HOME > Chowhound > Greater Seattle >

Discussion

RN 74 Restaurant Week

I'm very interested in hearing a report from anyone who has done RN74 during Restaurant week (I know, it just started).

Thanks.

Mary

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I've been to RW at RN 74 during a previous one and was pretty disappointed. The only dish that was at all interesting was the one we ordered from the regular menu, and all of the dishes were half-heartedly executed. Not impressed at all

    1. went to rn74 not long after they opened and was 100% disappointed - 4 dishes, 4 utter disasters. how restaurant week can improve that is rather difficult to imagine

      1. Is anyone, here or elsewhere, reviewing Restaurant Week offerings at other restaurants? Seems kinda quiet.

        5 Replies
        1. re: HungWeiLo

          I am out on Restaurant Week. It seems that it gets worse every year.
          Too crowded. Weak offerings by places that aren't much better than what they do normally. I don't see the appeal in it any more.

          I'm almost more inclined to go to places that AREN'T part of Restaurant Week.

          A hot little tip, Madison Park Conservatory has an "Ant-Restaurant Week" going that's probably better than Restaurant Week. If you follow them on Facebook, they release a "Secret Word" every day on Tues, Wed, Thurs that gets you 50% off everything on their food menu. I feel like MPC has fallen off the radar a little bit after a hot opening, but they are better than at least half of the places listed for Resto Week and that half off food deal is better than anyone is offering.

          1. re: GreenYoshi

            Thanks for the tip, Green! I will definitely be checking that out.

            I've not bothered with SRW in the past, but decided to this autumn. This past week I went to Rover's and Lark. Rover's was lovely, with the starters and mains well presented. I didn't love the desserts as much, feeling the chocolate wasn't well accompanied (except for the fig compote, which I loved) and that the apricot panna cotta was too stiff.

            Last night I went to Lark and, with the exception of the pork with a wonderful celery puree, I came away unimpressed. Especially since they subbed the tuna with another fish that I don't think carried the dish nearly as well as the tuna would have.

            Nest week I'm checking out Belle Clementine and Staple and Fancy.

            I suppose I could have posted that in a new thread, but I don't feel these reviews are necessarily representative of the restaurants as a whole and don't deserve a new thread.

            1. re: GreenYoshi

              I went to the Madison Park Conservatory on Wednesday. I think the food portion of the bill came out to about $75 for three with the discount. We had the deviled eggs, fried brussels sprouts, boudin balls, two quails, scallops, rabbit garganelli., peanut butter ice cream, apple crisp, and the cookie plate (the tongue's still on the menu, but I've had it already). Everything was a hit and I can't imagine we would have eaten this well at most of the places doing restaurant week.

              Things may change after the "secret" gets out, but the restaurant was only half-full on Wednesday. $130+tip with drinks is a great deal for one of the most interesting restaurants in the city.

            2. re: HungWeiLo

              Did dinner at Crush which we do every year, but this year it did NOT wow. Best thing was the Truffle Leek vichyssoise that was wonderfully rich. Rest was ok, but unlike prior years, did not wow.

              Had excellent lunches at both Cafe Flora and Mistral, although was less happy with the Parsnip Soup at Mistral than have been in the past. Dinner at Monsoon for 4 last night was a real hit - Appetizers of Bo La Lot, Spare ribs, fried veggie rolls to wrap up in lettuce and Jicima salad all great. Mains included the Catfish which is always my fav; pork chop with lemon grass & greens, wokked beef with veggies and two veggie sides (bok choy & green beans). All 4 of us had chocolate ganache for desert. All around wonderful, especially since our guests were out of towners!

              1. re: HungWeiLo

                Thanks. I've gone out for RW for the past several years - and every single time I've ended up ordering from the normal menu after looking at the RW menu. Maybe I'll actually try to stick with the RW menu this time (and do my homework beforehand).

