Seattle Restaurant Week sounds like a great idea. For two weeks a couple times a year, over 100 Seattle area restaurants offer a 3-course prix fixe menu for $28. I think it is a great idea. Local restaurants have the opportunity to attract customers who may not normally visit and diners all across the Seattle area have a more reasonably priced way to try some of Seattle’s wonderful restaurants. It’s a fantastic concept. B and I just haven’t had the best luck with it. Since we eat out often, Restaurant Week often means places we could normally just drop into and find a seat at the bar are packed. Service is slower since the restaurants are busier. All that said, since it lasts for two weeks, we’re bound to wander into a participating restaurant or two.
Wednesday night, I made a conscious decision to venture into Restaurant Week-land. We weren’t having dinner out on Thursday since we had another commitment in the evening. The Seattle weather has been particularly nasty and rainy, so walking a long distance didn’t feel like the best idea either. We decided on Branzino. We’ve been there a few times before. It’s within walking distance of home and the food has gotten progressively better with each visit.
We arrived early as we usually tend to do and were happy not to have any trouble getting a seat. Branzino is a fairly small restaurant, but it’s laid out well so there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. They’ve done a great job of designing their seating so the booths have a semi-private feeling while allowing a nice view of the surroundings. B decided the RW menu wasn’t for him and didn’t hesitate in choosing their Painted Hills Tenderloin with a side of roasted potatoes. I debated for awhile, but decided to give the RW menu a shot. I chose the Roasted Spring Garlic Soup with Crispy Bacon and Manila Clams, Grilled Swordfish with Olive Panzanella and Classic Beurre Blanc and Valrhona Chocolate Pudding Cake with Mint Stracciatella and Semolina Shortbread. B ordered two truffles for dessert and we shared.
We didn’t make a single bad decision. B’s had their Tenderloin and potatoes before, so there was no doubt they’d both be fantastic. My soup was delicious, the swordfish was super light and not at all fishy tasting and the dessert was amazing. I could have eaten a pint of the Mint Stracciatella all by itself. The truffles were really good, but we probably should have saved them for another day. We had a lot of chocolate for dessert.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Seattle Restaurant Week if we didn’t hit at least a tiny bump. Dinner took a really, really long time. Part of it could have been B’s steak, the other part was likely part of the Restaurant Week craziness. They were packed. It’s ok. The food was worth the wait and I could stand to be a little more patient.