As if scrambling around to promote itself for the Olympics wasn’t straining the resources of the Chicago Convention & Tourism bureau enough, now they’re putting on a restaurant week. The promotion, subtitled “Eat It Up,” is to take place during the last week in February, and offers three course lunches for $21.95 and dinners for $31.95. The lit invites us to “delight in 5-star sophistication,” but the ninety-five cent suffix makes that damn-near impossible (for comparison, New York’s restaurant week offers the same deal for $24.07 and $35, respectively. Get it?)
To be sure, the CCTB assembled a decent roster: Aria, Naha, and Primehouse all appeal. But a lot of the options are chains, and for many, a $35 prix fixe basically just means getting a free dessert thrown in. Because remember, you have to pay for sides and beverages, and tax and tip. Restaurant weeks, wherever they occur in America, are more publicity stunt than value opportunity.
But hey, if it inspires you to go somewhere new, then all the better for it.
[Photo: the somewhat unfortunate logo]