If you’re one of my local readers, you know that this week is one of the greatest weeks to grace our fair city: Boston Restaurant Week. Most restaurants around town are featuring three-course prix fixe meals, only costing $20.07 for lunch and $33.07 for dinner. It’s the perfect opportunity to get to eat at one of the more famous and expensive places in Boston for a price that you can afford.

As would be expected, the reservations at the very best places — Bonfire, Smith and Wollensky, Meritage, Excelsior (yes, I just totally name-czeched you), Pigalle, the Federalist — are snapped up almost immediately. But there are plenty of options. Janelle and I were planning to do lunch somewhere today, so last night I began surfing around on the concierge software we use at work to see what reservations were left.

And I found one at 11:30 AM at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

I couldn’t believe it. Ruth’s Chris had been fully booked for weeks. But it was there, and I snagged it and reserved it, then called the restaurant to confirm — and THEY couldn’t believe that I had it, either!

I’ve always wanted to go to Ruth’s Chris, but it being crazily expensive, it never happened. So Janelle and I were thrilled to walk into Old City Hall and actually have the right to eat there….for so cheap!

The service was sub-par. It took forever to get my glass of wine, and the waiter gave the excuse that they had to open a new bottle. PLEASE. I waited tables for several months, and while that’s a viable excuse often given, anyone who’s ever been a server knows that’s complete bullshit. But anyway.

I started with the Louisiana jambalaya, which was good, though in a small cup. Janelle had the garden salad, and I would have gone with that — it was much more reasonably-sized. But then came out the strip steaks. Un-fucking-believable. FANTASTIC. From the very first bite….wow….I do have to say that my first one came out a bit overdone, but I told them and they whisked it away and had me a new one in less than two minutes! (There IS a difference between a warm red center and a warm pink center.) It was SO DELICIOUS….I could go on forever about how good it was. How do they do it?!?! Is it how they cook it, or the amazing juices? I was also happy about the size of it — 12 oz., nice and big.

The mashed potatoes were good — very similar to the ones at Boston Market, which are still the best ones in the world. I saved some and brought them to work, since I promised Jen that I’d bring back whatever I hadn’t finished. (Andy jumped for joy and shared the rest of them with me.) And then came dessert — a delicious chocolate mousse cheesecake that struck the perfect balance between the two flavors. It was small, but so rich it felt like a huge slice. It was absolutely delicious, like eating a piece of heaven.

That was one of the best lunches I have ever had in my life. One of my friends commented that I had a “perma-grin” when I came in to work half an hour later. I was just so happy! My entire body was smiling.

Jen started emailing the rest of the late-nighters at work, pointing out that we really didn’t have as many chances to enjoy Boston Restaurant Week with our weird schedules, but the InterContinental, the hotel we frequent after work (it has a REALLY nice rum bar and a great, cozy yet sophisticated atmosphere), has a Provencal restaurant, Miel, that was serving dinner until 2:00 AM. Six of us met up there after work — Jen, Jess, Brynn, Gader, his girlfriend Irene, and me — and I’m glad we did, because this place had one of the best menus I’ve seen for all of restaurant week.

I started, as did most of us, with a calamari salad. The calamari had a perfect texture, was both rings and tentacles, and was in a Mediterranean vinaigrette. It went well with the arugula in a sweet dressing.

Next was magret de canard, which my family can tell you is one of my very favorite foods. I always order it whenever I end up in France. It’s basically duck breast, but while the French often overdo it, this time it was beautifully rare. And while it’s often quite fatty, this had hardly any fat on it. It was in a sauce that had a touch of ginger in it — SOOOOOOOO good. Absolutely delicious. Nearly all of us got that.

For dessert, I had creme brulee, which was good but not the best I’ve had. Jen and Gader got the flourless chocolate torte — I had a tiny bite and knew I’d be up all night; I really can’t handle chocolate past a certain hour! — with olive oil ice cream. And olive oil ice cream tastes just like olive oil. It’s unnerving. I’m not sure that I liked it, but it definitely had a distinctive taste I haven’t tried before.

The food was SO GOOD!! Both meals were so good in different ways….I LOVED my steak at Ruth’s Chris, and the duck at Miel was SO good, some of the best I’ve ever had. I think it goes without saying that this is one of the best food days I’ve ever had in my life — in the U.S., anyway. (In Florence, you just cannot compare. Don’t even try to come CLOSE.)

Tomorrow night, I’m going out with Carissa, Lisa’s good friend from college whom I’ve been becoming friends with. We’re going to Beacon Hill Bistro — I think I’m going to be having the salmon, but you never know! And after that, I’ll be meeting up with my cruisazy coworkers. Oh, I have been doing SO much good eating….

In other news, I’m going to Quebec City this weekend with James and Mike!! Trifecta reunion!! We’re also meeting up with a bunch of our friends….and I’m the only girl with four or five guys!! James called me last Thursday, while I was at the Hong Kong, and asked me if I wanted to go. I got the time off from work, and I’m going! I’m looking forward to eating some good brasserie food and hopefully seeing the ice hotel.

So if you’re looking to do the next Boston Restaurant Week, let me know! I earn a dollar for every reservation I make — or even up to ten bucks. I’ll be glad to book you a table where you can enjoy a giant, delicious steak for the paltry price of $20.07.

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