The Restaurants Respond To Our Ultimate Guide To Restaurant Week
By Anthony Todd in Food on Jan 20, 2016 3:14PM
Last week, after spending hours and hours doing math, we brought you the ultimate Restaurant Week guide. That guide has been seen (and used) by thousands, has brought joy to Reddit, and has made restaurant week a bit more efficient and interesting for diners. It's also led some restaurants to make changes to their Restaurant Week menus.
Unsurprisingly, this guide created some controversy. Restaurants and their publicists came out of the woodwork yowling and complaining, especially if their restaurant was marked in red. In many cases, this was because they didn't quite understand the basic premise of the guide. Remember, a red highlight does not mean that a restaurant is bad—it only means that it is possible for a diner to get a meal during Restaurant Week that isn't actually a bargain.
This was difficult for some restaurants to grasp. One popular meat-focused restaurant objected to their treatment, until we pointed out that there was a vegetarian entree on the Restaurant Week menu that couldn't possibly lead to a break-even. A publicist for that same restaurant (and you know this is when you've really made it) offered the following deal: " I know you had us as a maybe on your list, but if you choose to make that a yes, I would be more than happy to make your reservation for you and throw in a seasoned salt as well." Despite the temptation of seasoned salt, we declined.
Some restaurants pointed out math that was genuinely mistaken. We knew some calculations would get messed up, given the massive amount that had to be done, and we happily corrected the mistake. Flight 112 in Elmhurst pointed out that their menu actually did come out to be a bargain—mostly because we had missed that they were offering the 10 ounce flank steak (noted, as you can see, in very small print) instead of the regular five ounce. With that change, the menu is no longer red. We made some other minor math changes as well, so be sure to check out the guide.
We inadvertently omitted at least one restaurant: Osteria Via Stato. In all likelihood, it's a good deal (though they have a seasonal vegetable risotto on the menu that can't be price-compared, so they didn't end up green). They're on the list now. In addition, STK and Le Colonial were having website issues so we couldn't read the menu. They're on the list now, and STK is green.
After the guide published, we got an email from Hearth restaurant, which had been marked as a "red" choice. They announced a new restaurant week menu, which included more choices. Now, we won't claim the did this because they were red, but it's nice to see them try. Unfortunately, the change didn't fix the red rating: if you order the garlic soup, grilled gem lettuce, side of truffle fries and chocolate creme brûlée, you still only end up getting $32 worth of food. That being said, this is a good example of a spot where, even though it's red, maybe you should try it anyway because of the extensive selections.
Finally, in the original post, we called out Smoke Daddy as one of the worst possible restaurant week deals. On a $44 dinner menu, they only served $33 worth of food—a terrible deal! They contacted us to let us know that the restaurants week pricing was a mistake:
"Good catch the other day on the Smoke Daddy’s bad deal for Restaurant Week. The menu was supposed to be set at $33, not $44. We’ve since made the revision to reflect this proper price ($33). In all honesty, it was an oversight by management."
The change has been made. Thanks to all the restaurants that reached out! The updated sheet is below, or it can be found here.