Philadelphia Restaurant Week

By Sami Godowsky
February 12, 2009

Patrick McGowan

Center City Philadelphia hosted its annual winter Restaurant Week on Jan. 25-30 and Feb. 1-6. The event included some of the most expensive and popular restaurants in the city, offering a minimum of at least three courses at the inexpensive cost of $35 per person.

“I ate at the Melting Pot during restaurant week, which would normally be pretty high-priced, but we had exceptional service with good food for a low price,” sophomore English and secondary education major Brianna Conner said.

Restaurant Week originally started out this year to only be the last week of January, but was extended until the following week due to popular demand.

Restaurant Week began in September 2003 and was established by the district of Center City and Rittenhouse Row.

Rittenhouse Row is known as Philadelphia’s upscale entertainment, cultural, business and residential district. Since its launch, Restaurant Week has accumulated $16.4 million in restaurant sales.

However, there is more to Restaurant Week than just enjoying the food; it does not require people to spend a huge amount of money. Due to the hard times of the economy, it has been difficult for people to afford going out to nice restaurants.

“There are a lot of really nice restaurants in Philly that people might not get to experience but thanks to restaurant week, people have a chance to dine at some really great restaurants at reasonable prices,” junior finance major Mike Holland said.

There is a broad selection of food choices available for Restaurant Week. There are 100 restaurants offered in this program, including Italian, Thai, steak, sushi, Mediterranean and Brazilian. There is a restaurant out there for people of varying taste buds.

Some popular restaurants included Tangerine, Melting Pot, Bellini Grill, Dinardos Famous Seafood, Café Spice and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

There was also a free specialty cooking class given during Restaurant Week, on Thursday, Feb. 5, which was held at La Cucina at the Reading Terminal Market.

The chef demonstrated cooking techniques and guests had the opportunity to taste the creations as well. Although the demonstration was free, there were only 25 spots available.

Restaurant Week in the district of Center City will return again early this fall on Sept.14-15.

“Restaurant Week is one of the best weeks of the year. You have a diverse selection to chose from when it comes to food and environment,” junior elementary education major Ali Ashjian said.

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Sami Godowsky

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