This week is restaurant week in both Howard County and Baltimore City. Basically, an excuse to order more drinks at dinner, since a three-course meal is offered at a reduced rate of $30.08. Why the .08 cents? I can't even begin to imagine. I'm sure there is an explanation out there somewhere. So if you want to eat, make sure you bring your pennies, in addition to your $30.
Anyway, the great thing about restaurant week is you can dine at an expensive restaurant and enjoy a gourmet meal, complete with appetizer and dessert. Every other Tuesday, my husband and I have a dance lesson. That's partly my decision (we took dance lessons for our 6/7/08 wedding and I just didn't want all the wedding fun to be completely over so I said, Hey, let's continue taking dance lessons). Fortunately, my dear, sweet husband accommodates me - and has fun in the process I swear! In truth, it's great fun and a good excuse to have a date night. Thankfully, our every other Tuesday, landed during restaurant week. So instead of going home and eating leftovers after class, which would have been perfectly fine, we opted to go to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse at Pier 6. Now normally we wouldn't opt to go to Ruth's Chris on a whim, but since it was restaurant week we could afford to be spontaneous. However, the catch-22 to the spontaneity restaurant week presents, is the problem of not having a reservation. We lucked out though - there were plenty of seats available in the bar area, which for us is always more fun than sitting at a table. So we sat down and prepared ourselves for the feast! To me, the steakhouses and fancy seafood restuarants are your best value for restaurant week. These sort of items are normally going to run you $30 on their own, let alone with a starter, side and dessert!
There's really no need to review Ruth's Chris per say. I personally have never had a bad meal there and they are one of the most consistent gourmet chains around when it comes to quality. They serve a meal though in every sense of the word. Even during restaurant week you leave feeling like you just ate Thanksgiving Dinner. We had a choice of Steakhouse salad, Lobster Bisque or Seafood Gumbo as a starter. Then for entree you could choose from Petite Filet, Ribeye, Salmon or Grilled Chicken (sorry but why would you get chicken at Ruth's Chris during restaurant week? The best value is not in the chicken - no offense to you chicken eaters.) Plus you got a choice of a side, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli or sauteed mushrooms. And then dessert - chocolate sin cake or bread pudding. This is all quite a load on a hot summer evening in muggy Baltimore, but we managed to get past that and shove it all down. And it was all delicious. Even the dessert.
Tonight we're venturing out to Iron Bridge Wine Company for Howard County's restuarant week. Hopefully we'll have the same success regarding availability - they don't take reservations and their bar area is on the small side so it presents more of a challenge.
And if you miss these two restaurant weeks, take heart! In nearby DC and Northern Virginia, they will be offering restaurant week from Aug. 11-17, during which time I'll be dining at Teatro Goldoni and Tosca Ristorante. And yes, I have reservations.
Baltimore Restaurant Week
Howard County Restaurant Week
DC Restaurant Week
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