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Restaurant week dispute

My significant other is always gung-ho about getting "good deals" at good restaurants and is a big fan of both coupons and restaurant discounts. Me? Not a fan at all. I find that a restaurant week menu just means smaller portions, limited menu choices and, by the time you add tax and tip, you could have had a nice meal at a restaurant that you REALLY enjoy.

So, she made reservations for 4 for dinner at the Monkey Bar, an upscale restaurant in midtown Manhattan. Two friends, also fans of restaurant week will be joining us. There are only 3 entree choices on the special menu - skirt steak, pan-roasted striped bass and fava bean agnolotti. I am not a big fan of any of them. I cannot indulge in the included dessert either because I am diabetic.

On the regular dinner menu however, there are far more choices for me at of course their standard prices. I would rather order off the regular menu and ENJOY what I am eating. My SO says that this is NOT the purpose of dining there; the purpose is to partake of restaurant week and their discounted price menu. I disagree - the purpose is for ME TO ENJOY my meal! I know that if the three others order off the restaurant week dinner menu, we cannot fairly just split the bill as we usually do. I would be very happy to pay the other couple the differential of my additional costs of ordering off the higher priced menu.

The response from my SO is that I am being unreasonable and perhaps "ruining" the restaurant week experience for the others. I feel that I should be entitled to order what I want. It should be noted that I have a really healthy appetite and small portions do nothing to satisfy me.

Any opinions? Am I being unreasonable and/or stubborn? Thanks!

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  1. No! My DH would be right with you and, if I wanted him to enjoy himself (or even go) I'd let him have his way.

    1. So...am I reading correctly?... your SO would rather have you eat something that is not appealing to you in terms of content, portion size, and carb count in order to save a buck?

      I would suggest that you let her take a friend to Restaurant Week..one who would share her fervor for discounted dining. Find someone less self-centered on that night, and go out and have a nice, satisfying, healthy meal.

      I hate it when people label anyone who disagrees with them as "unreasonable".

      1. Your SO sounds just a tad controlling, sorry to say.
        You are, I presume, a grown adult, who knows what he(?) wants and is willing to pay for it.
        How this flummoxes anyone else is perplexing.

        This isn't rocket science, and what anyone should want for their SO is happiness.

        You are not being selfish, btw.

        1. He sounds like a real catch.

          1 Reply
          1. re: beevod

            That would be "she"; and she IS a wonderful gal - her food values are just diametrically opposed to mine!

          2. You're right - your SO is wrong. Tell the server up front that you want a separate check. Problem solved.

            BTW, you're also right about the issues with restaurant week menus. Small portions, limited choices. There are some restaurants who manage to overcome these issues. The Danny Meyer places are some of the pleasant exceptions.

            1. I don't participate in Restaurant Week because I find no "bargain" in it--eating food that is lesser than the normal menu with harried servers who unfortunately, work for less money this week due to some people's tipping policies....not for me.

              I can understand why someone who enjoys RW would be perplexed why someone would order off-menu--why not just go any other week? But adults should order what they want. Neither is "right".

              This sounds like a relationship issue, not a restaurant one.

              1. You, of course, are right in this instance. Ask her why her desire to get a deal trumps your food preferences and health?

                I'm not a RW fan for the very reason you mention (limited choice) and because most places are too crazy at those times.

                1. People like your SO is one of the primary reasons I avoid restaurants participating in RW. It pulls in people who would otherwise not go. The better restaurants that used to participate realized that and that these people were unlikely to upsize their orders or add wine or come back when RW was over.

                  Order what you want or go back when its not RW without her.

                  I've had too many meals ruined by going during RW. I don't order off the RW menu, but the crowds just overwhelm the staff. I remember going to a client dinner at Perry Street one night and didn't realize it was RW. Service was very slow and the staff was apologetic to our table as we were a large group ordering off the main menu with lots of wine.

                  Its not been as much of a problem lately as most of the better places have stopped participating or only do so for lunch which is fine as I usually don't have sit down lunches out.

                  If everyone continues to treat RW the way your SO does, the quality of RW will continue to decline.

                  ETA: RW = Groupon by another name

                  1. Question -- the restaurant in question doesn't say
                    "When ordering from the RW menu, all diners at a table must participate in the RW menu"?
                    I've definitely encountered that before.

                    .
                    Maybe SO should peruse http://www.restaurant.com/ which is a much less limiting way to "coupon."

                    Kris now in DC/NoVA

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Kris in Beijing

                      In NYC, the regular menu is always available during RW. It's the diner's choice as to which menu to order off of. The RW menu is typically some choice of chicken/salmon/veggie dish that is not usually part of the regular menu. Its a dumbed down version of the regular experience.

                      1. re: Bkeats

                        That's been my observation/experience too- the menu is available, with limited RW choices, oh, and lets not leave out the "upcharges".
                        Many places leave you asking for the RW menu is, so the false constraint that the OP has to order from the very limited selection is nonsensical.
                        Are they all going to order the same drinks? The same upcharged items or zero upcharged items?
                        People, grown adults, can easily navigate a bill that is not perfectly symmetrical.

