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Restaurants that AREN'T doing Restaurant Week?

Yes, yes, I know I could go look at the page and see who doesn't appear, but I'm hoping that some of you may have good tips for spots that aren't running RW. Having a thread with ideas in one spot would be nice! My husband and I generally (although not always) find that service is subpar (servers often run ragged b/c its so busy), food uninspired and the restaurants are jammed to the point of annoying, so we tend to want to avoid it.

So, for example, I know that Clio doesn't do RW (although Uni does). West Bridge and Bondir are other possibles.

Others you all know of?

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  1. Menton. Best service in town, year-round.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nasilemak

      According to their website Menton is in:

      "Summer Restaurant Week at Menton
      August 19-24 and August 26-31

      In honor of Boston's Summer Restaurant Week, Menton will present two dinner menu offerings for your enjoyment:

      three course menu, 52 per person
      wine pairing, 34
      five course tasting menu, 72 per person
      wine pairing, 54"

    2. Trattoria Toscana. Neptune Oyster.

      1. Dali in Somerville never does Restaurant Week.

        1. All restaurants in Jamaica Plain.

          1. M3, Redbones, Machu Piccu, The Independent, Olde Magouns, Dali - all favorites in Somerville that don't participate.

            1. Not participating:
              Everything in Eastie and Allston.
              Everything in Chinatown except: Q Restaurant
              Everything in Dorchester except: 224 Boston, dbar, and Venezia.

              Complete list of participating restaurants here: http://www.restaurantweekboston.com/?...


              1 Reply
              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Smart on Eastie''s part to avoid the rif.

              2. Some others: Catalyst, Area Four, Ten Tables (I think both locations).

                4 Replies
                1. re: crystallyn

                  hey crystal, all the places you've mentioned are in Camb. Maybe you could use this opp to explore JP? (Tres Gatos, VeeVee) Just suggesting because we've been doing that lately and it's been fun and different to see how well JP is doing. And , after dinner, you can stop off at that really cool JPLicks in the former fire station. Great building and neighborhood gathering spot!

                    1. re: crystallyn

                      oh, i forgot to say that before i posted my suggestion, above, i checked the list of RW restnts and neither veevee or tres gatos was on it. that's what caused me to suggest you go explore JP, but i forgot to mention that key piece of info!

                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                        I posted earlier in this thread that, according to the JP Gazette, no restauarants in JP are participating in RW.

                2. From an email I just got from Rendezvous in Cambridge: "We are NOT participating in Restaurant Week, so if you are looking for a safe haven please drop in to see us!"

                  Looks like Hungry Mother isn't, either.

                  1 Reply
                  1. Lumiere in Newton not participating

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bostonfoodie

                      Good article in yesterday's Globe (behind paywall) as to why they no longer participate

                    2. Highland Kitchen isn't participating in RW

                      1. Hamersley's Bistro, not participating.

                        I think Leviton's piece on why Lumiere and Area Four are out has cleared the paywall: http://articles.boston.com/2012-08-19... Fascinating stuff.


                        5 Replies
                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          I didn't think it is fascinating, just poor taste.

                          "For example, there was a year when my health insurance went up 30 percent. For a small business, that’s very difficult to absorb."

                          Yes, it is. For all small businesses. Yet many of them still do sales and other promotions aimed at increasing their clientele. It seems as if many places no longer feel RW accomplishes that goal, but beginning the article by citing a systemic issue is weak tea in terms of basing his argument in the environment of the restaurant business and RW.

                          "The mixed greens I buy cost $10 or $12 a pound, whereas I can pay $7 for a 3-pound box of organic spring mix like you see in the supermarket. It’s raised in California by a giant corporation, while the mix I get is local and picked a few times a week. They may contain some of the same varieties of greens, but there’s a world of difference."

                          I checked Lumiere's menu online and didn't see a salad where this was an issue. And does he adjust the price during that long period of time that he can't get greens grown in New England? Tell his customers that the salad they are ordering no longer is grown locally when it's December? Never mind the impact on the environment of trucking greens in from neighboring states as opposed to shipping them by sea (local may taste better, but studies show it's often worse for the environment as trucks are much worse for carbon emissions than ships or trains).

