Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Last week was Restaurant Week in Washington DC. The girl and I almost always take advantage of this promotion where you can get a 3-course dinner for $30.08. In recent years the promotion has gotten more and more popular prompting a backlash of sorts. Many people who go out to dinner frequently see this as a the week to stay home while all the riff-raff partake in restaurants they would never otherwise go to. Servers are often quoted online in various forums complaining that people undertip or don't know how to act or they are so slammed that patrons don't get the whole experience. The idea is that restaurant goers can choose from one app, one entree and one desert. There are often complaints from patrons that too many restaurants skimp on the available choices. I am of the mind that unless a restaurant has a chance to gain a return customer if they are treated right. The girl and I try to search out restaurants that offer a good portion of their whole menu. We are frequent restaurant eaters but use Restaurant Week to eat at places we might not be able to afford. With all this in mind we went with another couple to Vidalia on Friday night.

The experience as a whole was extremely underwhelming. It is a southern restaurant that was named #8 in Washingtonian's list of Top 100 Restaurants.
The problems started that afternoon when the girl went online and saw that at least half of the choices for all three costs had upcharges of at least $8. This is a new phenomenon for Restaurant Week where restaurants offer a lot of their menu but charge more for it. I felt bad but it was too late to change the plans. The setting is very nice, a wide open space down a staircase with very minimalist decorating. The bar looks like it would fit a lot of people and the noise would be contained.

I started with the wild mushroom soup with shoat pancetta which had a pretty flat flavor, nothing really there. It didn't taste bad, it just didn't taste. The girl had the new frontier bison carpaccio and tartare. She doesn't usually like raw meat so I know this was good becuase it was gone from her plate quickly. For the entree I had black foot pork casolulet which was 98% fat. It was flavorful but the sausage was way too rich. For dessert I had a choclate panna cotta that I made the mistake of ordering because the choclate was too rich for me. The girl had the vegetable medley and the vanilla bean cake, which she said was good.

Service was hit and miss, the ugy was literally in and out, and never asked us if we wanted another glass of wine. We had better southern food and the now defunct Indigo Landing. Just a completely unerwhelming experience.

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