Boston's Annual Restaurant Week to Begin on Sunday
Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 23:03
It’s time to start logging into OpenTable and scouring Zagat and Yelp reviews because Boston’s Restaurant Week is almost here. What is restaurant week you ask? Simple. Twice a year, restaurants in metropolitan cities prepare exquisite meals and menus at a reduced cost, giving poor college students (and others) a chance to try different cuisines. This spring, Boston will be hosting its restaurant week from Mar. 17 to 22 and Mar. 24 to 29. There’s no better time to venture out into the city either with your favorite girls or significant other. However, it’s imperative to be an informed consumer to get the most out of your dollar and experience. Here are some general tips and trades to make the most of your Restaurant Week.
1. Pick a date. Restaurant week has a very deceptive title, because the event actually takes place over two weeks. However, it’s important to note that Mar. 23 is not part of restaurant week! Do not accidently make your reservation for the 23rd if you’re looking for a discount!
2. Find a restaurant. Not all restaurants that participate are good eats! Do some research about the chef and owner as well as a quick Zagat search to see if you’re signing up for a night of fun or potential food poisoning.
3. Look at the menu. Just because a restaurant you love is participating in the week does not mean it will retain its normal menu. Many places will adjust their dishes to accommodate for the increased traffic, which means there might be a prefixed menu, a limited menu with a few options for each course, or add new courses to their menu that they feel costumers would especially enjoy.
4. Check the price. Even though restaurant week offers special deals and offers, some restaurants are sneaky and only provide minimal discounts that truly aren’t worth it. Some places also offer prefixed menus only, that can look as though you’re getting a great deal, but can really add up. For example, while a prefixed menu might include three courses, you might only really want a main course, which by itself would cost much less than the Restaurant Week discount. It’s also important to see if the restaurant is only offering discounts for lunch reservations, dinner reservations, or both. You don’t want to accidently make a reservation for dinner when they only offer discounts during lunch!
5.Make a reservation. Virtually all of the participating restaurants require a reservation in advance due to the abnormally high influx of customers. You can do this in many ways, however, I recommend two specific techniques: first, pick up your cell phone and call the restaurant. Speaking to a person is always the best way to ensure you’ve got a spot. Second, use OpenTable. OpenTable is both a website and app that allows you to find restaurants, make reservations, view menus, and learn a bit more about the restaurant as a whole. Some benefits of using Open Table include the ability to see all available times for reservations with different sized parties, as well as earn points (that turn into money) by booking reservations with their service.
Now, in case you are still feeling overwhelmed by the opportunities Restaurant Week has to offer, I’ve compiled a list of specific hotspots that have received great reviews from both critics and the average Joe. Starred locations are restaurants I’d personally recommend.
So instead of taking the BC shuttle to Chipotle this week, convince yourself it is worth venturing out into the city for Restaurant Week. Keep these tools and tips in mind and enjoy some great food. Bon Appetite.
*Toro: Spanish, Lunch and Dinner, No Reservations, South End.
*B&G Oysters: Seafood, Lunch and Dinner, Reservation Needed, South End.
*Scampo: Lunch Only, Reservation Needed, Beacon Hill.
Sorellina: Dinner Only, Reservation Needed, Back Bay.
*Sportello: “Unofficial Restaurant Week,” Lunch and Dinner, Reservations Needed, Waterfront.
No. 9 Park: Dinner Only, Reservation Needed, Beacon Hill.
American/ Contemporary American
*EVOO: Lunch and Dinner, Reservation Needed, Cambridge.
*Harvest: Lunch and Dinner, Reservation Needed, Cambridge.
Henrietta’s Table: Lunch and Dinner, Reservation Needed, Cambridge.
*Sweet Cheeks Q: Dinner Only, No Reservations, Fenway/Kenmore.
*The Butcher Shop: Lunch and Dinner, No Reservations, South End.
Mistral: Dinner Only, Reservation Needed, Back Bay.
*Gaslight: Dinner Only, Reservation Needed, South End.
Abe & Louie’s: Steakhouse, Lunch Only, Reservation Needed, Back Bay.
Smith & Wollensky: Steakhouse, Dinner Only, Reservation Needed, Back Bay.
*Del Frisco’s: Lunch only, Reservations Needed, Waterfront.
*Blue Ginger: Lunch and Dinner, Reservation Needed, Greater Boston.
*Red Lantern: Dinner Only, Reservation Needed, Back Bay.