Upcoming Restaurant Week(s), Boston
Jenny Ondioline and I had an early dinner at Bronwyn this evening after an enjoyable couple of hours at the Rock 'n' Roll Yard Sale in Union Square. We hadn't planned on doing the RW menu, but after looking it over we agreed that every dish offered looked promising, so that's what we ordered.
The RW menu is extremely limited (two choices each for first, second, and third courses) but uniformly excellent. The first course offers the challah-bacon knoedel which used to be on the regular menu but is currently on hiatus, garnished with slivers of sweet pepper and a few chunks of grilled cantaloupe, and the pilzwurst (a coarse-ground veal & pork sausage) with a cream sauce and black trumpet mushrooms (also on the current wurst menu.)
The mains are both dishes I haven't seen on the Bronwyn menu before - a stroganoff made with braised beef shank and oxtail on dark beer noodles, and a crispy roasted duck leg with grilled cabbage on barley with cape gooseberries and whole-grain mustard, along with two sauces, one made with hefeweizen and the other a mild turnip puree.
The desserts offered are the apfeltorta that's been on the menu all summer (apples both sliced and finely shredded with custard in a deep-dish whole-wheat crust) and a dampfnudel that we didn't try - steamed dumpling in creme anglaise with a plum compote.
$38 and change feels like neither a super steal nor an unreasonable price for that menu, based on regular pricing at Bronwyn. However, given the fact that it can be tricky to put together a full meal from Bronwyn's regular menu, especially if you pick and choose from the many interesting small plates, without getting rather spendy, it's a solid deal and a good snapshot of their regular offerings. I really hope that those entrees end up in regular rotation - they were both delicious.
Overall I haven't been so satisfied with a RW menu in years.
rw is a biannual whipping boy on this board.
all the participants post their rw menus on-line, so narrow your search to places you've always wanted to try and then do some research. your "best" value would be higher-end -- $100pp -- places, rather than anywhere the check average is comparable to rw anyway. portions may be smaller, ingredients may not be as luxe, but realize you are paying possibly 60% less than other-time-of-year-pricing.
most of the steakhouse chains offer excellent value for this, since their corporate offices accept/eat the revenue loss as marketing.
is it reflective of the restaurant? perhaps in some ways, but in sheer volume and pressure to turn tables, likely not.
go early or late, rather than trying for peak-time.
finding value is a very personal perception.
and be kind to your server. :) they're giving you the same service for a MUCH smaller bill.