A Big Reason Why You Shouldn’t Do Newport Restaurant Week

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There’s a good chance it doesn’t work like you think it does.

Twice a year, Newport Restaurant Week rolls around and all of a sudden pretty much every restaurant staff in town gets their asses handed to them as a financial defibrillator brings what was simply “the off-season” to life in a big, crowded way.

The premise is simple. You get a three-course meal for a fixed price. $16 for lunch, $35 for dinner.

What Newport Restaurant Week Is Not

Despite how many people treat it, Restaurant Week is not for you to roll into a high-end establishment and get a $90 meal for $35. Most restaurants put a whole lot of planning into adjusting their menu options for the week. Portions, presentation and the like are all adjusted. The higher-priced establishments are making the options smaller and easier-to-make. Meanwhile, the chefs at restaurants that typically target a more…”value-conscious”…customer are suddenly freed from their typical financial restraints and get to go all out for a change.

So if you’re a real cheapskate, realize that you’re not making a killing here. Forty 1° North has not suddenly become a soup kitchen. You’re going to get your money’s worth, certainly, but not some multiplication thereof. Ultimately, this is probably a good thing, because it means that the other fifty weeks out of the year, you’re not about to getting ripped off every time you ask to see a menu.

What Newport Restaurant Week IS

PJs Duck Breast Dumpling SoupNow that everyone realizes that Restaurant Week isn’t simply the Grouponing of Newport, it is still a great opportunity to go out, expand your horizons, try new places and enjoy some great food.

We rarely splurge on a multiple course meal, mostly because we’re reserving our funds, stomach volume and caloric intake for…more liquid offerings. That said, we’re looking through a whole lot of Newport restaurant Facebook posts and thinking, ‘Damn…that looks good.’

It’s also important to go out and participate in Restaurant Week so you can have something to add to any conversations you might be having with any of the Newport foodies you know. When a friend of yours starts raving about the duck breast and steamed dumpling soup they just had at Pour Judgement and asks if you’ve had it, you’ll be able to reply with a “Yes, of course I did” or a “No…BUT I did have their boneless pork spare ribs for lunch…with the bacon-wrapped scallops and a cupcake.”

You also get to whip out your Instagram and tag all your foodie shots with #nptrw, which is fun.

So go ahead and hit up Newport’s restaurant’s every day this week and enjoy the event for what it is. Just dispel the delusion that you’re somehow saving a grand in the process.

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Restaurant Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?