February 19th– February 28th is this year’s Restaurant Week. What does that mean? Restaurants across the city,(over 160) have prix fixed menus for lunch and/or dinner in hopes of driving traffic into their spot, and maybe (like me) bringing in people who may otherwise not be able to afford these classy locations.
This year will be the first that I take advantage of this unreal deal. I already have 3 reservations booked, at 3 very different restaurants that normally I would have a very hard time shelling out the cash for just one meal. But for $32 for 3 course for dinner at a 4 star restaurant in Chicago, I’m all in. But you can imagine my somewhat anxiety about in one week eating out not only three times, but each 3 full courses=calories. I am fully prepared to savor the moment at these places, but would prefer not to have to be rolled to the last spot.
So what to do? Here is my game plan;
- Make smart choices. Our first spot is a steak house. It is known for aged steaks, I’m not a vegetarian, so I can’t order chicken at a place famous for steak. So I will get the leanest cut, salad to start, veggies on the side and a lighter dessert. Also avoid, buttery rich sauces topped with cheese, etc.
- Make smart choices beforehand and stick to them. Most of the menus for restaurant week are already listed online. I’m a big fan of looking ahead and getting my brain around the “smarter choices” so when I walk in, I can stick to my guns and go with that healthier decision. (unless a special is just too good to pass up)
- Not feel forced to be in the “clean plate club”. Just because the food is the best food I have ever eaten, I still can enjoy my bites without stuffing myself sick because I know I will dream about those left over bites later.
- Eat slow. Similar concept as above, but emphasizing truly enjoying each flavor and eat bite. The chefs don’t cook the meals in seconds, so I should shovel it in within seconds.
- Hydrate. I am a big water drinker during dinner. I have come to realize that not only is this providing hydration to my body, but more importantly it is helping to fill me up-with ZERO calories.
- Exercise. When possible, I already have it in my head that I will try to squeeze in that extra day at the gym that week. Not only will it actually help burn off some calories, it may help with my peace of mind those nights after a big meal when I can’t get off the couch.
- Most importantly, don’t stress about it, enjoy. Restaurant week is only one week, and for your health, it may be a good thing. I don’t eat like that everyday so again, in moderation it will balance out.
If you haven’t made your reservations yet, make sure to do so-they book up quick! Here is a list of all the restaurants in the city that are participating this year and their prix fix menus.