The aroma of fine wine and lean meat greet customers as they step into restaurants all around the city. Entering four to five star restaurants, customers expect no less than a grand evening as they dine at some of New York’s finest eateries. However, something small did not meet their requirements.
For three weeks, restaurants are offering new and regular customers a deal that provides extravagant food for a low price. Hundreds of restaurants all over the city are offering deals for both lunch and dinner: 25 dollars for a three course lunch and 38 dollars for a three course dinner.
This year, NYC Restaurant Week takes place from July 20 to August 14, excluding all Saturdays. According to OpenTable, a website for restaurant reservations, there are 344 restaurants participating in Restaurant Week. Most of the restaurants acquired a rating of 4 stars or higher, which can be obtained by over-the-top quality food and service.
Le Cirque, a restaurant located at 151 East 58th Street, received a four star rating from Forbes Travel guide, according to Le Cirque’s website. “[Le Cirque] should honestly have a five star rating. The food is amazing and service is great, even during Restaurant Week! The deal they offer is amazing”, says Julia.
Julia, a woman with a full business formal attire, sat elegantly on the velvet seat as she waited for food at Le Cirque. Although she sat alone, she was still happy, smiling as the waiter brought the food to her. “I’ve been here multiple times. I simply love the food here; the food is extravagant,” she says.
Another customer of Le Cirque, Robert Lee, also believes that the deals are superb. “It provides small spenders a chance to taste gourmet food at a decently low cost,” he says. Robert believes that Restaurant Week deals are an opportunity that allows a restaurant to demonstrate its worth and attract new customers, as well as to please those who do not get a chance to enjoy gourmet meals on a daily basis.
However, some people don’t believe that it should be called a “deal”.
“It doesn’t seem worth it,” said Anna, a customer of Clement, a restaurant located in the Peninsula Hotel, “The portion of the food was too small.” She finished her entrée, a grilled monkfish with summer squash and black bean, in five bites. “The quality is there, but the quantity isn’t. With $38, I could go to Applebee’s with my husband and get an appetizer with two entrées.”
As for another customer, he said that, “ expectations were just not met.” As a regular customer and followers of the restaurant, he says that the Restaurant Week menu failed to offer a large variety, and “[limited] my choices. I didn’t find any of my favorite dishes on the menu.”
Each restaurant offered a different special menu specifically for Restaurant Week. As for Le Cirque, its menu only offered four choices for the appetizer, the entrée, and dessert.
Even a waiter at one of the restaurants, unnamed for personal purposes, noted that he did not fancy the event. “I work twice as hard, yet my pay barely changes,” he says, carrying two dirty plates, two empty glass wines and a bowl.
When people bet on a coin, they either win or lose. There are two sides, and many feel that Restaurant Week landed on both.