Restaurant Week, which will run from Sept. 12-17 and Sept. 19-24, offers fancy meals on a dime.
Fancy Philly restaurants, such as Audrey Claire or Buddakan, typically aren’t cut out for the average college student’s budget. While prestigiously known for top quality food, with appetizers often priced higher than an entire meal elsewhere, these high-end restaurants don’t always sound appealing.
However, this past Sunday kicked off Restaurant Week, during which more than 100 of Philadelphia’s finest restaurants present customers with a special deal. From Sept. 12-17 and Sept. 19-24, a wide range of restaurants will offer three-course dinners for only $35 per person.
“It’s an exhilarating experience because it’s an excuse to eat somewhere very posh and high quality,” said Max Marine, a junior majoring in finance, real estate and risk management and insurance who went to Alma de Cuba during last year’s Restaurant Week.
“It still cuts into my wallet, but it’s a good excuse to say I’m spending a few bucks to go have a great night and a great experience,” Marine said.
Choosing from a selection of dishes on predetermined prix fixe menus, patrons have the opportunity to indulge at some of Philadelphia’s best restaurants.
Restaurant Week is the perfect time for customers to expand their palate and experience foods they normally would not, including Le Bec-Fin’s escargot with hazelnuts in a champagne garlic butter. For those in the mood for something Spanish, try Amada’s aged manchego cheese paired with truffled lavender honey.
More than 55 restaurants will also offer special several-course $20 lunch deals, such as Buddakan, which allows diners to create their own bento boxes. Customers can choose three options from a lengthy list that includes edamame ravioli, shrimp spring rolls and Thai chicken salad, along with a choice among Crying Chocolate warm chocolate cake, home-made sorbet and Panna Cotta with white chocolate, passion fruit and raspberry foam.
For a full list of participating restaurants and a sneak peak of the Restaurant Week menus, visit https://centercityphila.org. Interested participants should be sure to make reservations in advance, particularly if they have their mind set on a certain place.
“At least a week to two weeks in advance is certainly advised,” said Jessica Thomas, a hostess at Alma De Cuba.
Restaurants tend to fill up quickly and for good reason: It’s hard to pass up a deal that offers such an indulgent experience. Three courses of gourmet food at the price of just one entrée at many of these upscale restaurants seems too irresistible to refuse.
Grace Dickinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.