                          "A fundamental change in the restaurant industry took place after September 11, 2001. People got scared. Up until then you had irrational exuberance. Today, the haves have more and everybody else has a little less, and I think that affects restaurants as well. You also see businesses spending less on food and dining."

                          "But there are new restaurants opening almost every day. More food dollars are being spent outside the home, and the economy here, for a lot of people, is still quite good."

                          Okay....9/11. Really. Over ten years later. Really?!? Yes there was a short lived impact, but he's blaming larger economic shifts on 9/11? That gets perilously close to the "Hitler" rule in international relations punditry--you cite Hitler (or the Nazis) and you've already invalidated your point.

                          But he provides that service himself when he points out that "new restaurants opening almost every day." They might not be participating in RW. Yet there is apparently a market for new restaurants. People want to eat out. Just maybe not at his restaurants like they used to. There is probably a very good market-based reason for that. They don't seem to be suffocating under the cost of locally grown greens or the health care market.

                          Just refuse to participate in RW. Don't insult your customers by crying over your greens and bringing up 9/11.

                          Poor taste.

                          1. re: Canadian Tuxedo

                            In another Globe piece today, Gordon Hamersley weighs in:

                            "For some restaurants, however, a flood of new diners over a two-week period can be too much. Veteran South End restaurateur Gordon Hamersley said he tried Restaurant Week at his Hamersley’s Bistro years ago, but decided to opt out.

                            'It creates havoc in the dining room. It ruins the service, the waiters get unhappy, and I get unhappy,' he said.

                            As an alternative, the French bistro is offering a prix fixe summer menu for $40 during the last two weeks of August, a price more in line with today’s food costs, Hamersley said.

                            'If I was a new restaurant starting out, I might do it, but it’s more important to maintain our good reputation for food and service,' he said. 'We are not in the business of giving away food.'”


                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                              This sums up a lot about why I wanted a non-RW list for ideas. While the restaurateurs have a lot of reasons to do it, there are a lot of other reasons why a lot of food lovers can't stand it. Hamersley hit the nail on the head.

                            2. re: Canadian Tuxedo

                              I am a customer and count me as NOT insulted by hearing their perspective. I can't blame them one bite for opting out. Like everyone their costs have risen and there is a limit to how much more one can charge. That truth may have a bitter taste, but talking about is not in poor taste. It is just reality.

                              1. re: ipsofatso

                                I'm not insulted by restaurants not taking part in RW. The economic argument against it is certainly strong. In general I do think the "we're not doing it but having a slightly higher prix fixe" is just an attempt to accomplish the same goal while covering the cost of ingredients.

                                But what insulted me about that oped were some of the core arguments: health care, cost of local produce, and 9/11. Health care is a complicated subject, and not a core reason that a restaurant THIS year can't afford to do RW (hasn't the costs been rising for years--never mind all the other factors?). As I mentioned, he isn't using local produce over the winter (unless its hothouse and who is going to pay a premium for that?) but likely not lowering the corresponding prices. And I won't even go over the 9/11 argument again--that is just morally insulting.

                                I'm no longer a Boston-area customer and haven't participated in RW for years, but while I certainly can understand why many establishments could see the logic of not participating I will certainly call out a horribly bad effort at making an argument against it when it insults all restaurant patrons.

                          2. Myers + Chang just tweeted that they are not participating.


                            1. What a great thread!! I know Tavolo in Dorchester is not doing it...and if you haven't been here I strongly suggest it! Fabulous Italian. All homemade pastas (all available in whole wheat and gluten free as well), cooked to order, and the most fabulous meatballs and homemade sausage i've ever had.

                              1. Orinoco in Harvard Square is not participating. I took an out-of-town visitor there for dinner last Thursday. It was remarkably quiet, and the food was mostly good. The bacon-wrapped dates were excellent as always, and we tried a fried oyster app which was very good as well. We both ordered fish dishes (mahi mahi and a salmon special) which, while nicely seasoned and composed, were both over-cooked. The salmon filet was smallish as well. Still, a pleasant dinner overall, with great service and ambiance. Oh, and unusually spiced but very tasty sangria!