New York's Winter '09 Restaurant Week(s) begins this coming Sunday, the 18th. I'm not yet among those who have felt gypped by restaurants during this biannual PR ploy. That's probably because I've only done this once before, exactly one year ago.
Yes, until last winter I was a Restaurant Week virgin, but not for lack of knowing or wanting to do it. Mostly it came down to not remembering about it, forgetting to make reservations, and the little problem of insufficient funds. Unlike the odd children of today, I never saved my pennies for a Per Se dinner; my allowance and paychecks barely made it a full week. Then last year, Brownie called me in early January to inform me that she had made reservations for us at Del Posto during Restaurant Week.
I can't hate on Restaurant Week; sure it's a gimmick to get tourists or locals into restaurants. And no, the restaurants don't serve the best food they can. The crème de la crème don't even participate. But it works, it gives people a reason to eat somewhere they normally wouldn't, at a time that of year that they normally wouldn't. I think people should hate on the restaurants that don't like Restaurant Weekers. I will state that if either of our meals, because we're doubling our efforts this year, goes to pot, we will be hating the players.
85 Tenth Avenue