Weigh In on Restaurant Week
This Restaurant Week, my meals have had many of the trappings typical of the semi-annual promotion -- smaller portions, servers who artfully attempt to point you to the Restaurant Week side of the menu (because it's obvious you're not a regular), etc. But one thing has been conspicuously absent: other diners. Maybe it's the long weekend, the fact that this year's Winter Restaurant Week falls so soon after Valentine's Day or the oft-mentioned global recession, but I've seen more empty tables this week than I have in recent months. I suppose the restaurants' losses were my gain; at two meals this week, I was treated to some of the best Restaurant Week service I've ever had.
I'll dish about my meals after the jump. Share your stories in the comments below.
Vidalia has been the elusive holy grail of my Restaurant Week experiences for years now. Every six months, I yearn to visit; every six months, I can't get a reservation. But this year, I snagged an 8:45 on Monday. Since the dining room was half full, our waiter had plenty of time to give us solid descriptions of the entrees. His advice led us to the braised wagyu brisket -- a tender, flavorful dish with an artful presentation as the server poured bouillon over the brick of meat and cubes of root vegetables. The meal did feel small, though. I've never had the pleasure or the pocketbook to dine at Vidalia before, but I'd be shocked if the two curls of cured snapper on a tiny plate dotted with watermelon slices and orange sauce passed as an appetizer on a regular night. The small size didn't mean bad food, however. The aforementioned app had the citrusy bite of key lime and the crunch of caviar over the melon. For dessert, we indulged with a chocolate-banana napoleon and the nutty Georgia pecan bar. The winter flounder entree wasn't quite as exciting as the brisket, so late-week Vidalia-goers, take note. We were surrounded by a table of very early 20-somethings who were clearly delighted to dine at the restaurant, and a couple that was so impressed with their dessert that they snapped pictures with their cellphones.
I might have been longing after Vidalia for years, but the relatively new Adour restaurant in the St. Regis was a temptress from the moment I spied her on the Winter Restaurant Week list. Since it's usually too pricey for this journalist's salary, I couldn't resist a chance to score the $20.09 lunch deal. I did not leave disappointed. Adour was also half empty when I arrived for my 1:30 reservation, but once again, the slow dining room meant better service. There must have been five different waiters who stopped at our table to explain dishes on the very limited Restaurant Week menu, serve our wine and check in on us. On top of that, we were treated to a filling sunchoke soup with bacon foam (not really a foam fan, but seriously, who could turn down bacon foam?), a green salad atop olive tapenade, a tasty fennel side that eclipsed the salmon on the plate and a hanger steak served on the rare side. Dessert was better still. My date opted for the rich combination of chocolate and coffee flavors; mine was a lighter mix of pineapple, kiwi and tapioca.
All in all, the meals have been worth the extra time I'm going to be putting in on the elliptical. How about the rest of you?
Posted by: lgdc | February 18, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: chiquita2 | February 18, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jrobinson3 | February 18, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Restonmom | February 18, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sfadland | February 18, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: lam91897 | February 18, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: FFXgirl | February 19, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: maureenbenitz | February 19, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ROEL8021 | February 19, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ehardwick | February 19, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: foowiho | February 20, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.