Just a quick note, I wasn’t planning on writing anything this week because I’m fucking lazy. Then I realized it’s Hudson Restaurant week and my loins burned with the fury of a thousand suns. Because I made this realization yesterday, and I want to get this out ASAP, I’m going to do very little proofreading and editing. This is a long winded way of saying this may not be the elegant prose you have grown accustomed too. The logic may not even be sound here.
It’s sometimes hard to determine whether an offering during restaurant week is actually a good deal or not. So, that’s what I’m writing about this week. Restaurant Weeks work like a little stimulus package for local restaurants, minus the preceding economic catastrophe. During this time, reservations increase as much as 40% (at least in NYC), and weekday reservations climb even higher. It gives people a reason to come out during the week and spend their hard earned cash instead of doing productive things like going to the gym or saying your going to the gym and not actually going to the gym.
There are some guiding principles that should influence your decision making, the biggest of which is how the prices of the HRW dishes compare to their normal menu. HRW is as much for restaurants benefit as the patron, so you need to do a little basic research before blindly dropping cash on a prix fixe that would cost less than ordering off the normal menu.
Additionally, if there are special dishes you can only get during this week you should probably check them out. Some places will do creative tasting menus or test out some new stuff during this time and this gives diners a chance to try something new. It’s important to look at this critically and not just buy anything that’s new. The grilled salmon isn’t on the normal menu, but don’t waste your money on this “special”. Don’t order any soups or salad either. You’ll wind up spending a lot more for your gnocchi if you pick the fancy salad over the calamari.
Last, if you don’t like dessert then you should just stick to the normal menu for most of these. To get the full value you’ll have to want dessert.
If you cannot trust yourself to make a decision then put your faith in my elementary comprehension of mathematics. I will now say the most vibe killing 4 words known to man: I’ve made a spreadsheet. Here’s how this very, very flawed logic works.
- I listed the menu price of each item offered on the HRW menu. Then I found the best and worst combo based solely on menu price.
- I added the median combo as a metric for risk. If this number is negative you’re likely to order a combo that will add up to less than the prix fixe cost.
- Since most desserts are not on a menu I’ve assigned them a flat price of $8. This is based on averaging all available desserts.
- I’m not a fucking statistician. This isn’t bullet proof. I write jerk-off jokes about local restaurants. I’m more Bate Silver than Nate Silver.
With that disclaimer, here are my picks. If its not on here, its not notable.
Ani Ramen ($20) – This is an incredibly biased pick because I don’t like dessert and I love whisky. The Shrimp Buns ($9) and Chef’s Ramen ($17) leave you up $6. No dessert, which may make your ovaries hurt. But there is a whisky flight for $20, which they say is normally priced at $36. If you go this route your savings are technically at $22, which is fucking substantial. I’m actually really curious to see what whisky is being offered here (probably the notoriously overpriced Japanese whiskies) since 3 oz of whiskey priced at $36 should ostensibly be pretty decent. If you order anything pickled or green you are either A) vegan or B) a fiscally negligent goblin.
Hard Grove($30)- As is always the case with Hard Grove, the issue is quality not quantity. But you get so much shit here that it’s worthy of praise. There is no configuration where you spend less than $32 ordering off the regular menu. While offering a soup or salad as your first course is rip off 101, Hard Grove adds an appetizer ON TOP of the soup/salad. Also, $5 wines. I’ll be getting Masitas and Mofongo tonight, drifting softly into itis shortly after.
Talde ($30)- This is the only place in JC that’s actually doing something creative. While there are some that hate on Talde, I am a full blown Talde apologist. The fact that they are the only ones for restaurant week that actually have something special is fucking appalling. I’m strongly recommending you go and support Talde this week and reward creativity.
Hudson Hall($20) – While I will likely not be visiting Hudson Hall this week, I’ve still got to tip my hat to a pretty solid offering. No configuration will cost less than $20 and if you opt for the pierogies ($15) and the ribs ($17) you will net $12 in savings before dessert (donuts, who cares).
Edward’s ($100)- The value here is not in their actual $40 HRW dinner, but the $100 option for a 39oz ribeye for two, two apps, two deserts, two sides.
South House ($30)- You get a lot of stuff here, but there’s a catch: you have to eat at South House. This is really on here because you get a beer or a cocktail included. I’m skipping, but there is value here.
High Risk / High Reward
Latham House ($40)- If you fucked around and came down with a cold, don’t come here. Ordering the tomato soup ($8) and pot pie ($23) will put you down $9. However, there is room for optimization and if you really like dessert, their Bread Pudding is making its way around social media, and adds substantial value.
Buddy Who’s ($25)- The only time I’ve ever had to send back bacon happened at Buddy Who’s. Get the ribs and calamari for the best combo, don’t be a sucker and order the burger.
Fire & Oak ($40)- Has anyone ever been here? I feel like this is for tourists staying at the hotel and commuters from Ridgewood. To get real value here you have to agree with the premise that their cod is actually worth $32. If you do, proceed and pair it with any app to come out positive. Also, pretty solid value on getting a full rack of ribs. If you go for the deviled eggs and linguini you’ll fuck yourself to the tune of $11.
Amelia’s ($30) – While the Sprouts and Bacon Flatbread ($12.50) and Short Ribs ($24) will put you in the black, Amelia’s is home to the worst combo for HRW (-$13). Don’t be a sucker and get the Truffled Mac. Much like the hoards of fuccboi IG commenters, the prospect of smashing chick peas is uncertain, but dessert is included.
Pasta e Vino ($35) – This doesn’t factor in the free glass of wine. Regardless, you’ve got by far the most risk of choosing a combination of dishes that’s actual price is sub-$40. For a better experience, swing by Cool Vines and grab a bottle of this and bring it to Pasta del Coure. Just don’t get the HRW meal there either. Its slightly better, but not worth it.
Liberty House ($40)- Only one configuration where you wind up positive. Take out the dessert and you’re globally fucked. Don’t pay for the view. Instead, get a rotisserie chicken from ShopRite and find the best bench in LSP. Rip into the greasy carcass with your bare hands and bark unintelligibly at joggers through a mouthful of economy meat. For dessert, use the bag your chicken came in to dry the tears from weeping, knowing that when you die your cats will eat your remains before anyone notices your gone.
Hamilton Pork ($30) – This is the Anti-Talde. Hamilton Pork’s perfunctory submission for HRW should furrow every stroller-pushers brow. My guess is that this nondescript menu is trying to not wake the baby, as it the same enthusiasm as the motionless sex that is probably happening, more likely not happening, in this neighborhood.
Another option for this weekend is to get a Kane and burger from Wurstbar. Just sayin…
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