BY BRIDGET SALMONS
Restaurant Week 2010 kicks off this coming Sunday (and runs two weeks, from the 17th through the 22nd and 24th through 29th) with three-course lunches for $20 and three-course dinners for $35. If I had the time, money, and metabolism to do it, I might just fill an entire week with these discounted eats. A foodie can dream, right?
Lunch at Lacroix. Here are chef Jason Cichonski’s main course offerings: halibut with whipped potatoes and pork belly; lamb meatballs with wild mushrooms, and braised chickpeas with grilled almonds and smoked raisins — I might have to take a half-day after a lunch this decadent.
Dinner at Chifa. Spotted on Chifa’s RW menu: a new item from chef Jose Garces — pho, with rice noodles, beef tenderloin, and jalapeño!
Lunch at Buddakan. The RW bento box is back, with 17 first-course dishes to mix and match (my order: miso soup, hoisin-glazed pork belly, veggie fried rice), plus three choices for dessert (obviously, I’ll take the carrot cake with layers of panna cotta filling).
Dinner at Friday Saturday Sunday. Perfect for a date night. Plus, FSS has all of its best dishes on offer: the rich and earthy cream of mushroom soup, the poached asparagus with tomato vinaigrette, the grilled filet mignon with burgundy wild mushroom and leek sauce.
Lunch at Butcher & Singer. It’s the perfect midweek pick-me-up: the Best Of Philly winning Butcher burger. Plus a classic Caesar or shrimp cocktail to start, and baked Alaska or chocolate fudge cake for dessert.
Dinner at Audrey Claire. After an admittedly heavy lunch, a lighter dinner is in order. Luckily any of Audrey Claire’s seasonal offerings (brussels sprouts with shaved parmesan, bosc pear and gorgonzola flatbread, potato-crusted ahi tuna with crispy beets) will do the trick.
Lunch at Noble American Cookery. You know a restaurant’s crafted a darn good RW menu when you have trouble deciding between just two options for each course. The sure-to-be-inventive soup of the day or Noble’s Caesar with eggless anchovy vinaigrette? The pulled pork with Texas toast or crabcake with zucchini/jalapeño emulsion? Decisions, decisions.
Dinner at Novita Bistro. Note: Go with a sharer. Choosing between the traditional Moroccan chicken tagine and the wild mushroom ravioli in that luscious demiglace is next to impossible. You really must try both.
Lunch at Zahav. Lunch starts with the hummus and salads, followed by your choice of one mezze plate and one skewer, then dessert. Luckily, you really can’t choose wrongly at Zahav — but I might offer a bit of dessert advice: the salty/sweet/chewy pine nut tart really shouldn’t be missed.
Dinner at R2L. The perfect way to get acquainted with chef Daniel Stern’s new restaurant at the top of Two Liberty. Here are the Sternian dishes that caught my eye: cheese risotto with a soy sabayon, chichen daube (stew) with anchoiade (anchovy puree), and “Mom’s sour cream and walnut apple pie.” (Note: R2L is scheduled to open on the 21st.)