Today is day four of the winter/spring version of Restaurant Week Boston 2013 (which continues through this Friday and then picks up for week two, March 24 to 29). We hope that you are enjoying the extraordinary savings and the wonderful eats that the more than 200 participants are offering. But we want to remind you that along with all the revelry and lip-smacking fun, you need to solemnly follow Restaurant Week’s ten commandments. It’s easy sometimes to forget the social contract by which we all need to abide to make sure that the event runs smoothly and that it can continue in the future. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a hand-dandy list of the commandments below.
I. THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER RESERVATIONS FOR THE SAME MEAL
We’ve had reports that some guests (you know who you are) make multiple reservations at different restaurants on the same day and then no-show at some locations (or, heaven forbid, all locations). By all means, go to several restaurants over the course of the promotion, but only make one reservation per meal.
II. REMEMBER SATURDAY TO KEEP IT WHOLLY SEPARATE
On the seventh day, RW takes a day of rest so that dining establishments can revert to their regular menus on what is traditionally their busiest day. (However, a few participating eateries actually do include Restaurant Week Boston specials on Saturday as well.)
III. HONOR THY WAITER AND THY WAITRESS
Sure, you can save all kinds of dough while chowing down on great food. But when it comes time to tip your server, consider the real value of your meals and figure the gratuity accordingly.
IV. THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY USUAL HANGS
This commandment is not, um, carved in stone. If you want to go to one of your tried-and-true favorite places, by all means knock yourself out. But RW offers a unique opportunity to be adventurous and try a brand new (to you) restaurant — at perhaps a fraction of what it would typically cost.
V. REMEMBER THE PLACES YOU TRIED AND KEEP THEM IN MIND
If you had wonderful experiences, consider returning to the same spots after RW for more wonderful experiences.
VI. THOU SHALT CONSIDER HAVING A DRINK OR TWO
Hey, you’re saving some Benjamins on the food, so how about splurging on the liquid refreshments?
VII. THOU SHALT DRINK RESPONSIBLY
This commandment is not exclusive to RW. But in light of the previous commandment, it bears mentioning here.
VIII. THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR’S PLATE
If the folks at the table next to yours have some dishes that look particularly tasty, restrain yourself. Politely ask them what they ordered. Since RW runs for 12 days, you could make reservations for another day, and get your own meal. (Addendum: While RW scholars assert that it is expressly forbidden to covet thy neighbor’s wife’s plate, some more liberal interpretations contend that it is OK for a husband to covet thy own wife’s plate. Provided that the couple is on good terms, it is likely that the spouse will allow her hubby a nibble or two of her meal. Unless, of course, the meal includes an apple, in which case it remains forbidden.)
IX. THOU SHALT REMEMBER THY MANNERS
Just because it is possible to get a 5-star meal at a 1-star price does not mean that you should bring your 1-star behavior to the table and stink up the joint. Be considerate of proper attire; remember all of the dining etiquette that your mother tried to instill in you; and otherwise conduct yourself as if you actually belonged there.
X. REMEMBER TO SHARE YOUR RESTAURANT WEEK EXPERIENCES
See that “Leave a Reply” box all the way down at the bottom of the page? (Go ahead and scroll down. I’ll wait.) After you’ve dined at participating eateries, how about posting a comment? I’d enjoy hearing from you, as would the restaurants and your fellow diners.
You may want to print the commandments and take them with you as you dine around town. Be sure to print out extra copies to share with your friends and family. And, of course, teach them to your children so that they can follow your example and become responsible RW patrons.
One final RW commandment: Go forth and enjoy yourself.