Enjoying Restaurant Week

My wife and I love going out to eat.  We have our favorite restaurants but we also love trying out new places.  It can get pricey, so when an opportunity like the Hudson Valley Restaurant Week comes around, we jump at the chance to expose ourselves to some new cuisine in a new setting.  The concept is great -- a week during which various restaurants in the area offer affordable prix-fixe menus, attracting new customers and giving repeat clients an option for discounted meals.  New York City's Restaurant Week is the original "celebration of dining," the first one in the country, offering three courses for a fraction of the regular cost, and it has been highly successful since it debuted in 1992. The next one in NYC will be in the summer, click here to get a notification about the dates and all the details. 

The Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is now in full swing until March 27, 2011 -- three courses at participating eateries for $20 for lunch or $28 for dinner per person.  Even though that does not include drinks, tax, or gratuity, it is still a bargain for many of these upscale New York establishments. 

My wife and I gave Bistro Z in Tarrytown a try.  Juliana started off with one of her favorites, French Onion Soup (Gratinee of Gruyure Cheese), and I had the Roasted Butternut Squash and Baby Arugula Salad with candied walnuts and shaved ricotta salata cheese (the blend of flavors was very tasty).  Next, we both had the Pumpkin and Sage Ravioli as our main course.  It was served with shaved asiago cheese, dried cranberries, and toasted pumpkin seeds.  We concluded with the Cookie Crumb Bread Pudding for dessert.

Other cities are picking up on the idea and having Restaurant Weeks of their own -- Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, San Diego, etc.  If your town does it, support your local restaurants and give a new place a try.