OK, OK. Grub Street has been known to criticize Restaurant Week, and we’re definitely not alone. Let’s face it: It can be a bit of a … rip-off. Do you really want the opportunity to pay upwards of $20 for a three-course lunch at a restaurant that just might confine you to plebeian options like roast chicken, salad, and maybe (just maybe!) your choice of dessert? Yes, Restaurant Week is sometimes a letdown. At its best, though, RW can be a wonderful thing, a chance to explore exciting eateries hitherto undiscovered, sometimes cheaply. This holds true a few miles north in Portsmouth, where tons of local mom-and-pop spots plan to participate in their very own Restaurant Week, kicking off as we type this.
We usually pilgrimage across state lines in the summer to plunge ourselves into the ocean and then gorge on fried clams, so this is a nice reminder that there’s plenty of good eating to be done even during the chillier months. Prices are gentle, too: The 3-course prix fixe menus at restaurants around town include lunch $16.95 per person, or dinner for $29.95 per person.
Grub-friend/Portsmouth critic Rachel Forrest, who’s provided us with regional insight for various slideshows, offers a helpful round-up of participating restaurants and their accompanying apps, plus must-orders at spots throughout the city. Beef empanadas at Brazo? Shark bites at Mombo? Don’t mind if we do, New Hampshire!