              2. Our group of six dined at The Coterie Room last night. They ran out of 1 of the dessert offerings while we sat down at 7:30pm. Duck rilletes, apple and arugula salad and short ribs were well done but nothing out of the park. Unfortunately, half of our crew ordered the vegetarian pasta entree thinking it included lobster, not lobster mushrooms!

                They were also training a new server so there was that.

                Despite driving my industry friends crazy by patronizing SRW, dinner for 2, a couple drinks and tip for under $100 is a good deal and we'll continue to try new places during this promo.

                1. We did Maximilien last night, our first time there.

                  Pretty good, not great. She did the mussels, beef cheeks, and bread pudding. I did the country paté, beef cheeks, and pear sorbet. Mussels were excellent. The paté was mediocre, especially given how much good charcuterie you can get around here now. I mean, Le Pichet and Matt's are literally around the corner. The beef cheeks themselves were delicious, but the accompanying sauce was one-note and almost institutional. Mashed potatoes and roasted veggies were both well-executed. Her dessert was delightful. Mine had wonderfully intense flavor, but was exceedingly gritty. Maybe that's how pear sorbet is...don't think I've ever tried it before. Didn't stop me from inhaling it, pears being my favorite fruit and one of my very favorite foods.

                  Off the restaurant-week menu, we started with a half-dozen oysters, which were quite tasty.

                  Bar selection could use a serious update.

                  Probably wouldn't return for a full dinner, but could see heading back to share a bowl of mussels and a couple beers after work if a window table was available. Or maybe dessert and coffee after a night at Benaroya.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                    There is no need for pear sorbet to be gritty, much less exceedingly so. Pears do have gritty stone cells, but between cooking, pureeing, and passing through a fine chinoise, they can be eliminated.

                    1. re: babette feasts

                      That's what I figured. Well, that's another ding then. Thanks for sharing.

                  2. Restaurant Week is a great concept that's sort of fallen off in terms of quality lately. It seems the restaurants have mostly opted for a philosophy of "let's offer cheap cuts and options in order to maximize revenues from RW" as opposed to its original intent, which was to let restaurants showcase their best for people who hadn't been there before, in an attempt to get new business. One restaurant in particular was guilty of this, charging the standard $28 for a dinner menu that would have cost....$24 if you had ordered each item separately.

                    We still did SOME Restaurant Week this year, but not nearly as much in year's past. We did Wild Ginger - it was passable, but if it were my first time there and if I didn't know how good the duck was (not offered), I'd probably not come back. We tried to do Manhattan, but the menu they gave us in the place was different from what was on the website, so we left. We did Restaurant Zoe, which was actually quite good (and did provide an actual value ranging from $10-16 off depending on your choices). The pork belly, salmon, and 3 pear panna cotta were of particular note. We will likely do Blueacre tonight, just because they always seem to bring it for RW. There's a place called the Redmond Grille or some such up in Redmond who's menu looked interesting, but I have my doubts simply because it's yet another damn gastropub, and those things are about as cliche as blackberry vines up here. I'm tired of the concept.

                    One thing that really stood out to me this year is it seems almost everybody is offering a damn pumpkin soup. I get it, it's October....but if EVERYBODY is offering a pumpkin soup, what makes yours stand out? No matter how good it is, it's still just a pumpkin soup.

                    I dunno, the organizers need to approach these restaurant owners and get them back in line, I think.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Quintious

                      Let us know how it goes at Blueacre. Thanks for a very helpful report!

                      1. re: Quintious

                        RW was meant to "showcase their best"? Really? That's a tasting menu, not RW. RW was always meant to get people in the door, but I don't ever remember restaurants offering their best (in fact I think the offerings are better than they used to be--I remember a time when chicken breast was a staple).

                        1. re: christy319

                          Part of the agreement to participate in RW is that you are supposed to offer your regular, full sized dishes, not some minimized, dumbed down version. Unfortunately, a lot of places don't follow the rules and do skimp.

                          1. re: christy319

                            I think the idea of restaurant week, and of fixed price specials generally, is not only to get you "in the door," but instead to show you why you should return. So while the dishes need not be the best that comes out of the kitchen, they should at least impress, by suggesting the level of skill in the back of the house.

