A Food Aficionado – Tips for a Successful Restaurant Week

By Anna Ing

Photo by Oscar Wong

As a food lover, twice a year I look forward to Boston’s Restaurant Week.

It started in New York City as lunch only specially priced pre-fixe menu in 1992 and now it includes dinner and spans nationwide in over 30 cities from Boston to San Francisco.

This year’s Winter Restaurant Week 2012 has two weeks March 18-23 and March 25-30 with around 214 Boston and surrounding area restaurants including Blue Ginger (Wellesley) and 80 Thoreau (Concord) participating in it.

Now more than ever, eating at fine dining establishments for a fraction of the cost is appealing for everyone to save money.

Options include the 2 course lunch option for $15.19 (for those who do not eat dessert) and the usual 3 course lunch $20.12 and 3 course dinner option $33.12. By the way, some establishments had surcharges on some menu (pricier) items such as foie gras and lobster. All pre-fixe menus do not include the price of drinks, tax and gratuity.

I have been a devoted fan of Boston’s Restaurant since its beginning. Restaurant Week is a great marketing tool for restaurants as it allows many diners to visit restaurants typically out of their reach (including my own wallet).

Since there are so many choices, how does one choose?

Personally, I review the restaurant listing and write down the ones I have not eaten at and are on the high end. Then I check out their Restaurant Week menu (if it is available online).

The reservation process can be tricky as they are not available until a month beforehand. Savvy diners know the top notch restaurants fill up quickly so the KEY is to plan and make reservations ahead of time.

Once you snag a reservation, I enjoy always going with friends.
There is always to be a healthy salad and soup appetizer.

For entrees, I always find a meat and fish option as well as pasta (especially with more than one choice).

Finally with dessert, I usually see a light dessert such as panna cotta, fruit tart and a heavier dessert option with chocolate in it. Now many restaurants have a wine pairing option with the meal for a bit more as well for those who enjoy wine with their meal.

Now I am getting ready for the Boston’s Summer Restaurant week in August. First I need to work off all this great food.

For more details, please check out: http://www.bostonusa.com/visit/restaurantweek/

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