Ah, Restaurant Week has begun! Love it, hate it, don’t care about it at all? Don’t have any idea what I’m talking about?

Restaurant Week [or Dine Out Boston by another name] takes place twice a year for two weeks each time. Scores of restaurants agree to offer pre fixe menus for set prices: 15, 20, or $25 for lunch and 28, 33, or $38 for dinner. Usually three course meals, sometimes two. I know, $38 might be more than you would spend on dinner in the first place, so you’re thinking, how am I benefiting from this at all. But the whole purpose of the thing is for you to gain access to those bougie chi chi restaurants that you maybe always hear about but never go to for fear of overpriced apps. And really just to get people excited about eating out at restaurants in general. Restaurant Week is not without its criticisms, and you probably won’t find some of restaurants you’ve been dying to try [see: Tiger Mama, Oleana] on the participating restaurants list. TBH, I think some chefs absolutely hate Restaurant Week.

Really, I think Restaurant Week is perfect for the classic white tablecloth place. I’m envisioning steakhouses, luxe Italian, candlelight, and scotch. You know, the places that you normally might be a bit uncomfortable eating at. Where your waiter has a business card and there is soft jazz playing in the background. Where it’s immediately clear you’re there for Restaurant Week.

So, yesterday, I went to The Capital Grille for lunch. $25, three courses. I ordered the lobster bisque to start [for a few bucks extra], the salmon as my main, and flourless chocolate espresso cake for dessert. It was delicious. The salmon was perfectly crispy on the outside, not overdone on the inside, and it was a huge portion! I have to admit though, the citrus glaze was not to my tastes. Far too sweet and tangy to be paired with the salmon. The chocolate cake should have been named a slice of chocolate truffle because it was so dense, rich, intense. I loved it but fair warning it will feel like a rock in your stomach. I would skip the lobster bisque, not that it was bad, but it was so creamy [while not very flavorful] that I wished I hadn’t started off a three-course meal with it. The same thing might go for the chowder, but no one in my group got that so I’m not sure. I heard that the sirloin was a great option to go for as well, classic Capital Grille, and the cheeseburger sounded fantastic with the truffle parm fries. But lord knows how you could go back to work after eating that. The crème brûlée was also a great dessert, for those who prefer custard/vanilla to chocolate!

TL;DR: I’d say this Restaurant Week deal is a great option for the price. Big portions and options that don’t feel like kitchen leftovers. If you’ve been wanting to check out the Capital Grille, now is the time!