DC Restaurant Week returns January 9 – 15. As expected, the deal is a 3-course fixed price lunch for $20.06 and a 3-course fixed price dinner for $30.06.
Restaurant week means busy restaurants. Very busy. Service suffers, and the goal at each place is to turn your table as quickly as possible.
At all but the most expensive restaurants $30.06 per person exclusive of drinks isn’t as amazing a deal as you might think. At most mid-price places it represents perhaps a free dessert. And the most expensive restaurants are the ones most likely to limit your menu choices to their less expensive dishes or control portions. Another reason for limited choices on the menu is to limit the time it takes to prepare food, or allow the kitchen to pre-prepare as much food as possible. Again, turn that table.
Still, I always takea advantage of Restaurant Week. I make reservations for dinner every night. They’re cancellable, so I at least lock in the option of trying several places. I do use it as a way of getting a feel for lots of restaurants in a short period of time, recognizing that the restaurants may not be putting their best foot forward (so I have to grade on a curve).
One thing I’ve been meaning to try is ‘double booking’.. make perhaps a 6pm dinner reservation and an 8pm somewhere else. That’d be a way of taking advantage of the pricing, and with a limit of three courses and portion control I often don’t leave the first restaurant full anyway…