It’s that time of the semester again, folks — Restaurant Week is back. So take a break from that Sodexo life and spend some time familiarizing yourselves with Binghamton’s finest eateries.
Binghamton Restaurant Week is famous for two reasons: the food is phenomenal, and the price is right.
It’s an excuse to wine and dine at new restaurants. Restaurants lure diners in with catchy price-point phrases such as “$10 for a three-course meal!” Sound enticing? Don’t fall for it. Sometimes, Restaurant Week isn’t worth it.
Oftentimes, Restaurant Week brings the worst out of restaurants. Due to the allure of the “unbeatable” deals that every restaurant offers, many diners flock to restaurants during peak dinner and lunch hours, causing long waits and poor service, which is not exactly the high-quality dining experience that most restaurants promise to their diners.
Also, $20-25 per dinner is not exactly cheap, nor is it considered a “deal” if the service is not up to par. After tip and tax, the average Restaurant Week-er will ultimately spend around $30 per dinner. That’s $10 per course. Was that blueberry crumble really worth $10?
Although some diners may not tolerate the wait and service, others are still determined to survive and conquer Restaurant Week.
Use discretion when choosing which restaurants to visit. But if you need some help, below is a list of restaurants that are actually worth visiting and tips to get a bang for your buck this Restaurant Week.
PLACES TO GO
1. Dinner and lunch — Cortese Restaurant
Nothing bad can be said about these lunch and dinner menus. Cortese is one of the few restaurants that is maintaining the original $20/three-course meal deal, so, including tax and tip, diners should spend roughly $25 for a dinner. Also, Number 5 will not be featuring a filet mignon on its Restaurant Week menu this time around, so if you’re looking for a good steak meal at a decent price, Cortese is where you’ll find it.
2. Lunch — Lost Dog Café
Lost Dog Café is definitely a Binghamton favorite, but, unfortunately, only the lunch menu is worth your time for Restaurant Week. For just $10 you can get a complete three-course meal. Entrées will include the beloved rigatoni ala vodka, which is usually $9.95 on its own. The same dish is offered on the dinner menu, so why pay double when you can get essentially the same meal for half the price? Don’t do dinner; go for lunch.
3. Dinner — Czech Pleeze
Unlike the Lost Dog Café, Czech Pleeze is really only worth going for dinner. As opposed to the traditional $20 per dinner deal, Czech Pleeze is offering a three-course meal for just $15! Although this restaurant is generally fairly priced year-round, the dinner menu includes a sample platter with impressive side dishes and desserts to die for. Definitely worth the visit.
DON’T GO HERE
1. Water Street Brewing Co.
This Restaurant Week menu is definitely not impressive enough compared to its competitors. For $20, you can still get a delicious meal, but you might be able to get a better deal from ordering individual items off of their regular menu. And Water Street Brewing Co. is really only worth going for the beer. Save your money and go somewhere else for Restaurant Week.
2. Taste of Europe
Like Water Street Brewing Co., the menu is not competitive enough to demand $20. Instead, you can get a similar and cheaper European meal from Czech Pleeze.
3. Binghamton HOTS
There’s a reason why Binghamton HOTS is not offering a dinner menu. The regular menu is already so reasonably priced and the portions are already so large, it’s not really worth spending the extra money to get a three-course meal from HOTS. Also, HOTS isn’t really the type of place you eat at if you’re on date or in any way sober.
To view complete lists and menus for Restaurant Week, visit their website.