                        This dinner should not be costing the RW couple any more than they would normally be spending, unless, of course, everyone at the table must order from the RW menu, which hasn't been my experience in general.

                        I guess it comes down to others feeling like the "bargain" is at the heart of the meal and experience.
                        Again, if they order from the RW menu, I don't understand how this changes if one person does not, considering he is fully aware and willing to pay more for his part of the expense.

                    2. Some restaurants don't allow you to order from the regular menu during restaurant week.

                      Why don't you make a deal with your SO? You'll order from the RW menu provided if you're still hungry afterwards, you can go to McDonald's.

                      1. I avoid restaurant week for the same reasons others stated (smaller portions, limited menu choices, below-average service). Also, I often skip dessert anyway so the costs of a RW menu compared to just ordering an appetizer and entree are roughly the same.

                        That said, I would actually side with your SO on this occasion. If part of the meal's purpose is for the others to feel good about getting "value", then I'd stick to the RW menu and not rock the boat. You're probably going to get RW type of service regardless.

                        We compromise on food all the time. It's like going to a not-good restaurant that someone else picks for the group. Or going to a restaurant where everyone else is raving about the food and I think it sucks. I try to keep my mouth shut so as to not dampen the mood at the table.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: churros

                          I think it's enough of a concession and expression of affection to even go to RW- he should be able to mitigate the shitfest by ordering what he wants ;-)

                          1. re: monavano

                            Another thing the OP could do is choose another participating RW place. One where the RW menu choices and dessert are more appealing.

                        2. She's wrong, twice.

                          First, as everyone else says here, the objective is to enjoy dinner.

                          Second, having a SO who is diabetic, I start by filtering out all the restaurant week offers that include dessert. She owes you that.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: WNYamateur

                            Whenever I've had to do RW working as a pastry chef, I've offered a cheese option with the desserts - for diabetics, sweets haters, and to save my self the work of that many more desserts!

                          2. Either go and order from the RW menu or don't go.

                            It's like a family agrees to go to Orlando to visit Disney. Once you arrive, you decide you want to play golf instead of taking the kids to Disney.

                            65 Replies
                            1. re: Worldwide Diner

                              No it's not: they're all sitting at the same table!!

                              1. re: WNYamateur

                                In my analogy, they're all in Orlando, but doing different things. In this case, they're all at the table but doing different things. What's the difference?

                                The problem is they have different purposes in going to the same restaurant. The 3 want to order from the RW menu, the OP wants to enjoy himself. My analogy would break down if OP had agreed to go to Orlando but specifically said in advance that he's going there to golf. My analogy is fine if the OP simply agreed to go knowing that the purpose was to take advantage of RW week.

                                One is not entitled to enjoy himself at any time he eats out. It's simply a matter of compromise as the Spanish doughnut pointed out.

                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                  They're all eating. When you go out to dinner with a group, do you insist everyone orders and eats the same thing? That's the equivalent of your analogy. What's wrong with sitting at the table and ordering food that's not on the discount menu? It all comes at the same time and you eat together. We went to disney as kids. Some wanted to go on Space Mountain. Others didn't. No one was forced to go on a ride s/he didn't want to go on.

                                  ETA: The typical RW menu in NYC will have 3 choices for starters and 3 for mains and some desserts. I've often looked at them and said "none of the above." Why would you be forced to eat something you don't want if there is a perfectly acceptable choice that you're willing to pay for? Should the diabetic OP eat dessert because he went to Disney with friends too?

                                  1. re: Bkeats

                                    How about everyone agrees to try the tasting menu at the restaurant, which is only served when everyone at the table is doing the tasting menu. You're in the group, you knew in advance that the rest of the group wants to try the tasting menu, so you're going to order a la carte at the last minute? My point is, just don't go instead of ruining everyone else's expectations.

                                    My analogy is you stick to what you agreed to do. Nothing more nothing less.

                                    When we went to Disney as kids, we didn't get to just run off and ride whatever we want ride.

                                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                      Your tasting menu analogy doesn't stick. Tasting menus almost always have a "everyone at the table must order it" caveat.

                                      In this scenario, one person ordering from the regular menu doesn't prevent another person from ordering from the RW menu.

                                      1. re: LeoLioness

                                        It's not a matter preventing the others from ordering from the RW menu. It's causing unhappiness in others.

                                        1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                          I cannot imagine catering to someone who was "unhappy" that I didn't order what he or she wanted me to order. That's crazy weird and controlling.

                                          1. re: LeoLioness

                                            We have a limited set of facts. We have no idea whether money is tight, and OP is being selfish by insisting on spending more money on himself.

                                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                If I spend all the money I earned on myself instead of funding my children's education, am I being selfish?

                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                  That's not what we 're talking about.

