San Diego Restaurant Week starts tomorrow, January 19th and there are over 180 area eateries participating this year which makes it an affordable way to try that new hot restaurant or revisit a favorite one. My husband and I had the opportunity to preview one restaurant’s menu for the event last week.
About San Diego Restaurant Week
Restaurants are offering three course prix-fixe dinner menus for just $25, $35 or $45 per person, and the perfect lunch pairings at prix-fixe menus for just $10, $15 or $20 per person depending on the dining destination. To take advantage of these deals you don’t have to do anything other than make a reservation at your selected restaurant(s) and show up to enjoy the food.
Restaurant Week is scheduled to end Friday, January 24th but many restaurants have extended it from January 26-31 so don’t give up if you can’t make all of them by Friday!
This past September, over 140,000 people participated in the event and even more are expected in January. For more information and to view a complete list of participating locations in San Diego Restaurant Week, please visit SanDiegoRestaurantWeek.com or call 619-233-5008.
Experiencing Fogo De Chao
Neither of us had ever been to a Brazilian steakhouse which is why we were thrilled to get a confirmed reservation at Fogo De Chao. I’d heard great things about the restaurant from friends in my office and couldn’t wait for this unique experience.
We had 6 pm reservations and were seated promptly. I really liked the restaurant’s contemporary design although the tables were a little too close for my taste. There is a small bar off the entrance. Although there are glass walls you can’t see it from inside the restaurant because the wine room is in between. There were stunning fresh flower arrangements on top of the salad bar and around the restaurant.
Speaking of the salad bar, it was filled with enough options to make a very satisfying meal alone. It’s a feast of gourmet salads, fresh vegetables, imported cheeses, artisan breads, cured meats and more.
My friends had warned me not to overdo the salad so I had restraint and didn’t get to try everything. It’s a good reason to go back and just dine on the salad bar some night. We ordered cocktails which arrived at the table while I was preparing my salad.
I had a Brazilian-inspired cocktail, Superfruit Lemonade which was filled with delicious fruit I tried to scoop out and eat when the drink was gone. My husband stuck with his favorite bourbon and coke.
To enjoy with our salad we received a basket of warm cheese bread called pão de queijo. I couldn’t stay away from them and before our meal ended had eaten three! The meal includes limitless service of traditional Brazilian side dishes, including: crispy hot polenta, garlic mashed potatoes and caramelized bananas.
They were all very good but only one kept me returning which was the crispy polenta. I just about ate the entire plate myself! Now it was time to start enjoying the meats. For those of you that have never been to a Brazilian steakhouse you are given a card colored green on one side and red on the other.
You turn the green side up to signal the chefs to begin tableside service. They’ll start bringing you fire-roasted meats to the table and slide it off to serve. Which is why you also get tongs to help direct the slice to your table. When you want a break or are done just flip the disc to the red side.
Here’s my husband getting a piece of meat from the gaucho. It came fast and furious! You’ll choose as much as you want from 11 different meats on the Restaurant Week menu. For the record my favorite was the bacon-wrapped filet mignon!
The third course included a choice of three desserts. Steve selected the cheesecake with strawberries. Steve enjoyed his dessert but after a big meal I was happy to find the chocolate mousse cake was light while full of chocolately goodness.
I want to mention that the service was very good throughout the meal. The servers were very attentive and made sure we had fresh plates and utensils when needed and that we were never waiting for anything.
You can get the three course meal for $45 during restaurant week and a two course (no dessert) lunch for $20. Fogo De Chao is extending it so be sure to get there by the 31st for a unique yet delicious dining experience.
Disclosure: I received the $45 restaurant week menu for two people in exchange for this preview. No other compensation was provided and all opinions expressed are 100% mine. This post was previously published on Two Savvy Sisters which is no longer active.