Foodie's Dream: Collingswood Restaurant Week
Our food columnist says Collingswood Restaurant Week offers some of the best local flavors of autumn.
Hi, everybody. I’m excited to announce I’ll be a more regular fixture here on Collingswood and Haddonfield Patches. Beginning today, and featured every other Thursday, I’ll be musing on any and all things food, and keeping you updated on all the interesting food and restaurant events happening around both towns. All set? Good.
I’m especially excited to kick off this particular week, because one of my favorite events begins Sunday, Oct. 23 in Collingswood: Restaurant Week.
Restaurant Week is probably the most exciting time of the year for foodies. Especially foodies on a budget, i.e. me. It’s this great promotion that generally occurs regionally, where restaurants feature a special menu with several courses for a set price. I love Restaurant Week because it grants the opportunity to try all of those great restaurants you’ve heard about but probably couldn’t afford. It’s the adult version of having a sample cup at an ice cream parlor. Money saved up for a special night with a loved one is now three special nights. It’s a blessing in a bad economy.
Restaurant Week is a very busy time for participating restaurants, so on behalf of the chefs and front of the house, there’s a bit of etiquette you should follow to ensure things run smoothly. First of all, make reservations well ahead of time. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Also, tip properly. Servers and the kitchen alike are going to be busier than normal, and it’s important not to take unexpected delays out on the wallets of the employees.
Speaking of which, don’t tamper with your order. Menus for Restaurant Week are posted online ahead of time for a number of reasons, not the least of which is so that you can make up your mind on what you want to eat before you even make those reservations. Timing in the kitchen is very delicate, especially during the hectic Restaurant Week period, so don’t tamper with it by messing with your order. If you don’t like the menu at Blackbird, don’t eat there. When things go smoothly, everybody has a good time.
So what was that about menus being printed online? I’m glad you asked. What I love about the timing of Collingswood’s Restaurant Week is that many restaurants are incorporating some of my favorite autumn ingredients into their menu. Glancing over the menus, I’ve spotted pumpkin ravioli, pasta with sage cream sauce, butternut squash soup and sweet potato macchiato. The desserts promise seasonal decadence as well.
Collingswood is, as always, a BYOB, allowing the opportunity to pair your dinner with some excellent pumpkin and Octoberfest beers. My recommendation: If you can still find it, Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale is far and away the best pumpkin beer on the market, and well worth its cost. There’s a number of great Octoberfest beers, but my favorite is still the original, Sam Adams Octoberfest.
So indulge, because as far as food is concerned, ‘tis the season. My theory is that sweaters are worn this time of year less for the weather and more to hide the holiday pounds. It was a hot summer; you earned it.
Speaking of Restaurant Week: SJHotChefs.com (the South Jersey Independent Restaurant Association) is hosting a Fall Harvest Restaurant Week of its own, from Oct. 30 through Nov. 4. Blackbird in Collingswood and a handful of Haddonfield restaurants, including da Soli, The Little Tuna and Tre Famiglia Ristorante are participating. Click here for details.
Got some news you’d like me to cover? Give me a tip! Davevaliante@gmail.com.