Restaurant Week is a double edged sword: for $33.08 you get to experience a 3 course menu at restaurants that would usually charge more than that for just an entrée. But let’s be honest, restaurants are businesses and businesses want to make money. After you account for food costs, rent, staff, utilities and everything else involved in running a restaurant, the profit margins are actually very small. If a 3 course meal normally would cost $65-$70, charging half as much means something has to give, either quantity and/or quality.
That is why you must choose your RW reservations with care. I went with Excelsior because I’ve wanted to go for ages and its restaurant week menus are generally well received. Mj and Brian joined us for dinner. The bread basket was fantastic; it had a delicious brown walnut bread that I couldn’t get enough of, a tasty olive bread and a simple French.
The RW menu had two choices for each course, so R and I got one of each. For appetizers, I had the Thai Curried Shrimp Bisque. I thought it was good, but needed more a more robust shrimp flavor. R had a Field Green Salad with Roasted Beets, Vermont Chevre and Duck Confit. I really enjoyed his salad, and he preferred my soup, so we just switched.
I ordered the Pan Roasted Salmon with Sesame Eggplant Salad for dinner, and the salmon was cooked perfectly, with nice crispy skin, and the sauces were great. It was a nice piece of fish. R had the Grilled Brandt Farm Skirt Steak (of course), it came with Wood Roasted Shiitake, Vidalia Onion Jam, Arugula and Smoked Tomato. His steak was delicious; cooked a perfect medium rare and so tender and flavorful.
For dessert R got the Dark Chocolate Pandan Panna Cotta with Caramelized Banana, Star Anise Shortbread, Creme Anglaise. It had a perfect texture and I loved the caramelized banana on top. I’ll have to steal that idea for one of my parties. Since R “claimed” the chocolate dessert that left me with the Hawaiian Pavlova with Passion Fruit Curd, Coconut Sorbet, Vanilla-Pineapple Carpaccio. I’m not a fan of meringues, and a pavlova is a meringue cookie used as a base for fruit or other toppings, but we had to try everything, so I ordered it. I was pleasantly surprised. I still don’t care for meringues, but the rest of it was great. I loved the coconut sorbet: it was like the essence of a whole coconut distilled down to a smooth creamy scoop of goodness. The passion fruit curd was also tasty, it was sweet and tart. I love curds.
It was a really nice dinner, I didn’t feel that quality was sacrificed at all. I think it is definitely worth going back during non RW time. One last note: I loved the salt, huge flakes and beautiful crystals of sea salt were in the salt cellar.