                                                  We're talking about a party of 4 where one diner orders a meal that's a bit more expensive than the others and then pays the difference.

                                                  You called that "selfish."

                                                  Do go on. I'm all ears.

                                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                    IME, the Delta is really not all that big, and for heaven's sake, it shouldn't be draining a college fund!

                                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                      I rather not. To me it's self evident. If not to you, then don't worry about it.

                                                2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                  Given that when we dine out for pleasure, we spend our discretionary income, I will assume that at the OP's discretion, he can afford an additional $20.
                                                  I read, from his post, that he wants to ENJOY the experience and is willing to pay his share, so I'd take being selfish off the table.
                                                  In fact, he sounds incredibly thoughtful and I wouldn't post this question on CH, because I wouldn't even think that someone could tell me what to order in a restaurant.
                                                  Especially if I'm paying for my own meal!
                                                  Again, with the facts as I read them.

                                                  1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                    Money is not tight; the other three participants merely enjoy a good bargain. Me, "Mr. Selfish", merely wants to enjoy a meal of his choice, off of a more broad menu.

                                                    1. re: bobbyrab

                                                      You are so not selfish- I wouldn't even think to posit this question on CH because I'd just have made an audible at the table.

                                                      1. re: bobbyrab

                                                        It was a hypothetical. I'm not saying you're selfish. In fact, why don't you just buy dinner for everyone, so then you can order whatever you want?

                                                          1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                            Worldwide Diner, I can order whatever I want without having to buy dinner for everyone. Maybe I would pick up the check when EVERYONE orders off the regular menu just to celebrate!

                                                          2. re: bobbyrab

                                                            And I think the way your SO puts it to the other diners, in advance is, 'None of the entrees really appeal to Bobby, and he can't have dessert because of his diabetes, so he is going to order off of the regular menu while we do the RW. We'll get 2 separate cheques since his will probably come out a bit more'. As long as they know the reasoning in advance (as some might also think you are being a show-off by spending more) and the restaurant also allows it (I think mentioning it when you make the reservation is a good idea) then all will go smoothly. If the other diners are told this in advance and give any attitude about it, well, I'd think again about dining with them in the first place.

                                                      2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                        Maybe others need to adjust their unrealistic and arbitrary expectations?

                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                          Not knowing what they are, it's hard to say they're unrealistic or arbitrary. But if they are unrealistic or arbitrary expectations, then sure. I imagine that'll take lots of discussion with each other, not posting on Chowhound.

                                                          1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                            The OP is clear that it won't cost anyone a penny more (more or less) if he takes it upon himself to order off RW menu.

                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                              "I would be very happy to pay the other couple the differential of my additional costs of ordering off the higher priced menu."

                                                              Not anyone, just not the other couple. I don't know the financial arrangement with his SO.

                                                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                and to further clarify the OP's opinion regarding the financial aspect (as I read it)

                                                                "(RW) just means smaller portions, limited menu choices and, by the time you add tax and tip, you could have had a nice meal ... that you REALLY enjoy."

                                                        2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                          "It's not a matter preventing the others from ordering from the RW menu. It's causing unhappiness in others."
                                                          ~~~~~~~
                                                          So wait - it's OK for the OP's significant other to cause unhappiness for the OP by forcing him to order from the RW menu? But it's not OK if the OP causes unhappiness for his stubborn significant other by his desire to order from the regular menu?

                                                          Does not compute.

                                                            1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                              How what goes - the non-computation?

                                                              Or the fact that the SO should get what she wants (everyone getting their bargain meal because she says so) while the OP is forced to eat a meal he wouldn't have ordered in the first place?

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                I have a shirt which my ex-wife gave to me, it says "I do what she says." I didn't always follow that shirt.

                                                                I'm not entirely sure why she's peeved. I've thrown out some hypothesis - but none seems to apply. Maybe SO is just being stubborn but she's not here to explain, and we're only getting one side of the story.

                                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                  We are. We also don't know the type of relationship the OP has with his SO, other than what he's told us in the original post and in follow-up posts.

                                                                  But, as is the case in almost all posts on CH, we respond to what was put out there, and we respond as to how we would deal if presented with this scenario in our own relationships. Sounds like most everyone here would not take kindly to their SO demanding that they order from a menu which doesn't have anything desirable to eat.

                                                                  Sorry - it's very rare I'm going to spend my hard-earned money at a place which isn't serving anything I would like to eat.

                                                                  But again - why should one be disappointed in what they are eating because a SO insists on ordering from a a specific limited menu when there are other items to choose from on the regular menu, AND when one is willing to pay the extra cost?

                                                                  Will this cause additional angst between the OP and his SO? Only he knows that.

                                                                  But we respond in the only way we can - based on what we're reading here, and our own personal experiences and desires.

                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                              If that makes her unhappy, she's the one making it so, not he.

