Greater Cincinnati Independents
It’s Restaurant Week! The coalition of Cincinnati Independent Restaurants is offering Spring Restaurant Week, a chance to try great restaurants at a lower-than-usual price! From March 16-22, check out the almost 30 different Restaurant Week menus available (and more are added each day). Most of them are offering a three-course meal for $26.09, with a few of the “more casual” participants offering dinner for two for $26.09. Although their website doesn’t mention it, most of these places do take reservations, and especially over the weekend, they’re probably a good idea, and even a necessity at some places.
The three-course menus differ by which three courses they offer. Some are doing appetizer, salad, and entrée, while others are doing appetizer/soup/salad, entrée, and dessert. Naturally, I gravitate towards the latter, although I certainly understand the idea of separating appetizers and salad -- although I’m not sure I understand it at the cost of dessert, but that’s just me.
The menus vary widely. I am disappointed in a few, such as Bella Luna. We’ve eaten there and had good meals, but their Restaurant Week menu offers no vegetarian (or even fish) entrée. It was crossed off our list for this week simply because there’s nothing I can eat! The same goes for Daveed’s (who, by the way, apparently thinks fish and scallops are vegetarian-friendly?!), Red (although, to be fair, they’re a steak house and therefore not typically so vegetarian friendly), and China Gourmet. I’m also a little disappointed with menus like Vineyard Café's and Hugo’s, which don’t give actual options, just one dish per course. While I understand that the chefs may want to present a certain mixture of foods, as someone who can only eat certain things, that makes eating more difficult. Even during Restaurant Week, most restaurants are offering at least some choices, which makes the ones that aren’t stand out.
We’re also psyched about the dinner-for-two for $26.09. That pricing makes it possible to potentially enjoy multiple Restaurant Week offerings without totally breaking the bank—and to feel like we’re getting our money’s worth, even at a lower-end restaurant.
Looking forward to this week! Please share your Restaurant Week experiences in the comments!