The Upstate Life
The Upstate Life

Thursday, August 04, 2005
TUL's Take: Restaurant Week at Smith & Wollensky

The Upstate Life went out to dinner last night at Smith & Wollensky, one of two restaurants TUL is participating in the real best week ever, also known as DC Restaurant Week. The evening kicked off nicely with the steakhouse offering free valet parking, a plus in The Upstate Life's book obvs. Since Homer Simpson put it best saying that "public transportation is for losers", there's just nothing easier than pulling up to Smith & Wollensky and not having to worry about parking in downtown DC. We were seated to our table promptly and were given their Restaurant Week selections in addition to their normal menu. A few minutes later, the waiter served our table an assortment of unique breads, but it was their warm pretzel bread that instantly became TUL's favorite out of the entire selection. For the first course of the meal, there was a choice of three salads so I went ahead and ordered the Caesar. It was very good, not saturated with dressing but lightly coated with thin slices of cheese on top. A good start to what would be an excellent dinner.

For the main course, I ordered the 10oz Filet Mignon which of course was a no-brainer. Smith & Wollensky entrée's do not include a side dish, so we decided to order one of their Sides for Two instead. After some deliberation between the creamed spinach and whipped potatoes, our waiter recommended that we choose the latter. I could definitely see why; they were perhaps the best whipped/mashed potatoes The Upstate Life has honestly ever had. They were incredibly rich and full of flavor with just the right amount of seasoning. Our server actually served them out of a miniature pot from the kitchen, leaving it on the table for seconds which was a nice touch. But yes, back to the Filet. It was amazing, very savory and so tender that a butter knife could've easily cut through it rather than the gigantic steak knife that accompanied the dish. It was a little dryer than expected, but apparently that is their style at this establishment. Nonetheless, it was very delicious and an incredible value. A la carte, this item would've cost $32, so that speaks volumes on the extraordinary deal Restaurant Week provided us at S&W.

Between the three options we had for dessert, I went for the carrot cake. Once again, I was not disappointed. It was arguably the most enormous slice of cake I have ever laid eyes on. Not only was this brick of a dessert comprised of at least six layers, but there must've been at least half of stick of cream cheese used to create this decadent ending to our three-course meal. In all honesty, you cannot get more bang for your buck at Restaurant Week than at Smith & Wollensky. Even our waiter said it was one of the best deals in town, which I easily believed after leaving with a full stomach. I'll never be able to step foot in Outback again after this experience.

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