Summer is a slow time for the hospitality industry, which is why many good venues take part in Restaurant Week, running from July 16-August 10th. Patrons choose from $24 lunches and $35 dinners, all of which include an appetizer, entree and dessert. For two, that works out to a REAL COST of $62 after tax and tip for lunch, or $90 for dinner. Drinks are extra.
That’s all quite reasonable, and it’s the only time of the year, for better or for worse, that certain entry-level diners will try an excellent eatery outside of their comfort zone. So Restaurant Week is most definitely not a BAD DEAL.
But still. We don’t like how Restaurant Week perpetuates the dying art of encouraging people to eat like they do at weddings. You’re locked into an appetizer (often a soup or salad), an entree (fish or chicken) and a dessert (even if you don’t want it). Such restrictive policies aren’t a great way of turning occasional diners into regular diners. For realz.
We prefer the more economical practice of ordering a series of small plates (or large plates) throughout the evening and sharing.
Put more simply, we believe there are better ways a party of two can spend $90 after tax and tip. So throughout Restaurant Week — which is really Restaurant Month — we at The Bad Deal will be highlighting great venues that don’t participate, and we’ll show you how to keep your spending under $90 clams.
Or, alternately, to go somewhere you would never, ever, ever go to eat, not just because it’s patently unaffordable, but because the place is fucking terrible and you know it—like Cipriani, which, inexplicably, is a Restaurant Week participant—and seize the opportunity to see the New York City you never wanted to and otherwise never would. Go on with your bad self! Buy some marble scrap, sand it down to look like ivory, get your great-grandmother’s mink out of storage, and leave the apartment dressed up as rich, Eurotrash black market arms dealers. Get shitfaced before on a water bottle filled with Popov just accross the street in Central Park, walk in, tell them you are here for the Cocoass, party of two (and stretch out the word two, so it sounds like “teeeeeeeewh”) first name Prince Albert, and if they make you wait, scream something about the lineage of Monoco never having to wait and ask them if they’ve heard of the “Eeeanese Inquisition” and threaten to make them “hear of it” if they haven’t, demand a table in the middle of the room, and take in the scene for a metered price of admission they absolutely can not gouge you with. Repeat throughout your meal; make sure to exclaim how wonderful it is that they let you order the baby seal off the menu. Leave laughing like a hyena, something about finding your way into Gay Cousin Lindstrom X’s popper stash again in search of an amuse bouche. Never go back.
That is how you do Restaurant Week.