all the time. Is the RW menu any better?

              1. re: barryg
                FattyFatMan Aug 19, 2010 11:09 AM

                Lacroix menu does seem to offer some more options than the typical 3 course prix fixe.

            2. re: FattyFatMan
              SnowCat Aug 19, 2010 10:54 AM

              "Mayhem"?? How bad are we talking here? I have never done RW before and was hoping for a delicious new experience, but now having second thoughts... questioning if its worth it?

              1. re: SnowCat
                FattyFatMan Aug 19, 2010 11:02 AM

                Restaurant week is great, but the restaurants tend to be packed and service can suffer. If you can have the same meal at the same price (Zahav) another time, why go during restaurant week?

                Agree with below, Supper is great, and what they are offering for restaurant week is a really good value.

                1. re: FattyFatMan
                  barryg Aug 19, 2010 12:27 PM

                  Sometimes the food suffers as well, not to mention the menu options which can be stripped down to high-margin items. At many (most?) restaurants, the RW value is questionable unless, maybe, the dish you really want is on the menu and you always order dessert.

                  You can eat really well at a lot of these places for $35pp normally, when the servers and kitchens are not overworked. If you are a person that doesn't get down to the city often I can see the appeal, but for people who eat out a lot, it just doesn't make a lot of sense.

                2. re: SnowCat
                  Buckethead Aug 19, 2010 02:40 PM

                  In my experience it's only worth it at a very small number of the places that participate in RW, and finding the good ones is a pain. Amada is one. Zahav is another but as has been said, you're only saving $1 over their regular price and you have to deal with bigger crowds. But most places are serving a pared-down menu, or smaller portions, or some combination of the two. It's not a good way to sample a restaurant at its best.

                  1. re: SnowCat
                    sockii Aug 19, 2010 04:06 PM

                    I honestly don't think it's worth it, save for a few places that actually do give you a good deal without the food and service suffering. Meritage is one place I had a really excellent RW meal, but in general, I steer clear.

                    I've written up my lengthier thoughts on RW previously:


                    1. re: sockii
                      SnowCat Aug 20, 2010 09:28 AM

                      Thank you to all for thoughts on the matter... especially sockii... the article is super helpful! I'm the type who gets easily frustrated by poor service, so it looks like RW is something I"m going to want to avoid. Really appreciate the tip about Zahav's tasting menu though and will have to add it to my places to visit list.

                      1. re: SnowCat
                        sockii Aug 26, 2010 04:47 PM

                        You're very welcome! Like I said, I wouldn't write off RW completely, but I don't believe in all the hype and I do think it's the rare place that really gives diners a good deal and a good experience during that time period. There are a lot of other places that give great mid-week deals without all the hype and crowds.

              2. j
                jaba Aug 19, 2010 10:07 AM

                We had a great experience at Supper - I think the menu is 4 or 5 courses, though none are a full entree size. We definitely left full and happy.

                1. r
                  Red Head Aug 30, 2010 07:36 PM

                  We have a reservation at Le Bec Fin for restaurant week. Has anyone been there for restaurant week in the past and is it worth going? We've been to Le Bec Fin several times in the past 30 years and hope that the restaurant week experience doesn't tarnish our memories of this wonderful institution. Our other option is Butcher and Singer. Any comments?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Red Head
                    FattyFatMan Aug 30, 2010 07:57 PM

                    LBF has a $40 per person prix fixe Tuesday to Friday 5-630pm. It might be better to be an early bird than to deal with restaurant week chaos.

                  2. AgentRed Aug 31, 2010 08:04 AM

                    So Zahav is doing a four course menu at lunch for $20, which seems almost exactly the same as dinner (a few of the entrees change).

                    Does Zahav normally do a four course lunch? How much is it?

                    Thanks all,

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: AgentRed
                      ilovesummer Aug 31, 2010 05:34 PM

                      actually Zahav only does lunch for restaurant week.....other than that they are dinner only!

                      1. re: ilovesummer
                        AgentRed Aug 31, 2010 06:29 PM

                        Sweet, thanks, $20 seems like a pretty good deal for Zahav, it helps that they have my fav dishes on the menu.

                        But really, I'd pay $20 just to eat their hummous, the same way I'd probably pay $20 to eat the guacamole at Distrito. Or El Rey. Actually, I think I just love guac. When I get bored enough I'm going to start a "Great Guacamole Places" thread

                        1. re: ilovesummer
                          bluehensfan Sep 1, 2010 04:18 AM

                          Wow...last summer Zahav was open for lunch. Thanks for posting that!

                      2. s
                        sylviag Sep 1, 2010 12:10 PM

                        We skip most of the Restaurant Week places. We have found that the best deal and the most enjoyable experiences are the steak houses - Palm, Capital Grille, etc.
                        They don't stint, and the service is good.

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