We sorted through menu offerings and spoke to restaurateurs to find six of the best deals.
Open a little over a year, this fine-dining French bistro has drawn the attention of city and Main Line critics alike with its highly polished interior and picture-perfect plates. The $35 dinner features a 10-ounce, peppercorn-crusted steak and seared salmon served over saffron-tinged creamed corn. But co-owner Justin Weathers says it’s the rotisserie chicken that you really shouldn’t miss.
“The chicken is cooked in our wood-fired rotisserie, which imparts this smokiness and creates this incredibly juicy meat that gets served over really rich potatoes,” Weathers says. It’s his favorite item on the menu. “It’s heaven.”
Weathers’ other top pick is the first-course chilled corn soup, typically priced at about $12 due to the jumbo lump crab meat that tops it. For dessert, choose the strawberry mascarpone mousse, an elegant conclusion for a summertime meal that would normally run about $50.
7 Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, $35 dinner, 610-589-0500, destinationardmore.com/restaurantweek/the-bercy
When Mr. K.C. Foo moved to the Main Line in 1971, there was a dearth of Chinese food options. Two years later, Foo debuted Hunan, his first restaurant, rooted by recipes from his home province of the same name. Fast forward more than 40 years, and the family-owned establishment has become an Ardmore fixture, and certainly one to check out during restaurant week.
»READ MORE: Hunan, back with a wow
For $10, enjoy such dishes as much-praised hot and sour soup, pickled cucumbers, crispy Sichuan mala chicken, and Shanghai beignets — a four-course feast that would normally be $25. There’s also a $25 dinner menu that loses the luxury of a fourth course but makes up for it with such added options as pork dumplings and Mongolian lamb.
47 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, $10 lunch, $25 dinner, 610-642-3050, destinationardmore.com/restaurantweek/hunan
Restaurant week lunch and dinner are a steal at this Korean spot, each saving you about $15. Both menus offer the highly popular Korean fried chicken wings (normally $10), available bone-in or boneless, with multiple sauces, such as honey-garlic and extra spicy. Lunch ends in a large stir-fry with meat or vegetables, while dinner offers four entree options. For the best value, order the dduk baegi hae mul tang, a spicy seafood soup with shrimp, calamari, mussels, and clams, or the galbi jjim, braised short ribs cooked with chestnuts, dates, and veggies. Both are normally priced at $25, the cost of the whole three-course dinner.
“In Korea, we’d eat galbi jjim when all of the families would gather together on special occasions, like a birthday,” says Bam Bam manager Julia Lee. “The meat is really tender, and it’s covered in this rich, sweet and savory sauce.”
31 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, $15 lunch, $25 dinner, 484-844-7827, destinationardmore.com/restaurantweek/bam-bam-kitchen
Award-winning beer pairs nicely with discounted food, and Ardmore’s beloved brewpub puts out both for restaurant week. The best bargain on the two-course, $15 lunch menu is the beer queso nachos plus the beer-battered fish or braised pork tacos. You’ll save $9, the perfect amount to put toward another draft or two. Or, if you’re looking to splurge, consider investing those dollars in a 750-milliliter bottle of Sticky Drippy Crystals ($20), a local wildflower honey saison that took home second place in this year’s Philadelphia Inquirer Brewvitational barrel-aged beer category.
35 Cricket Terrace, Ardmore, $15 lunch, 484-413-2983, tiredhands.com/fermentaria
If it’s meat you’re after — and lots of it — ArdmoreQ is your restaurant week go-to. The casual BBQ joint has two $25-dinner deals, the first won’t save as much, but you’ll get a quarter-rack of ribs, ¼ pound of pulled pork, and ¼ pound smoked sausage; the sampler is paired with BBQ-spiced mac and cheese and bacon-laden collard greens. Opt for the three courses and you can choose from such appetizers as smoked jumbo wings or pork shank dipped in chipotle sauce, hearty sides, plus a half-pound of any meat. The St. Louis ribs here normally go $14, so they’re the best bargain, but no matter what you choose, you’re bound to leave with leftovers.
64 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, $25 dinner, 610-642-0100, destinationardmore.com/restaurantweek/ardmore-q
This stylish gastropub’s $35 three-course dinner saves $12 from what it would typically cost, and a $25 cocktail pairing essentially gives you three drinks for the cost of two. For the best value, order the garlicky grilled shrimp (six to an order, normally $13) and the four-ounce filet mignon (normally $27), served with truffle butter, fries, and an heirloom tomato salad.
If it were up to executive chef and owner Biff Gottehrer, though, he’d pick the half-roasted chicken (usually $23), drizzled with a salsa verde and served with local Lancaster grits and roasted artichokes. Gottehrer also notes that the deep-fried Brussels sprouts, though cheaper than the shrimp, are the most popular item on Ripplewood’s menu.
“I tried to take them off at the start of summer, but we got so many objections that we had to bring them back,” says Gottehrer. The Brussels are on the two-course, $15 lunch menu, too, alongside such mains as a brisket Reuben and rock shrimp tacos on house-made corn tortillas.
For dinner, make sure to save room for dessert: a sampler of the brookie (half brownie, half cookie), a ricotta doughnut with Nutella sauce and kumquat jam, and a cheesecake custard with huckleberry sauce.