                                                          1. re: LeoLioness

                                                            The OP isn't preventing the other diners from ordering from the RW menu, or preventing them from enjoying their value-driven meals.
                                                            I've never seen a RW menu where the whole table has to order from the RW menu, and I used to compile information about participating restaurants for a couple years.

                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                              RW just might exit in other cities..
                                                              (salts popcorn)

                                                              1. re: monavano

                                                                mona: "unless, of course, everyone at the table must order from the RW menu"

                                                                actually that's fairly common in DC. which has always made me think of a half-assed banquet production line in the kitchen, and why I've always avoided the whole train wreck.

                                                            2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                              So you're now changing the scenario? What you have described, I have done. No big deal for anyone else at the table. Not a problem for the restaurants I've done that at. Sure there are places where everyone has to have the tasting menu. I most recently did that Eleven Madison. But if there is another option, why shouldn't I be able to make my choice? Do you order dinner for everyone in the group when you make reservations?

                                                              1. re: Bkeats

                                                                I refuse to get sucked into an internet argument that can't be won. If you don't see my point, then that's fine.

                                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                  Not trying to have an argument but a discussion. You have an interesting position given your choice of tag that you use on CH. As a worldwide diner, I would have expected someone to be more open. Between travel for work and pleasure, I've had the chance to eat in most countries of western Europe some in eastern Europe, some in Latin America and a few in Asia. It wouldn't ever occur to me that I would want to limit the ability of a fellow diner to order what he preferred to eat especially if he is paying for it. But hey, different strokes.

                                                                  1. re: Bkeats

                                                                    To me, there's seems to be an element of the need to control, and I don't mean to call the OP's SO a "controlling so and so".
                                                                    What I mean is that some people seek to control their world to alleviate discomfort.
                                                                    So, while to us, a dining companion ordering off the RW menu isn't a blip on our radar, someone else might have their boat rocked.
                                                                    It's a bit obsessive to truly believe that if the whole table doesn't order off the RW menu as a cohesive group (order) that it ruins the meal and experience (due to disorder).
                                                                    Anyway, there's my armchair psych assessment ;-)

                                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                                      My position is either go and order the RW menu or don't go. I personally would not go to any restaurant that is participating in RW week. I never said I personally would limit the options of fellow diners. I'm offering opinion as to what the OP should do, not that I would be aggrieved. The only difference between your position and my position is that I can understand why OP's SO might be a little peeved.

                                                                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                        i guess if i squint *really* hard I can maybe see the SO's feeling (though I think it's crazy). that there's some special fun in "getting away with" a cheaper dinner than usual and the OP is messing that up by introducing the idea that maybe it's not such a steal after all. But especially given his medical situation, I think his desires trump.

                                                                        1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                          I understand the OP's SO could be peeved but I don't believe that is justified in any way.

                                                                          The whole reason RW exists is, as others have already said, to draw in people at a slow time and see if the diners can be enticed to add something to the RW menu. Have a cocktail, wine and coffee. If everyone who came in during RW ordered solely off the RW menu and drank tap water and then never came back during non-RW times, RW would quickly die off.

                                                                          Going to a restaurant during RW and ordering solely off the RW menu for the sake of the bargain brings to mind people who buy things only because something was on sale. I will get told how much money was "saved" by buying it on sale and I will ask "but did you want or need it?" I get the look that tells me that need or want is besides the point, only getting the bargain mattered. Never mind the fact you could have saved even more by not spending anything for something that wasn't wanted. So rather than cluttering up my closet with things I have no need for or eating food that doesn't appeal to me, I will go when I want and order what I like. I suggest the OP do likewise.

                                                                          1. re: Bkeats

                                                                            What's wrong with bargain hunters? So what if they feel good about spending money on things they neither really want or need. There are also plenty of people who pay full price on things they neither want or need. If it makes them happy, who cares.

                                                                            I don't see the problem with people ordering the bare minimum during RW. It's a deal the restaurants choose to offer. Customers should feel free to do whatever they want. Some of these people might not order drinks or any extras for non-RW meals too. Is that a problem?

                                                                            Saving a few bucks on restaurants for most of us here is not important. We prefer to maximize our dining experiences and a RW meal is not experiencing the restaurant at its best. But for others, money is often top of mind. RW allows some people to experience restaurants they may not otherwise go to. So what if they don't know better about the lack of value and that they're getting a lesser experience. If RW makes them happy, who cares.

                                                                            This thread is about whether the OP should prioritize his own desires for a better meal over the desires of the group to truly enjoy RW. No right or wrong answer really. Depends on the people and relationships involved. Personally, since the service is likely to be harried and this is already going to be a less-than ideal dining experience, I'd go with the flow.

                                                                            1. re: churros

                                                                              Well then I will send your way the people I've known who have decided to go to some well known place during RW, ordered off the RW menu and then later complained to me about how they don't get why some people like the place so much as the food and experience was just so so. But hey they got a good price though whether they got a good value can be another matter.