                            It perplexes me that restaurants would participate in the RW promotion, and then put out mediocre dishes and/or reduced portions, but it has been my experience that many do just that. And that's a shame.

                        2. I have never, ever had a good RW dinner. I stopped trying years ago. I mean, in order to not lose money they have to offer things that are cost effective and not too labor intensive to prepare. The desserts are always total throwaways, completely boring and nothing I would ever order. In most cases I could order an app and entree for the same price as the RW cost.

                          I will occasionally do a RW lunch. My bar is lower, and its cheaper. I can easily end up spending $12 on, say, a piroshky and a cup of soup for lunch, so I don't mind spending a few bucks more for a few courses, even if they aren't stellar.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: christy319

                            That's funny. I've often found the desserts to be a highlight....

                          2. Did RW for lunch and dinner yesterday to close out the week. Lunch @ Maricopa inside Needless Markup at the Bravern in Bellevue. The popovers they brought out (their free bread, served with strawberry butter) was good, but whomever handled them had "salmon hands". I could taste a little hint of fish with every bite, and it really killed it for me (I will say this, though - my girlfriend couldn't taste that at all, and I *do* have an absolutely insane palate that picks up flavours in dishes most people can't). Appetizers were alright - she ended up with 2 tiny crab cakes that had a great homemade tartar sauce, but the crab cakes were way too bread-crumby for me. I hate it when restaurants skimp on the crab and use extra filler. I had a French Onion soup that was....wasn't the best I've had, wasn't the worst. Entrees - she had a shrimp salad with a blood orange vinaigrette that was so faint that even I had a hard time making it out. I had a salmon BLT that was actually quite good, with handmade sour cream & onion potato chips, which were the highlight of the whole meal. Dessert was standard fare. A mousse that tasted like a mousse and an ice cream sundae that tasted like an ice cream sundae.

                            BlueAcre was much better for dinner (as always). Both of the appetizers (the persimmon and wasabi pea salad as well as the crab cake were outstanding. The steak and salmon were pretty standard fare, but there was value built into these dishes. I felt the pecan pie was a bit overrated, but I don't really like pecan pie, so can't be reliable on this. My girlfriend enjoyed it immensely. The roasted quince and huckleberry fool was delicious, though.

                            At least SOME places bring it for RW.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Quintious

                              I was pleasantly surprised by RN74. Much too loud for my liking but the service was superb and I thought the food pretty good. The mushroom soup was excellent, as was their salad. The trout was perfectly undercooked and very tasty. Instead of pork chop shown on Seattle Times menu, it pork tenderloin which is my least favorite pork choice as it is specifically very lean and therefore not really flavorful. But a nice presentation. The desserts did not grab me but they had Ossau_iraty, good sheeps milk cheese for a premium. Because my partner had told them it was my birthday, there was a card on the table and an additional dessert with a candle. All in all, a pleasant evening. I'm not counting this as my birthday dinner - we plan to do Altura in a week or so for that.

                            2. I finished out RW with trips to Staple and Fancy and Belle Clementine.

                              Staple and Fancy offered a nice meal, with great starters of exceptional variety and interest. The mains of pork cheeks and baked cod were good, though I liked Rover's butter poached cod and Lark's pork with celery root puree from last week better. The desserts were fine. I think the ricotta cheesecake was my favorite desert of the four RW visits over the past two weeks.

                              Belle Clementine was a disaster. For starters, the price of dinner was only $5 less than their subscription price of $33--and the subscription includes a glass of wine. Add my $7 wine and I actually paid MORE for my three-course dinner than I would have as a subscriber. More often, those meals are four-course, as well. The meal was, in nearly every respect, a throwaway. Black bean and lentil soup was a thick, homely affair that doesn't belong in a restaurant. It was accompanied with three house-fried chips and I can't imagine how the chef thought those would go together because they didn't. After that was stuffed quail, which was fine, accompanied by a smudge of something rooty and four little pieces of romanesco broccoli. Not terrible, but also not memorable. For dessert, we were served cookies. Look, I like cookies as much as the next person, but if I want them I'll bake them myself or get them from a bakery. I have never ordered a cookie at a restaurant and don't know why they would be offered, other than to cheap-out. In any event, the Mexican wedding cookie was flavorless and the Mexican chocolate cookie dry. Other diners also found it to be too spicy to be edible.

