Here Comes Restaurant Week! No, Not Just for You, Denver!

It’s about to be Restaurant Week once again. That time of the year (It really is only a week now) that you have the opportunity to fight your way in to a restaurant you’ve wanted to visit in the hopes of finding a great meal at a low price. Good Luck!

Restaurant Week in Denver this year features over 300 restaurants of all kinds fighting to put out a memorable meal for $30 a person. Some will. Many will not. A close examination of Restaurant Week menus shows that the “special” offerings are often some version of salmon or chicken (maybe duck) and one other entree, accompanied by a pretty normal salad or soup and chocolate dessert of some type. Too often, the menus are not what you would probably have ordered had you gone to this restaurant on your own free will. Unless you are among the unadventurous.

It's Everywhere, Isn't It?
It’s Everywhere, Isn’t It?

Well, you’re not alone, Denver. New Mexico does the same thing. It will be Restaurant Week here, too!

In Santa Fe, 56 restaurants are participating. And, one food store. Close inspection of the menus shows some of the same faults as those in Denver, but with more chile. There are some differences though that make it interesting.

To cover the range of providers, you can choose your price level. Some bars have full meals for two people for just $25. The next level establishment has a menu at $20 a person. The next at $30 a person. And, high rollers can opt for the $40 per person place. That’s fair.

The tourist restaurants like The Shed or La Casa Sena don’t bother with Restaurant Week because for some reason people always show up to eat their food anyway.

And, just like in Denver, there are some good menu selections if you take the time to research them. I’m looking forward to an impressive Italian selection at Il Piatto Santa Fe, just $20 per. The higher price Italian place has a much less interesting menu for restaurant Week.

The sleeper here…and I don’t believe you have this in Denver…is Kaune’s Market, a long time Santa Fe grocer. Quality store, fine butchers, terrific chopped salads made on site, and a thoughtful well-managed wine department which even features some fine wines from some of our fine winemaking friends in Piedmont. For Restaurant Week, Kaune’s is offering $20 meal packages to take home and cook yourself. Several choices range from rib-eyes to pasta.

Instead of trying to cram in another dubious Restaurant Week restaurant meal, I’ll opt for Kaune’s Dinner Package #3: One WonderRoast Chicken, a container of mashed potatoes, a container of Kaune’s Brown Gravy (it’s very good!), a big chopped salad that easily serves two, a pound of fresh asparagus, and either one Angel’s Bakery Dessert or a container of fresh raspberries joined by a container of Cool Whip.

That’s $20 total. Bon Appetit!