Warning: Special Prix Fixe Can Cause Menu Envy

We went to One Market on Monday for the start of the Open Table Appetite Stimulus Plan event running this week at various SF restaurants (previously).

Having survived several Dine About Town meals and now one Appetite Stimulus meal, we realize that we have a little advice when it comes to making the most out of these limited-time-only prix fixe menus.

Up until last night we always thought the best way to approach these special events was to eat at the restaurants that would normally fall out of our price range thereby getting the opportunity to sample an upscale menu at a manageable price. But here’s the thing: if you don’t have your ordering guard up against menu envy you can end up spending a lot more then you bargained for.

We sat down in our booth at One Market happy to have the warm pear salad starter, pork loin main dish and gingerbread dessert featured on their Appetite Stimulus menu, but our dining partner got distracted by the duck breast dish on the regular menu and one glance at the Brussels sprout side and I abandoned the Stimulus Plan, too. Of course, we tried to make it work, rationalizing our decision.

“Well, if we both order entrees off the main menu that we like and split a dessert we won’t spend any more then we planned if we got the $35 prix fixe.”

Which would have worked if we didn’t decide to get the Dessert Trio to split ($15) and drinks.

Our $35 meal turned into a $47 meal. Factor in tax and tip, and we were out about $60 when we left the restaurant.

The moral of our story? Instead of dining at a restaurant that would normally be too expensive for your taste, pick a restaurant that wouldn’t tax your wallet if there weren’t a special going on. This way, if you decide that you don’t want what’s being offered on the special menu you won’t have sticker shock if you decide go your own way and order what you wish.

Appetite Stimulus [Open Table]
One Market [Menupages]
One Market [Official Site]

[Photo of One Market via LFL16/Flickr]

Warning: Special Prix Fixe Can Cause Menu Envy