                              I agree with Gizmo in that my reason for trying RW was to try places I've not been to before with the intent of finding places to return. Instead, I came away knowing which places I WON'T go back to. The only place I'll consider returning to is Staple and Fancy. The rest weren't worth it. This is the last time I'll do RW.

                              1. My experience with RW so far hasn't been fantastic either...

                                I decided to try out Lark for dinner:

                                I had a tomato soup, which had very good flavor (although the herbs in it + texture made it more reminiscent of a pasta sauce than a soup). But the portion size was laughable, I am not exaggerating when I say the bowl contained about 1/4 cup (2oz.) of soup.

                                I had tuna is cauliflower, grapes, almonds and some sort of a sauce which I can't recall (I believe it was a pistou or chermoula, some sort of herb-oil combination). Again, the portion size was very small there were two thin slices of tuna, I would approximate the total size to be 5 slices of sashimi for reference. Everything was overcooked, the tuna was dried out and tough (though, give the slices were about the thickness of sashimi I suppose it would be pretty hard NOT to overcook them). The cauliflower was likewise overcooked, although not as badly and its flavor was nice.

                                Finally I opted for the pear tart tatin with caramel for desert. This was the only dish which had an appropriate portion size (actually, it was slightly larger than some desert portions I've seen in comparable places).
                                The dish itself though left much to be desired, although the portion of tart was ample, there was hardly enough pear to populate the crust. Again, it was overcooked. Well, the tart itself was fine but the caramel had charred taste at the end which suggested it had been taken a little too far. Not inedible, but not something that would make me return. Finally, the ice cream served alongside it tasted cheap to me, although that could have just been my imagination.

                                I'm used to restaurants serving smaller portion sizes, and I fine with it provided the food and ingredients are of good quality. However, when I walk away from a three-course meal feeling slightly hungry, and majority of the food was in the dessert course, I believe a line has been crossed. That was my first experience at Lark, and overall I'm sorry to say I won't be planning to return anytime soon.

                                At least a few of us have found some good RW experiences though!

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: OrigamiDuck

                                  This is such a shame. I wonder if restaurants understand how many of us are not just exploiting the opportunity for a one-time deal, but truly scouting for places to add to the regular rotation or prioritize for that next special occasion.

                                  1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                    The thing is, a lot of these things are only "deals" insofar as you're getting 3 courses for less than it normally would cost for those 3. Most people I know (myself included) seldom order dessert and, if we were to order appetizers, would only order one and share it amongst a dining couple. Restaurant week actually results in (at least at my house) a higher expense than usual, because we typically don't spend 70 dollars for 2 meals and water at most of these places.

                                    ....which is why I expect full-size entrees and full-on menu items as opposed to "special" restaurant week dishes (read: Cheap ingredients ala chicken, cod, vegetables, etc.). Any restaurant that doesn't provide that loses a potential customer. And we eat out 5 nights a week and usually 2-3 times during the days. They're shooting themselves in the foot. Someone needs to explain it to them.

                                    1. re: Quintious

                                      We went to Flying Fish, which I had actually only been for oysters/HH food before. I was pleasantly surprised. They had like 3/4 options for each course. I had a sort of thai-style mussels in broth, very well-executed steelhead with sorrel sauce, and a mini apple pie-ish dessert. My wife had an app. I can't remember and then a multi-chocolate/molten thing that was pretty good (if pretty cliche at this point). We ate on the early side and the place was pretty empty yet, which may have helped with the execution.

                                2. Pont's was excellent. The entire menu is up for grabs, some having surcharges. I go every year and always have an excellent meal.