With my boyfriend out in San Francisco indefinitely, our opportunity for weekend visits (we’ve been long distance our entire relationship, but 140 miles pales in comparison to over 2,000) is currently non-existent and I haven’t had much motivation to make recipes when I’m dining alone. Leftovers are great to take to work for lunch the next day, but there’s just something depressing about it. So lately, my cooking has consisted primarily of bits and pieces of things thrown together from my pantry and fridge.
And then there are the days I say fuck everything and order/dine out.
Last week, however, I had the perfect excuse to treat myself: a friend’s birthday and Madison Restaurant Week.
During Restaurant Week–which began on Sunday, January 18th and lasted through Friday, January 23rd–50 restaurants offered lunch and/or dinner specials that included variations of some of their top choices menu items. All specials were three course meals, with the lunch specials being $15 and the dinner specials either $25, $30 or $35 depending on the restaurant.
My friend had picked Ruth’s Chris Steak House, a restaurant we had both fallen in love with two years ago on our spring break trip to Florida. My then-not-but-now-boyfriend’s father let our travel group of four treat ourselves to a nice dinner, and we easily racked up a $300+ bill. Fortunately for us this time around, we would be able to enjoy a meal for $30. This of course is not including the charge for the bottle of wine we split because duh. It was Martini & Rossi Prosecco Sparkling Wine, and it was very good.
Our appetizer choices were the Steak House Salad, Caesar Salad, and their Soup of the Day, which fortunately turned out to be my favorite, Lobster Bisque. Now this was a smaller portion than the one I had in Florida, but every bite was just as wonderful as I remembered. The bisque was so perfectly smooth and creamy, with the perfect lobster flavor without the seafood taste being too overwhelming.
While the Stuffed Chicken Breast and Almond-Crusted Tilapia were both extremely good options for the entrée, let’s be real, we were all at a steak house to eat a good steak, and every single one of us chose the Petite Filet. They describe it as “the most tender cut of corn-fed Midwestern beef, broiled expertly to melt in your mouth” and damn if that isn’t correct. We also had a choice of accommodation between their mashed potatoes, creamed spinach or sautéed mushrooms. They add roasted garlic to their mashed potatoes so I couldn’t resist.
Our last course was a dessert choice between Bread Pudding, Chocolate Mousse Cup and Fresh Seasonal Berries with Sweet Cream Sauce. We had an even mix of all three around the table, and I personally chose the mousse, which can in an edible Godiva chocolate cup and was just perfect. These again were all smaller portions than what they usually feature but were the perfect end to our meal and there were no complaints at the table. The bread pudding was actually rather adorable; it looked like a bread pudding muffin drizzled in their whiskey sauce. I sampled a friend’s and it was very well done in my opinion, and I’m a stickler about good bread pudding.
The meal was definitely a nice reunion on a budget with one of my favorite steak houses. I highly recommend it for a date night that you’re able to splurge on.
It was hard not to just let my dollars fly and eat out every night last week. We have plenty of great restaurants to boast about here in Madison! Definitely one of the things I love about this city.
Be sure to check on Restaurant Weeks happening in your area! It’s the perfect excuse to take your significant other or your friends into the city for a fine dining experience. If it’s just you, that’s wonderful too! Remember, TREAT. YO. SELF.
Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful! xx