The 11th annual Restaurant Week is just around the corner (November 13- November 21), and over 75 of Jamaica’s best restaurants will be offering specially selected three-course, fixed-price breakfast, lunch and dinner menus or specials at significantly discounted prices. So basically us regular folk can dine like royalty for a fraction of the normal damage that these restaurants would normally do to our purses and wallets.
So with restaurant week just a few weeks away I’m here to give you a few tips on how to make the most of Restaurant Week Jamaica 2015. Let’s DIG IN:
1. Whats on the MENU?
With over 75 restaurants to choose from, I urge you to follow the good ol’ saying, “know before you go’ or as your teacher used to tell you, “DO YOUR HOMEWORK!” If you plan on dining out this Restaurant week then it’s best to first find out whats on the menu by spending a few minutes or hours (if you’re detail oriented like I am LOL) on the Restaurant Week Website. There you’ll be able to find out what the different options are, like the various categories of Restaurants, the different price points and even the specific Restaurant Week menu for each participating restaurant. This is perhaps the best way of figuring out what works for you and also for your pocket. In other words, do your research and you will not be disappointed.
2. Reserve Early
The sooner your get on the phone to make reservations, the better! Why??? Because people love a ‘Good Deal’ and with several of everyone’s favorite restaurants offering pretty tempting deals, lets just say you won’t be the only one looking to make the most of it. As such, I suggest making your reservations way ahead of time because more than likely you won’t be able to just walk in and get a table. Oh!!! & remember popular Restaurant Week choices will be the first choice for most, so be sure to beat the crowd and reserve for yourself and your party in advance.
3. Arrive On Time
Yes, I know, I know, you went ahead and made reservations and that’s awesome. But if you don’t arrive on time your table will be given away. I told you before that people love a “Good Deal” so during Restaurant Week expect most restaurants to be fully booked and because of this they don’t have the time to accommodate your tardiness no matter what your excuse may be. If you know you are always running late then do yourself a favor and make your reservations for a later time so you have a better chance of being on time.
4. Understand the Price.
I personally have been quite impressed over the years with the Restaurant Week prices (ranging from JMD$1850 to JMD$4300 for a three course meal). I must warn you though…beverages, tips, gratuity and GCT are not included, so if you’re concerned about your budget ask about prices before you order. Plus, there really is nothing wrong with asking for tap water here in JA.
5. Something New
If you plan on taking advantage of the amazing RW deals then I urge you to try something outside of your comfort zone. I personally think RW is the perfect opportunity to expose your taste buds and increase your foodie street cred. Lets stay clear of ‘ordering safe’ and instead lets be more open minded. Plus, most of the participating restaurants will offer fairly limited choices on the menu so there is no room for picky eaters.
6. Tip Your Server Well
If you get amazing service then leave a gracious tip. Let me remind you that being a server is not easy and bad food is not always the server’s fault, so before you crumple up your napkins, storm through the door and leave the restaurant without tipping, ask yourself, “am I punishing the right person?” Don’t think because it is Restaurant Week and you’re getting a discount off a three course meal, means that your server should not be tipped. So this RW leave a gracious tip for the men and women who may make our anniversary dinners, late-night drinks and hook-ups possible.
7. Manage Your Expectations
Let’s get this clear! Please keep in mind that this is Restaurant Week—the week of a “Good Deal’ meal. As such, because these restaurants are providing you with such a great deal you can’t always expect to see your all-time favorite, ‘signature’ dishes on the menu. Instead you may be offered less expensive items on the menu like chicken and fish.
8: Dress Accordingly
I think in recent times, we’ve witnessed a shift from the stuffy environments associated with fine-dining establishments to more casual vibes. Nonetheless not all restaurants have followed suit—there are still quite a few restaurants that still have dress codes. For this RW remember to check the website of your desired restaurant of choice to find out what the required level of dress for both males and females are. Yes it is pretty nice to go and dine in comfort wearing ripped jeans, a white tank-top and tennis shoes but you won’t be feeling so nice when you’re turned away at the door because you aren’t appropriately dressed. So as we said earlier, do your homework and gauge your outfit based on the restaurant of choice.
Since the number of restaurants that are involved in Restaurant Week can be slightly intimidating, I have decided to do you a solid. I have scoured through this year’s participants from the Montego Bay area and I’ve chosen my top 9 restaurant picks which I hope to visit over the 9 days of restaurant week. This is by no means an all inclusive list but, if you are new to this RW game then these are the restaurants that I think will impress you.
1. Chill Out Hut- Tasty (JMD $1850)
2. Pier One- Savory (JMD $2800)
3. Robins Prime- Savory (JMD $2800)
4. Mystic India- Savory (JMD $2800)
5. Yacht Club- Savory (JMD $2800)
6. Pelican Grill- Savory (JMD $2800)
7. House Boat- Delectable (JMD $3800)
8. Round Hill- Epicurean (JMD $4300)
9. Margarites- Epicurean (JMD $4300)