One of my favorite times of the year, and possibly the only highlight of a Chicago winter, is here…Chicago Restaurant Week!!! Any true foodie already knows the low down on Restaurant Week, so I want to break it down for those of you that are still newbies or, even better, virgins! Once you’ve experienced CRW you’ll look forward to it every year just like I do, just trust. I’m getting giddy over here just thinking about it.
Beginning February 1st through the 10th, over 250 Chicagoland restaurants will take part in one of the city’s largest culinary celebrations. Each restaurant offers special 3-course prix fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner so patrons get to taste an app, entree and dessert all at a reasonable fixed price. Lunch menus are typically $22 while dinner is will range $33 to $44 (tax and gratuity not included). Anyone who has dined at a nice restaurant in Chicago (or in any other major city for that matter) knows this is a steal. Now, each restaurant can kind of do its own thing, so make sure you check out the spot you’re going to beforehand. You will want to do this anyway because reservations go fast, especially for the more popular places, which leads me to the most important thing to know about CRW. The key to having an awesome Restaurant Week experience is having a good game-plan.
Planning is crucial to making the most of your Restaurant Week. If you balked at the price points above, just remember you are getting THREE full courses at places where entrees alone start at $20 and up. So smart diners will hit up all the places their taste buds are just dying to try but their pocketbooks won’t allow. Scope out the scene. Find out which restaurants are participating and what they are offering (most menu’s are available online via the Restaurant Week site or the actual restaurant’s site). Then, make a reservations early! I like to go to places that are normally inaccessible to me like the Metropolitan Club at the Sears Tower. (Yes, I will always call it the Sears Tower. I never really associated the building with the actual company anyway; plus you don’t see NYC renaming the Empire State building! But, I digress…) On a regular day the Metro Club only allows its members and their guests to dine and enjoy the phenomenal views, but Restaurant Week is your golden ticket to get in. 🙂 Restaurant Week is also the best time to explore tons of new (and expensive) places without feeling like you were robbed if the meal turns out to be sub par.
If your pockets aren’t hurting for cash and you want to get the full CRW experience, then you should go to First Bites Bash…next year (it’s already sold out); it’s the kick-off event for Restaurant Week. For a mere $95 you will delight in yummy food and drink pairings created by some of the city’s most celebrated chefs. Proceeds from this year’s event benefit Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
Be adventurous. Diversify your restaurant portfolio. Refine your palate. But, first, mark your calendar for Chicago Restaurant Week Feb1st-10th!
Click here and start making reservations for Chicago Restaurant Week.