Restaurant Week is Sept. 15 to Sept. 27, with participants at various restaurants in Center City. New this year, select restaurants will offer promotions on Saturday, Sept. 21. Three-course dinners are available for $35 per person at a many of the most popular Philly restaurants, with fixed menu options for the week posted online.
Alcohol is not included in the fixed price, even though it’s often included in the dining experience, but there are restaurants offering deals and specials. And because money is saved on dinner, getting the specialty Old Fashioned may not seem so lavish.
“It’s great for people to experience restaurants that they may not even think about or know exist. On top of it being cheaper, it’s a nice way to have a tasting, try a wide array of things, and it’s a great thing for the city all around,” said Nerissa Esposito, events coordinator at The Farmers’ Cabinet, about Restaurant Week.
The Farmers’ Cabinet, located on 11th and Walnut streets, will feature four special cocktails that week using Pinnacle Vodka.
Pinnacle Vodka is a sponsor of Philadelphia Restaurant Week, so many of the restaurants participating will feature the liquor.
“Our mixologist Paul MacDonald is working on them currently. Other than that, our fall menu is going to be out soon, right around when Restaurant Week starts, and will have new cocktails available,” Esposito said.
A restaurant dedicated to European craft beer and fun cocktails, the rustic, new hideaway promises to offer meals centering around savory meats. The Blood Diamond vodka-based cocktail, a big seller for the restaurant, is a possible companion for patrons to try as they get a vibe for the place.
Bleu Martini, located at 2nd and Market streets, offers special discounts for Temple students at its bar, manager Indra Bumtsetseg said.
“Temple football players who have graduated or on the team come down here,” Bumtsetseg said. “If you leave a tab open at the bar and go to Temple, you can get 20 percent off.”
“This is more restaurant turned into a lounge, turned into a club scene at 10 p.m. – you can do all three at one place. We serve food until 1 a.m. too. But it is better to come in on a Thursday. Friday will be busy, with maybe a long wait time for food,” Bumtsetseg said.
Customers grabbing dinner there for Restaurant Week can stay for drinks such as “Voodoo Juice” and “Purple Haze.”
“Voodoo Juice” is Malibu pineapple, Malibu coconut, Malibu mango, with cranberry, pineapple and orange juice. “Purple Haze” is comprised of raspberry vodka, raspberry liqueur, blueberry liqueur, Blue Curacao and cranberry sour mix.
True to its name, Bleu Martini offers multiple martinis, including blueberry and Jolly Ranger varieties.
A different martini bar, located on 2nd Street as well, is The Continental Martini Bar. Part of the Starr restaurant enterprise, it’s hard to miss with its spinning olive outside.
Promoting global tapas cuisine, the restaurant is another spot to go with a group for Restaurant Week.
The Continental is also offering special cocktails for the week at discounted prices. With six in total, the drinks are split into two categories: sweet and savory.
On the sweet side is a margarita with citrus peel agave, a root beer float with bourbon and house made cream and a take on the Long Island Iced Tea called Old City Tea with chai tea cola.
The savory cocktails available are a margarita with cilantro and jalapeno, a gin and celery combo and an Old Fashioned with a choice of vodka, gin or bourbon.
Many of the restaurants participating during the week will have drink specials and deals. Another way to choose what to order is to ask what drink is the most popular.
While Restaurant Week is mainly about eating out at a cheaper price, it is also about experiencing new things, which could include trying a new drink.
Sinead Cummings can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.