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Weak week?

Annual Schenectady Restaurant Week drawing mixed reviews

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
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Weak week?


From left, Chris and Katelyn Cittadino and Alison and Luke Wilkinson, all of Schenectady, enjoy a meal Tuesday at The Stockade Inn in Schenectady during Schenectady Restaurant Week.
From left, Chris and Katelyn Cittadino and Alison and Luke Wilkinson, all of Schenectady, enjoy a meal Tuesday at The Stockade Inn in Schenectady during Schenectady Restaurant Week.

— This year’s Schenectady Restaurant Week is turning into a roller coaster ride.

Some restaurants said the first two days of the promotion were very slow, but others said it’s been the best year so far.

“Reservations are up. You can’t ask for more than that on a cold, blustery winter day,” said Tom Gallant, owner of Turf Tavern in Scotia.

He said this week is shaping up to be among the best ever for the promotion. Why? He has no idea. Maybe people are coming to expect the prix fixe every winter, he said.

Each year, the promotion has been offered during a different week. This year, it runs through Sunday, with three-course meals for $20.13.

Gallant said choosing a school vacation week to entice diners was a winner.

“This would be a slower than normal week because it’s school vacation week. It’s a slower week at Proctors, and tablecloth restaurants tend to be slower,” he said.

At Water’s Edge Lighthouse in Glenville, business is also booming.

“We’re doing great. I hate to jinx myself,” owner Karen Popolizio said Wednesday. “We’re getting more walk-ins. We were pleasantly busy last night, and tonight’s sheet is looking very good.”

She added that there’s no doubt the promotion adds business during a normally slow period.

“It’s definitely better than without it,” she said.

But some restaurants aren’t having the same experience. At Bangkok Bistro in downtown Schenectady, only a couple patrons have ordered the prix fixe menu so far.

Business isn’t any better at nearby Katie O’Byrne’s.

“It’s been OK, a little slow,” said manager Kelly Cowell. “We’re hoping that Thursday, Friday will pick it up a little bit.”

She suspects the menu simply isn’t winning over the regulars.

“They just want their pub food. A sandwich and a drink, and they’re done,” she said, “not to have a salad and a desert and an appetizer.”

But she added that she loves the Restaurant Week menu. The special menu calls for cranberry salad, clams casino, stuffed pork chops and carrot cake.

“It sounds good, doesn’t it?” she said.

At least one restaurateur won’t be offering the promotion this weekend. Marotta’s Bar-Risto on Union Street will only offer the prix fixe through Thursday, but owner Chris Marotta said the promotion was going well.

“Restaurant Week is going excellent so far,” he said. “We’re definitely going to have a lot of repeat business because of this.”

 
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