                                                                              There is no problem with anyone ordering the bare minimum during RW. My point is if that's what everyone does, RW will slowly die off as that's not the basis for the model. How do I know that? Well let's say I have some industry contacts that I have talked about this with and they've explained what has happened with RW over the years. It used to be great when it started. Now, its a pale imitation of what it was meant to be.

                                                                              1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                Fine, send them over. What do I care? How does how they feel impact my dining experiences? It also doesn't seem like this is business the restaurants would have otherwise gotten if it were not for RW.

                                                                                Regarding the RW model, if the restaurants are not happy with the clientele they're attracting and the short-term and long-term financial returns, then they have to make some adjustments. Reconsider whether it makes sense to participate in RW anymore. Change the menus that they offer. If one of their goals is to encourage customers to return, then change the value proposition. I recall some restaurants (maybe the Danny Meyer ones?) in the past giving RW customers coupons to use on subsequent visits. Did that work? I have no idea. Maybe not since I don't hear much about that anymore. Or maybe it did and those restaurants have been able to improve their business as a result and have no more need for RW.

                                                                                If RW is not helping the restaurants meet their targets, the onus is not on the RW customers to change. The restaurants have to figure out something else. Think of promotions that will encourage the clients they want and discourage the ones they don't.

                                                                                1. re: churros

                                                                                  A lot of restaurants have dropped out of the RW promotion. It was a money loser for them that didn't generate repeat business.

                                                                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                    Yes, that makes sense. My posts here have been mainly in reaction to Bkeats' suggestion that the customers are to blame for RW not working. Those damn bargain hunters, they ruin things for everyone. No, the RW model is problematic.

                                                                              2. re: churros

                                                                                I have a hard time understanding why his meal impacts whether the other 3 do or don't 'truly enjoy' restaurant week. It seems like some awfully needy people if that's the case.

                                                                                1. re: 16crab

                                                                                  I explain further downthread. May be easier to understand if we substitute this particular situation with a non-food activity. Or not. If you don't see my point of view, that's cool. Maybe I just spend more time with people where money is tight.

                                                                          2. re: Bkeats

                                                                            Can I suggest a possibly parallel situation?
                                                                            After a concert, the group decides to go to Bellagio, a nearby full menu place that's famous for its Taiwan Shaved Ice.
                                                                            Several people get "single" ice, a couple share a monstrosity, and one guy orders crispy chicken. Essentially a variation on chicken wings.
                                                                            Now, this is a "regular restaurant" that clearly serves a lot of food, not just dessert.
                                                                            But the experience was… diminished… by Mr Wing.

                                                                             
                                                                             
                                                                              1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                I was just coming back to edit!
                                                                                THE POINT was "everyone get together for dessert."
                                                                                For OP SO, the point may be "everyone have a RW experience."
                                                                                An element of the joy in a shared experience is that is IS a shared experience-particularly with food.
                                                                                As if Mr Wing had gone to the concert but listened to his iPod the whole time.

                                                                                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                  Why not take it a step further and insist that everyone have "a corn bisque and salmon experience". Anyone who doesn't order that is ruining it for the one who insists on it!

                                                                                  I think it's really weird to be that controlling.

                                                                                  1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                    To ensure the proper experience you'd also have to make sure everyone wore matching outfits.

                                                                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                      And ignore the sobbing if someone wants still water and another wants sparkling.

                                                                                      1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                                        Yes, yes, we could run with this forever.
                                                                                        And we know the OP came to CH because we'd most likely support his food choices.

                                                                                        The next time you sit down for dessert, imagine that the person with your group at your elbow is eating an enormous platter of ribs.

                                                                                        You all know that if someone started a "My BIL ordered wings when we went out for desert" thread, we'd be alllll over him for being insensitive.

                                                                                        1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                          I really don't care what hte other people at the4 table are eating. I may think some things are a little odd but unless it was something foul smelling like natto it wouldn't bother me.

                                                                                          I guess some people are different.

                                                                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                            So if I we go out, I can't order stinky tofu, durian or natto? What kind of controlling bastard are you?

                                                                                                1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                  I refuse to take this thread to the Dark Side.

                                                                                                  :-)

                                                                                    2. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                      No; the music is a sensory experience. RW is just a cheapened menu in a madhouse.

                                                                  2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                    ...and no Disney characters (hopefully) hovering around the dinner table!

                                                                  3. sounds like your SO thinks she is the significant one in the relationship and that you are INsignificant

                                                                    1. Why do you have to go at all? When it comes to things we are not mutually interested in, my husband and I sometimes to things apart. It's not an issue.

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: julesrules

                                                                        I go because I am an incredibly sociable guy who has no desire to be labeled as "Mr. Party Pooper". I think the issue is that I "live to eat" while my significant other "eats to live". My money goes into my stomach; her money goes into shoes.

