New York's Restaurant Week is a biannual bacchanalian blowout where bargain-seekers can sample prix-fixe fare at high-end hangouts like Morimoto or Le Cirque for $25 during lunch or $38 at dinner. Though that's a screaming deal in New York City, it often doesn't translate so well in Boise.
Restaurants that participate in Dine Out Downtown Boise Restaurant Week—which runs this year from Friday, Oct. 31-Sunday, Nov. 9—can opt to offer three prix-fixe menus: a $10, two-course lunch; a $15, two-course dinner; or a $30, three-course dinner. Unfortunately, most spots only offer the $30 dinner, which can sometimes be more spendy than ordering the same items a la carte.
We decided to crunch the numbers to find the best- and less-bang-for-your-buck deals during Boise's Restaurant Week.
BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK:
Juniper Kitchen and Cocktails, $30 Dinner. Order the duck confit spring rolls ($8 regularly) with the grilled flat iron ($23) and the flourless chocolate torte with huckleberries and whipped mascarpone ($5) and you'll save $6 off Juniper's regular menu prices.
Saint Lawrence Gridiron, $30 Dinner. Order the radish and burrata salad ($9), the brisket platter with grilled bread, rye gherkins and house mustard ($23) and the bourbon bread pudding ($5). You'll save $7 off the normal menu prices.
Red Feather Lounge, $10 Lunch. Order the halibut fish tacos with salsa cruda and cilantro slaw (regularly $11.50) with a cold November side salad and a plate of butterscotch beignets ($6.50) and you'll save at least $8.
Bodovino, $15 Small Plates. Bodovino's small plates special includes two glasses of wine, like the NXNW Columbia Valley Red or the BODO White Blend (each $7.42), along with any flatbread—like the Pig and Fig ($8.48) with prosciutto, fig, chevre and balsamic glaze—for $15. This special saves you $8.32 regularly or $1 during happy hour, when flatbreads are $6 each and wines by the glass are $5.
Angell's Bar and Grill Renato, $30 Dinner. Order the house salad ($6) with the pate mariniere ($35), which features clams, mussels, jumbo prawns and petite scallops tossed with pasta, and you'll save $11 before dessert, which includes any of the restaurant's daily offerings.
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, $30 Dinner. Order the Caesar salad ($8.50), the 6-ounce filet with shrimp (regularly $44 for two, 4-ounce medallions with shrimp) and mashed potatoes ($8.50 a la carte) and you'll save around $31 before your Chocolate Sin cake even arrives. This one's a steal.
LESS BANG FOR YOUR BUCK:
Alavita, $30 Dinner. First course: butter-poached shrimp skewer with local cherry tomatoes (not on the menu). Second course: Butternut squash ravioli ($15) or cavatelli with spicy Italian sausage ($15). Dessert: vanilla budino ($8). Total approximate value: $28-$37. It's unlikely you'll save more than a couple dollars, depending on the price of the app.
Kindness, $30 Dinner. First course: House salad ($5) or grilled kale and romaine Caesar ($5). Second course: Kurobuta pork shank ($21), local organic half chicken ($18) or wild Alaskan salmon ($18) with choice of two sides, including soft mascarpone polenta and sauteed wild mushrooms. Dessert: House-made macaroons ($5), warm bread pudding ($6) or raspberry jalapeno chocolate torte (not on the menu). Total approximate value: $28-$32. You might lose a couple bucks or save a couple. Either way, meh.
Red Feather Lounge, $30 Dinner. First course: Cold November greens salad ($5.75) or kale Caesar ($5.25). Second course: Columbia River king salmon with rice and baby bok choy ($16.50); seared duck breast with duck confit, crispy spatzle and roasted peach preserves ($17.50); or a grilled Berkshire pork chop marinated in a house whiskey brine with creamy polenta and apple cider gastrique ($18.75). Dessert: butterscotch beignets ($6.50) or bourbon pumpkin camp pies ($6.50). Total value: $28.25-$31.
Ha'Penny Bridge Irish Pub, $30 Dinner. First course: House salad ($4.95) or Caesar salad ($7.95). Second Course: Top sirloin with sauteed mushrooms, baby red potatoes and asparagus ($14.95). Dessert: chocolate cake ($5.85) or tiramisu ($5.85). Total value: $25.75-$28.75. You're losing money here.