I am on the fence about Restaurant Week.
Personally I prefer places that offer cheaper "tidbit" menus all year round. I will always go somewhere for a drink and if the bar offers a limited selection of menu items, chances are high that I will have one drink and then order a ton of bits off the menu.
A perfect example of this is at Pho Republique. I went there all the time when it first opened years ago, realized there was cheaper pho in Dorchester that was byob, then never really went back to Pho Republique because it suddenly got really pretentious and smug and expensive. However recently I went with Pam from Cave Cibum for the Two Dollar Dim Sum menu and it was good - a little taste of things on their regular menu. So when A-Banana and I had an urgent need for after works drinks the other night, I aimed us at Pho Republique.
Now, sadly they don't offer the Two Dollar Dim Sum menu anymore (smug f*cks), but at least now I knew what I liked on the bar menu. So not only did they get drink money out of us, but they also got our food dollars. Oh and PS, the coconut-pineapple cocktail is literally liquid crack in a glass.... you heard it here first.
Oh right, so back to Restaurant Week...
On the one hand it is a good way to get out and try a place that is new to you, try new dishes, get a feel for a menu and decide if it is somewhere you'd go back to with friends.
The other hand is that sometimes you walk into a restaurant that you know felt pressure to participate in this event that they don't want anything to do with but are going along with because everyone else is.
I guess this is the risk of Restaurant Week. Besides times are tight, and this year's Restaurant Week plays well to the "belt-tightening" crowd as it gives the illusion of frugality.
As for me, I usually get roped into Restaurant Week is because someone ELSE says they want to go. Which is two people now. And counting. So I said I would look up a couple of places.
Did you know there are two Restaurant Week websites? There is the official one and the unofficial one. Pick one and go with it, though I sort of found the unofficial one a hair easier to navigate, especially once I figured out that clicking on the word "lunch" or "dinner" would bring up the menu. Both offer the option of reserving a table online.
I went through heaps of menus and let me tell you, after a while they all sort of start to sound alike. There should be a drinking game for this, you know, every time you see the word "baby green" or "native", have a shot of locally sourced organic grain alcohol.
Some menus do stand out though, only I am not going to say which because I want to make sure I can get a reservation. But when I go you can be sure I will write about it here, complete with photos (of the starter at least before I get too tanked...) and you can let me know what you think.
That's right: you. Both of you, you lovely two readers!