                                                                        1. re: bobbyrab

                                                                          I'm definitely more likely to be a party pooper when I do things I don't really want to be doing. And your wife seems inclined to label you one if you don't order her way (I'm not sure why, but many have already addressed that aspect). So basically you are party pooper cubed at this point, pick your poison ;)

                                                                          1. re: bobbyrab

                                                                            I think you need to draw a polite line here otherwise before long they'll have you going to places like Ninja because it's "fun."

                                                                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                              Is it actually fun? Would kids at least enjoy it?

                                                                          2. re: julesrules

                                                                            Why go? The OP loves to eat!
                                                                            Let him eat what he wants and enjoy his wonderful meal while the others enjoy their value experience.

                                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                                              Monavano, you are the voice of reason, lol.

                                                                          3. Sorry, your SO is off the wall. *She* is being unreasonable and stubborn and a few other adjectives....

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. I think that so long you are a) willing to pay your fair share due to a higher entree cost and b) able to afford this; i.e. It won't break your budget, you should order What You Want.

                                                                              The *** purpose *** of Restauarant Week for restaurants is to bring traffic into restaurants during slack vacation time, when many NYers have decamped to the mountains or Eastern Long Island, etc. The hope is that you'll try new places, sample the bargains, and return later on to pay full freight. Secondarily, to bring in the wandering tourists who are always looking for bargains on the big city, and thereby fill the tables.

                                                                              It shouldn't spoil your SO's experience at all, nor that of your companions. She gets to try the restaurants she picked out, your friends are no doubt good company and will enjoy the night out with you both.

                                                                              She could consider that everyone will have a far better time if *everyone* enjoys their food. Order what you want. Enjoy.

                                                                              1. I'm on your side. Order what you want, enjoy your meal, and throw in an extra $20 (or as needed).

                                                                                1. Seriously? Order what you want. What's the big deal to them?

                                                                                  1. It's funny reading how some are resorting to calling the SO names.

                                                                                    The main question should be whether the SO's concerns are valid. Might the restaurant week experience be ruined for others?

                                                                                    Most here don't see the value of RW. But for those people who do see value, who are we to judge? If this dinner was set up specifically to take advantage of RW and the others are excited about that, why not just go along? Otherwise, there is a risk of offending others. Implying that you think you have better tastes and the others are just being cheap. And what happens when you order differently and you get better food or bigger portions or whatever. How do you think the others will feel? How will you feel?

                                                                                    By the way, despite how many are making it seem, restaurant week is not the worst thing in the world. Some people have had good experiences.
                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/965986

                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: churros

                                                                                      Funny thread to link to as I think there are distinctly mixed feelings on that thread. There are some good places that do RW but the good ones that do participate usually have a prix fixe menu priced very close to the RW price so there's really no reason to go during RW and a reason to actually avoid it then. Many of the opinions voiced express the same issue of limited menu choices. Sure if you can't otherwise afford a place without the RW menu, go ahead and try it but temper your expectations. If you aren't constrained by finances, don't order off the RW menu. Better yet, don't go during RW.

                                                                                      1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                        No, that was my point. Some experiences are bad, some are good. A lot of people here make it sound like it can't be anything but bad.

                                                                                        Another reason why I linked to that thread (which I didn't say out loud) is maybe the OP could read that and change to another restaurant that was recommended in the past.

                                                                                        As I said upthread, I avoid RW myself. I've been to it in the past at some of the better places (the Danny Meyer ones) but I could tell a difference in service compared to my non-RW meals. Staff was overwhelmed. Still a good meal and there were cost savings, but not worth it for me to go back. I'd pay more for a better meal. Not everyone feels the same way.

                                                                                      2. re: churros

                                                                                        And what happens when you order differently and you get better food or bigger portions or whatever. How do you think the others will feel? How will you feel?
                                                                                        ******
                                                                                        To me, this is the "everyone gets a trophy" mentality.
                                                                                        And, why is less food bad?
                                                                                        This happens all the time- dishes are proportioned differently and many times, the volumes are not the same.
                                                                                        Am I to feel bad because I got a bigger portion of what I ordered?
                                                                                        Am I to feel somehow ripped off because someone else is enjoying, and paying for prime rib when I ordered the chicken?

                                                                                        If the other diners are that fragile, my suggestion to the OP would be to decline the dinner all together.

                                                                                        Where does it end???

                                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                                          My questions were specific to this situation and things for the OP to consider. Ordering off a discounted menu vs. a regular menu. At a meal when the main objective seems to be partaking in the discounted menu and feeling good about the "bargain".

                                                                                          I don't think people looking for bargains would feel good about smaller portions. They probably also wouldn't feel good about seeing what they missed by going for the "deal".

                                                                                          1. re: churros

                                                                                            "People looking for bargains" are very delicate flowers, it seems.

                                                                                        2. re: churros

                                                                                          "why not just go along?" Because A. the OP said he does not care for the offerings on the special menu B. the OP does not eat dessert and so that portion of the price will be wasted on him. He is willing to go to the restaurant but wishes to order off of the regular menu. Why is that a big deal? We are dealing with adults, right?

