Do you have a list of countless restaurants that are just too expensive for a college student’s budget? Do you dream of eating at the best restaurants in Center City some day in the near future? Am I assuming that everyone at Drexel is as equally invested in the Philadelphia food scene as I am? Probably, but I digress.
However, there is some exceptionally good news for Drexel students who love fine dining — or just, quite simply, high-quality food — and it is that the Center City District Restaurant Week is beginning this Sunday, Jan. 12, and extending all the way to Friday, Jan. 24.
So what occurs during a “Restaurant Week,” you may ask? Well, it’s quite an elegant thing. Many restaurants participate in offering a three-course meal at a set price, allowing them to showcase their cuisine and their culinary capabilities for a rate lower than their usual markup (alcohol, tax and gratuity not included). For dinner, the set price is $35. For lunch, it’s a mere $20! Imagine going to one of your favorite restaurants in the city for a three-course meal and not having to cough up a fortune!
From the list found on the Center City District’s website, 134 restaurants have signed up to participate in this year’s Restaurant Week. The list begins with 1028 Yamitsuki Sushi & Ramen and extends alphabetically all the way to Zama — both of which are authentic Japanese restaurants to bookend the list of participating spots.
So many household Philadelphia restaurant names are participating that it’s downright impossible to get to them all. Alma de Cuba, Branzino, Bud & Marilyn’s, Forsythia, Giuseppe and Sons, Gran Caffe L’Aquila, Little Nonna’s, Osteria, Porta, Scarpetta, Spice Finch and so many more have signed up for this fun experience.
Almost every restaurant is boasting three courses, while some are even boasting four! Depending on the restaurant, it will usually include an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. Some restaurants are also offering special cocktails to accompany the Restaurant Week courses, and the underlying alcohol of choice seems to be ROKU gin. However, don’t fear! There will be postings with how to make the CCD Restaurant Week cocktails back at home for those who want to try their own hands at recreating their favorite drinks.
Practically every restaurant that is offering a specialty cocktail to pair with their Restaurant Week menu includes ROKU gin as their base alcohol. The easy explanation for this is that ROKU Gin is one of the main sponsors of Center City District Restaurant Week, along with Suntory Whisky, OpenTable, The Met Philadelphia, Philadelphia Parking Association and more.
Continuing with the sponsors, the Philly Parking Authority and the Philly Parking Association will be offering validated parking for Restaurant Week eaters. In addition, TD Bank will be giving out paid-for meals for patrons who sign up for a contest with a surprise dinner, and there are even more contests to enter that could potentially win you 52 restaurant gift certificates and a four-pack of premium tickets to The Met.
Going back to the deal of CCD Restaurant Week, the deals for some of these restaurants are downright insane. According to a Thrillist article written about the deals of CCD Restaurant Week, many of the participating restaurants are serving dishes — entrees especially — that would normally set you back a good $30, and that’s just a third or fourth of the meal! At Giuseppe and Sons, the prosciutto appetizer is normally $13 and the picatta entree is normally $23, which means that a mere portion of the bountiful options for your four-course meal would already cost more than the flat rate of $35 on a normal day at the newly-famed Italian spot.
If you want to try one of your bucket list restaurants in Philadelphia, these next two weeks will be the best option you have all year. Speak now, or forever let your wallet hold your peace.