The Boston Convention & Exposition Center presents Winter Restaurant Week from March 18-23 and March 25-30 this year. Filled with specially priced lunch and dinner options, the event allow diners to try new restaurants usually beyond their budgets at a moderate cost. Treat yourself to a two-course lunch for $15.12, a three-course lunch for $20.12 or a three-course dinner for $33.12.
How to Navigate Restaurant Week
Pick your favorites and the new, exciting entries into the marketplace, selecting lunch and dinner venues. Make reservations well in advance to guarantee seating.
When deciding upon what venues you’d like to visit, try choosing restaurants that offer new experiences – a new ethnic cuisine, a celebrity chef’s menu, an establishment known for special wines or distinctive mixologist’s cocktail offerings. This way you’re sure to try something unique and new to you.
What’s new on Boston’s restaurant scene
An array of new offerings hit the Boston restaurant scene this past year. Boston’s waterfront exploded with numerous new eateries, from Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in the Fort Point Channel at Liberty Wharf to Atlantic Wharf adjacent to the InterContinental Hotel, where new offerings include Smith & Wollensky.
Carrying on the tradition
The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBC&VB) anticipates an increase in participating restaurants this year. Last winter saw 214 restaurants taking part. This year, participants numbered 213 as of the beginning of February.
Restaurant Week has evolved in response to diners’ feedback. It is now two weeks long, and includes a new two-course light lunch option ($15.12).
Some classic dining options include Legal Sea Foods, Locke-Ober, Parker’s in the Omni Parker House, Radius, Union Oyster House, Post 390, Harvest, Henrietta’s Table, Joe’s American Bar & Grill, Lala Rokh on Beacon Hill, Upstairs on the Square and many others.
Restaurant Week’s relevance has been questioned by the media. In recent years, restaurants began offering year-round value menus in response to the recession, while companies like Groupon and Living Social presented daily dining deals.
However, as Stacy Shreffler, Media Relations & Tourism Manager at the GBC&VB has pointed out, “Ever since Google began tracking the most popular local search terms in more than 30 US cities as part of its annual Zeightgeist report, ‘restaurant week’ has consistently been one of the top 10 most popular searches in the Boston region, demonstrating that the public is still very much interested in Restaurant Week Boston.”
Diners can access the entire list of participating restaurants here.
Winter Boston Restaurant Week gains new dining choices
Joining the usual suspects of restaurants participating in Winter Restaurant Week are nearly a dozen newcomers to the city’s vibrant dining scene:
- Artisan Bistro at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel
- Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Liberty Wharf
- Smith & Wollensky, Atlantic Wharf
- Blue Inc., Financial District
- Max Brenner’s, Back Bay
- Forum, Back Bay
- Mija Cantina at Faneuil Hall Marketplace
- Waterline Restaurant, Marriott Long Wharf
A number of suburban options will also take part:
- 80 Thoreau in Concord
- Blue Ginger in Wellesley
- Summer Winter at the Burlington Marriott
- Brasserie 28 in Andover
Restaurant Week Recommendations:
Mooo at Fifteen Beacon Hotel
15 Beacon St.
Boston, MA 02108
Mooo will be reviving a mid-day prix fixe lunch this winter in anticipation of Winter Restaurant Week on Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $25 per person.
Smith & Wollensky
294 Congress St.
Boston, MA 02210
Smith & Wollensky will host a special Restaurant Week menu of a mixed greens salad, baby heirloom tomato, mozzarella and arugula or Wollensky’s Famous Split Pea Soup; a selection of four entrees: grilled salmon beurre blanc, broiled hangar steak, crispy free range chicken and 10 oz. filet mignon; and chocolate layer cake layered with chocolate ganache or coconut cake with passion fruit sauce.
Upstairs on the Square
91 Winthrop St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
Diners taking part in Restaurant Week at Upstairs on the Square will also find new features such as the Chef’s Counter with 10 of the area’s best bar seats and exciting small plate offerings. Choose from lobster pizza, lamb focaccia panini with whipped ricotta and tomato jam, and cheesy anson mills grits accompanied with Champagne flutes.
Susan Holaday is a longtime foodservice journalist. Based in Charlestown, MA, she owns the nearly 87-year-old northeast business publication, Foodservice East. She also freelances for other publications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.