With the Kings debacle fresh in our collective consciousness, let’s focus on something this town does well, food. We’re the fark to form capital of the world, and no one’s going to take that from us. Tonight marks the start of the annual Dine Downtown Week (Jan 9-18) which is so big that it can’t be contained by a mere 7-day week but must expand over to a metric 10-day week. Each restaurant puts together a 3-course/$30 meal and waits for the throngs to come pouring in.
If you, in fact, dine Downtown all ten nights, I admire your eating enthusiasm. But, if you, like me, are holding yourself to a few nights only, these are the spots I wouldn’t miss:
Biba-Â sure, it feels like you’re eating in 1989 in there, but who cares? The cooking is always expert and the flavors rarely miss. You’ll get salad, pasta, and entrÃ©eÂ for $30, way below the usual Biba mark-up.
The Porch– Try the soft shell crab & waffle. Why? Because when else are you gonna try it.
Blackbird-Â Sure I’m disappointed that their three courses aren’t all seafood, but what’re you gonna do. If you haven’t been by the new eatery, let this event be your motivation. The space is hip and the food is uniquely awesome.
Ella-Â but only if you’re a vegetarian, becauseÂ meat ain’t on the menu. However, theÂ pappardelle with egg and lemon, one of this town’s best dishes, is.
Grange– four words: smoked sweet potato chowder
Il Fornaio– Sure it’s a chain, I don’t care. I have a soft spot in my heart for this place that’s going to require surgery. Their food hits me right in the wheelhouse every time, and their menu might be the best $30 bargain in town.
Mulvaney’sÂ B&L– It’s been too long since I’ve been to Mulvaney’s. I don’t care what they’re serving. I’m going.
Red Rabbit-Â These guys continue to do just about everythingÂ right, including their DDWÂ menu. They’re offering their best-in-town beet salad, chicken or ossobuco, and egg nog creme brulee. Screw the crowds, I’ll be fighting my way in there Hacksaw Jim Duggan style.
RestuarantÂ THIR13EN-Â It’s hard enough to get a seat at TuliÂ on a non-promotional night, so I’m stopping by 13 for a good-looking menu with plenty of variety.