Restaurant Week: Yay or Yuck?

There are a number of Newton and Chestnut Hill restaurants participating in Restaurant Week, but not as many as in the past. Are you a Restaurant Week lover or hater?

Boston Restaurant Week is in full swing (it's from Aug. 19 to Aug. 24 and Aug. 26 to Aug. 31, which actually makes it two weeks), and Newton, as usual, has a number of restaurants participating.

Although (and one technically in the Brookline section of Chestnut Hill) are participating, there are not as many as there have been in past Restaurant Weeks. Last summer, seven Garden City eateries were in the Restaurant Week lineup. 

Meanwhile, Newton officials are currently planning the Garden City's own restaurant week, which is likely to run sometime this fall. as part of the "13 Villages, One Community" initiative.

Despite some local enthusiasm, it seems a lot of people—chefs, diners and restaurant owners—love to gripe about Restaurant Week.

The Atlantic Cities website has an article titled, "Why Restaurant Week Won't Die, Despite the Haters." It paints a picture of chefs phoning in menus of low quality, stingy "amateur eaters" stiffing waiters on tips and owners who lose money by participating.

Here in Boston, Boston.com has an article about how local chefs have struggled with rising food prices when preparing Restaurant Week menus.

What do you think? Is Restaurant Week a fun event you look forward to, or are you not a fan? Share with us in the comments section below.  

Wendy Schapiro August 24, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Michael Leviton, owner/chef at Lumiere, has been championing the non-RW approach by doing a "Restaurant Month" during August at a *slightly* higher price point but one that allows him to pay his staff, etc. Here's a link to his take on it: http://www.lumiererestaurant.com/news/chefs_blog.php
Melanie Graham August 24, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Ooh! Thank you so much for this Wendy. Interesting angle.
MarcWineGuy August 24, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I hate restaurant week, the cheapskates come out in droves, demand the world and crowd my favorite places. I basically stay home and wait for them to crawl back under a rock. I do like the idea of lower prices during slow months, but I dislike Lumiere so Michael's idea does nothing for me.
DRK August 24, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Next time I hear Newton's praise for being open and accepting of people of differing economic and social levels, I'll remember this one.
MarcWineGuy August 24, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I don't think my opinion on a promotional-vehicle had any larger scale social commentary attached to it. Though it was acerbic, I happen to be that way, sorry. I took for granted this was Newton after all, and "differing" economic levels here don't actually "differ" that much. Again JMHO


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