Archive | October 3, 2012

Restaurant Week Minnesota – Fall 2012


It is that time again! Restaurant week for Fall 2012 is October 21-26. For those of you who have never participated I will answer your burning questions and get you ready to start attending Restaurant Week.

What is Restaurant Week?

It is a week where restaurants put on a special promotion and offer Lunches and Dinners at a “discounted” rate.

Does Restaurant Week only happen in Minnesota?

No, many large foodie cities like New York and Chicago do them as well. They may not line up at the same times as ours do. I know that some people even travel to those cities during restaurant weeks to try the food at restaurants that they normally would not be able to afford. Contact Open Table if you want to make a trip of it sometime.

How do you find out about Restaurant Week?

Well, word of mouth, blogs (like this one), reading MSPMAG or being part of Open Table. Now, that it is becoming more popular I think they will start using the same weeks during each season.

Follow my blog… right up there in the right corner and you will see my picks for each Restaurant Week. Otherwise follow me on my new facebook page Mplsgossipgirl by liking the page. It is NEW so be one of the first people to like it!

What the heck is Open Table?

It is great! It is an online service where you can make FREE reservations and earn points towards dining certificates.

They also offer special events and even more events when you are a V.I.P. You become a V.I.P when you help review the restaurants that you have visited. This week I received an email promotion about visiting a few restaurants Monday-Wednesday and receiving a gift card for your next visit (some of them were $25)

Plus, it is a great way to give direct feedback to the restaurant and help you remember the places that you liked or disliked.

They are a sponsor of restaurant week and usually most of the restaurants on the list are restaurants that you can make reservations for on Open Table.

I have been using Open Table for years and love being able to use this FREE service. They do send you emails every so often about different restaurants in the area and deals. But, you cannot beat getting free dining checks from them and the other offers when you become a V.I.P.

How do I pick the restaurant I want to go to?

Read REVIEWS. More importantly, read my blog all of my past reviews are posted.  Some of the restaurant week promotions are not “deals” at all.

Look at the menus that are posted by MSPMAG.  If they are offering a $30 dinner when their entrée’s are usually only $10 on their regular menu. That is usually a red flag.

Also, decide what type of food you want. Do you want a steak dinner? Choose Capital Grille. Want to try something new? Try Cafe Lurcat. Want to go to Uptown? Choose Heidi’s.

Unfortunately, it always takes FOREVER to get the menus on the website. So, I suggest taking a look at the normal menu at the restaurant to decide if you want to make a reservation. Some reservations go fast.

Okay I picked my restaurant, now how to I get a reservation?

All you need to do is click on the make a reservations link on left side of the website next to the restaurant you want. If you do not have an Open Table account you will need to create one.

There are some restaurants that do not require reservations.

This is awkward, what do I say at the restaurant so they know I am there for restaurant week?

First, you can put it in the reservation under the special requests. You can just type Restaurant Week and then the restaurant will get that note.

Also you can let them know when you sit down that you are here for restaurant week. Most places are good at offering both their restaurant week menu and their regular menu.

Is wine included in the meal?

No, any drinks are separate. Although, some restaurants offer wine pairings with their menu with an additional charge.

Do I need to tip?

Yes. Please tip your waiter or waitress. It is not included in the price of the meal.

What is fun about Restaurant Week?

It is a reason to go out and try a restaurant that you have never been to before.

Once I saw a group of friends who schedule a fancy dinner on the Wednesday of every Minneapolis Restaurant week. Each person gets a chance to pick the restaurant and they each order different menu items and share.

They love the excuse to get together, dress up, and enjoy a fancy meal.

Where is mplsgossipgirl going this Fall Restaurant Week?

Look for future postings on my “Best Bets” for this Restaurant Week and during the week of October 21-26th to see where I go.

Here are my past postings:

Acqua

D’Amico Kitchen Lunch

Cafe Lurcat

Restaurant Week Posts

Check out the MSPMAG for Restaurant Listings: HERE

Get an Open Table Account: HERE

because I love food.

@mplsgossipgirl

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