Ah, Restaurant Week. What used to be just one week out of the year at a handful of restaurants has extended to an entire fortnight at what seems like every eatery in town, packing diners in like sardines from 5 p.m. to close for a three-course $35 menu. (The first week of this year's event is over, but many restaurants will continue to participate through August 26 and even September 2.) Some serious diners scoff at the whole concept, believing that many restaurants dumb down their menus (and their service) for the budget-conscious customers the annual event attracts--and often alienate their regulars in the process. Like it or not, it's here to stay, and it is for a great cause: Last year's Restaurant Week raised a record $695,000 for the North Texas Food Bank and Lena Pope Home.
What the Critics Say:
Leslie Brenner digressed on whether or not RW is actually a good deal: She says bargains can be had at Dish and Jasper's, but for the best value at Tei-An, it's best to squash your soba noodle cravings until RW is over.
Scott Reitz shared his list on where to get the best bang for your buck during RW, advising diners to aim high and reserve at high-end places like The Mansion, Five Sixty, Abacus, Fearing's and Nonna, where a typical meal might require mere mortals to dip into their 401k.
What the Diners Say:
According to Yelpers, the best RW deal to be had is at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse (which, perhaps not coincidentally, was also the restaurant to raise the most money for charity last year). Long-time participants Stephan Pyles and the French Room are also considered to be reliable choices.
One Chowhounder complains of severely shrunken portions at Fort Worth's Lonesome Dove, noting that some portions had been cut way in comparison to the regular menu. The kitchen was also a bit heavy-handed with the salt, but service was up to it's usual par--excellent.
DFW.com gives high marks to Capital Grille for huge "full price sized" portions, a varied menu, and "impeccable" service.
One SideDish commenter has nothing good to say of Del Frisco's: Filets were "stringy and overcooked" and service was subpar, and another notes that the steak at La Fiorentina was "tough and overcooked", with a side of pushy service. The filet at Hibiscus, on the other hand, was up to snuff, as was the service, according to one Yelp commenter.
And the award for Server of the Week goes to: Peter Hemery, for delivering phenomenal service at Stephan Pyles, according to two SideDish readers.
— Whitney Filloon