                                                                                          1. re: churros

                                                                                            How on earth is the value to them determined by what the OP eats?

                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                              I think DGresh's post explains this concept pretty well.

                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9825...

                                                                                              1. re: churros

                                                                                                This link just opens this same thread in another tab for me. An error?

                                                                                                1. re: 16crab

                                                                                                  Not an error. The link is to a specific post within this thread.

                                                                                                  1. re: churros

                                                                                                    Weird, it goes to DGresh's post but then it almost immediately jumps back up to the top for me. My laptop has a brain of its own I think. But I now know what you are referring to and found it via search. Agree with DGresh - getting a deal is thrilling but eating stuff you don't want in the interest of 'fun' falls on the side of crazy to me.

                                                                                          2. Obviously, the reservation was made in order to cash in on the restaurant week deal and your group may have gone elsewhere if it weren't restaurant week. But, you do not have to participate! The restaurant loves getting you in the door then enticing you with more appealing options from the regular (more expensive) menu.
                                                                                            Also, women tend to like the smaller portions associated with restaurant week, as it is sometimes just the right amount of food for us. So let her do her thing and you do yours!

                                                                                            1. I don't participate in the restaurant week anymore...maybe lunch here and there but never dinner.
                                                                                              I still end up spending $150 plus for food(and wine) I really don't want and service I don't really deserve.

                                                                                              1. No, you're not being unreasonable and/or stubborn. Your SO is being so. If you're paying good money to dine out, you should be able to get what you want, within the restaurant's parameters. If they serve a braised beef dish that you've been dying to try, but it's not on the RW menu, you should be able to order it from the regular menu. And since you can't have dessert, perhaps an appetizer of your choosing, or a cheese course to end your meal.

                                                                                                So why don't you just ask for a separate bill for YOUR meal, and the others can order from the RW menu?

                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                  Even though Henry Kissenger is currently laid up with his aortic valve replacement surgery, he has arbitrated this little dispute for my SO and myself (and the other couple). Echoing the suggestions of some of the reasonable people posting here, we will get two separate checks, mine reflecting my regular menu suggestions plus my SO's RW menu items and the other couple's check representing two RW menu dinners. I have also told my SO that in the interests of world peace, this will be my last RW experience. From now on it will be top dollar and the freedom of choice. My belly insists on "54-40 or fight"....

                                                                                                  1. re: bobbyrab

                                                                                                    Well, we've had the Beer Summit, so why not the RW Summit?
                                                                                                    I'm glad order has been restored, and you can enjoy a lovely dinner.

                                                                                                    Interesting topic- thanks for sharing.

                                                                                                    Enjoy!

                                                                                                    1. re: bobbyrab

                                                                                                      I probably couldn't help but giggling to myself if the other couple chooses at the last minute to pick off the regular menu. :-)

                                                                                                      I'm glad the peace accord has been established.

                                                                                                      1. re: bobbyrab

                                                                                                        be sure to admire the barstools at Monkey Bar.

                                                                                                         
                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                          Can they be purchased at a discounted price during RW?

                                                                                                          1. re: bobbyrab

                                                                                                            Not, those barstools. You have to order the RW special barstools. They're a little skinnier and more lightly padded to go with the skinnier and lightly padded patrons. ;)

                                                                                                          1. re: bobbyrab

                                                                                                            It sounds reasonable and sorting it out in advance is exactly what I would have done. I can't possibly be the only one who is curious how your SO and the other diners responded to your proposal of this scenario?

                                                                                                        2. I think your wife is nuts for wanting to step foot in any restaurant participating in restaurant week. I also think she's the unreasonable one, thinking a discount is more important than your enjoyment.

                                                                                                          It's become a huge cattle call, with stripped down menus, a lot of harried staffers and the food and service, due to volume and cheapness, are not a good barometer of any restaurant's usual quality. I hate it, strictly avoid it.

                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                            The discount seems to be the source of enjoyment for the SO and the others. And based on the OP's post, why this dinner was set up in the first place.

                                                                                                            I also don't like RW so I sympathize with the OP. But I see the other side as well. The OP could be viewed as unreasonable, thinking better food is more important than the group's enjoyment.

                                                                                                            1. re: churros

                                                                                                              I really think that with friends and loved ones, there can be both group enjoyment and a meal better suited to the OP. Would it be enjoyable for them to have him order one of the RW entrees, not really enjoy it, and then either lie and say it was great, or tell the truth and say it was just OK? And to pay for a dessert he didn't have? I would be really sad if my friends or family got enjoyment out of that. They are getting their bargain RW week meal, he's getting the meal he wants, everybody wins.

                                                                                                              1. re: 16crab

                                                                                                                We can turn your statement around and say: would it be enjoyable for the OP to have his friends' enjoyment "diminished" (as another poster said in this thread)? And then for his friends to lie about that or tell the truth about that?

                                                                                                                The OP is not wrong and his SO and friends are not wrong. For this situation, I'm weighing the SO's side a little more because it seems that the meal was set up primarily to enjoy RW. That if it weren't for RW, this group of people might not be getting together at all that evening.

                                                                                                                I proposed earlier that the OP pick another RW restaurant and increase his chances of having a good RW meal while maintaining the "spirit" of the meal for the group. The suggestion that the OP consider not going to this meal at all seems like another good solution to me.

                                                                                                                1. re: churros

                                                                                                                  Further discussion on this is moot, as the OP and his SO have already come to a mediated settlement. See his post "Henry Kissinger" upthread.

                                                                                                                  1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                    Unless of course Vladimir Putin is lurking and wishes to declare war when peace has already been declared. After our misguided dinner at the Monkey Bar, I shall not be attending any more RW dinners and my SO has happily agreed to this. Fini.

                                                                                                                  2. re: churros

                                                                                                                    Turning it around doesn't quite add up for me. Let's say he orders off the regular menu: he gets pleasure from his meal and the other 3 diners get the thrill from the RW deal. But if he orders off the RW menu he gets less pleasure from the meal while they still get their RW deal. In both scenarios they get their deal and therefore their pleasure; in only one scenario does he get a meal he enjoys. In my eyes, the other 3 diners' experience is exactly the same whether he orders or does not order a prix fixe meal.

                                                                                                                    1. re: 16crab

                                                                                                                      It's done, see post above! RW sucks and neither of them thinks it's worth any savings for "fun."

                                                                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                        oh it's never 'done'...

                                                                                                                        besides RW comes twice a year in some cities!

                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                          Oh it is done. But feel free to keep posting if it floats your boat!

                                                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                            Restaurant "Week" always lasts for two weeks ('held over by popular demand') twice a year in San Diego.

                                                                                                              2. Unless someone else is paying for you, order what you enjoy.

                                                                                                                1. $38 for two courses (since you will not have the dessert) is not a "bargain" in this scenario.

                                                                                                                  The issues here is between you and your SO and is truly not at all about this menu or the power struggle regarding what you do or do not order.

                                                                                                                  This sounds like a relationship communication and compromise issue that is much much bigger and more significant/worrisome than what you order at your meal.

                                                                                                                  When you articulate your feelings she is not listening- That Is The Issue Here.

                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                    It is resolved. Amicably. What is worrisome now is that you guys want to continue this thread hoping that the fight will start again. It will not. Our next fight will be over the issue of extra cheese on a pizza; I think it is an abomination - my SO thinks extra cheese enhances the pizza.

                                                                                                                    1. re: bobbyrab

                                                                                                                      oh yeah now you're being a complete ass, even a little extra cheese makes all the difference. really creates a new beast and changes the whole scenario...

                                                                                                                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                          Bob, yes! Maybe a hypothetical RW menu that offers a discount if you order extra cheese on a pizza and there is at least one "ass" who hates extra cheese in the party.

                                                                                                                        2. re: hill food

                                                                                                                          Extra cheese CAN be life threatening if you suffer from coronary artery disease. Death can indeed change the whole scenario ;)

                                                                                                                          1. re: bobbyrab

                                                                                                                            yes the sweet and gentle embrace of Thanatos Semicotta.

                                                                                                                        3. re: bobbyrab

                                                                                                                          Order the pizza with half extra cheese and half as is. I don't like mushrooms. My SO does. that's what we do.

                                                                                                                      1. I agree with your S.O. Suck it up and enjoy a new experience with your friends. How often does Restaurant Week happen - twice a year? (at least here in LA). If you go in with your attitude, you are doomed not to enjoy it. Think of it as a social occasion with friends that is going to save you a few bucks. Who knows - you might actually enjoy it!

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: travel61888

                                                                                                                          Suck it up? Are you paying for this guy's meal?
                                                                                                                          The OP already said he had a heart to heart with his SO, and expressed his feelings, which he should have, and he stood up for his right to enjoy himself in the way he knows best.
                                                                                                                          The whole premise that someone can't enjoy their RW meal because a companion is ordering off the RW menu is preposterous and arbitrary.

                                                                                                                          We all make our own happiness, and have to answer to ourselves.

                                                                                                                          1. re: travel61888

                                                                                                                            Wait, I'm confused. He might enjoy what exactly? Food he doesn't care for or a dessert he can't have due to his diabetes?

                                                                                                                          2. Your SO is a cheap Tuesday.

                                                                                                                            Know what I mean?

                                                                                                                            She is so far out of line. I would never have shit to do with anyone who does such things.

                                                                                                                            You're a grown man, you don't need her permission to do shit. If she has a problem with you ordering what you want you should tell her to go ...herself

                                                                                                                            Also, restaurant week is whack, you are absolutely correct.

                                                                                                                            People like your SO give me high blood pressure.