Build Your Own Restaurant Week with Our Prix Fixe Picks

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Photo: Center City District

Restaurant Week (or two weeks) is fast approaching and it will undoubtedly bring with it all of the usual insanity - tables booked until 11 p.m., passive-aggressive, overworked servers, armchair critics railing on Yelp - but there are other options! You can create your own unofficial Restaurant Week and you can do it before the real thing. We've put together a guide of worthy prix fixe offerings from local restaurants, broken down by day of the week. It includes some new restaurants, old favorites and the elusive Friday and Saturday prix fixes.

All menu prices do not include drinks, tax or tip unless otherwise noted.

Monday

Le Bec-Fin
When?: Mondays through Thursdays, through Labor Day.
Price: $35
How many courses?: Three
What do you get?: One appetizer and one entree from limited list; a choice of dessert off of the famous dessert trolley. Sample menu.
Worth It?: $35 to dine at Le Bec? Yes.

Also offering prix fixes on Mondays: Matyson, Lacroix, Derek's, Table 31

Tuesday

Blackfish
When?: Tuesdays only
Price: $45
How many courses?: Four
What do you get?: Chef Chip Roman hosts a tasting every Tuesday, focusing on a single ingredient. Upcoming tastings zero in on lobster (August 4), beef (August 11), and crab (August 18).
Worth It?: The restaurant is BYOB and Roman is considered one of the area's best chefs. The only downside is traveling to Conshohocken.

Also offering prix fixes on Tuesdays: Lacroix, Le Bec-Fin, 10 Arts, Matyson, Meme, Modo Mio, Table 31, Derek's

Wednesday

Fork
When?: Wednesdays only
Price: $40 per person, including wine
How many courses?: Four
What do you get?: The chance to sample fish-expert Terence Feury's three-bell food; menu changes weekly.
Worth It?: If you're not picky, then yes - there are no substitutions and no reservations taken - plus, it's rare that alcohol is included in a prix fixe. Seating is first come, first serve.

Also offering prix fixes on Wednesdays: Lacroix, Le Bec-Fin, 10 Arts, Matyson, Meme, Modo Mio, Table 31, Derek's

Thursday

Matyson
When?: Monday through Thursday
Price: $45
How many courses?: Five
What do you get?: A tasting menu based around a single ingredient. Recent offerings include a pork menu and a local produce menu.
Worth It?: Yes.

Also offering prix fixes on Thursday: Lacroix, Le Bec-Fin, 10 Arts, Meme, Modo Mio, Table 31

Friday

Modo Mio
When?: Tuesday through Saturday
Price: $33
How many courses?: Four
What do you get?: Pick one dish from each menu section
Worth It?: The price is right and you can order off of the regular menu. The restaurant is BYOB.

Also offering prix fixes on Fridays: 10 Arts, Matyson, Meme, Modo Mio, Table 31, Derek's

Saturday

Meme
When?: Tuesday through Saturday, through September 5
Price: $35
How many courses?: Three
What do you get?: Choose an appetizer, entrée and dessert from chef David Katz's menu, which will include old favorites (mussels) and new, seasonal items (chilled pea soup with crab and mint, gazpacho made with heirloom tomatoes.
Worth It?: Yes. If the crowds on fried chicken Thursdays are any indication, Katz's prix fixes are well received. Meme has a liquor license, but is BYOB on Wednesdays.


10 Arts

When?: Tuesday through Saturday
Price: $35
How many courses?: Three
What do you get?: Appetizer, entree and dessert; changes daily
Worth It?: It's the Ritz. Also, executive chef and upcoming Top Chef contestant Jennifer Carroll is an Eric Ripert-trained kitchen master. On Wednesdays, you can order the menu while watching Top Chef in the restaurant.

Table 31
When?: Monday through Saturday; 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Price: $35
How many courses?: Three
What do you get?: Check out the menu.
Worth It?: It's a discounted opportunity to try Chris Scarduzio's food, but the 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. time limit makes this less appealing for some.

Sunday

Lacroix
When?: Sunday through Thursday
Price: $35
How many courses?: Three
What do you get?: Varies weekly.
Worth It?: $35 to dine at Lacroix? Yes.

Derek's
When?: Daily
Price: $18
How many courses?: Three
What do you get?: Check out the menu.
Worth It?: The promotion only goes through the end of the summer, but three courses for $18 is nothing to sneer at. On Sundays, the entire wine list is half price and you can BYOB with no corkage fee (this is limited to one bottle, but still). You'll have to go Manayunk, which is easily accessible to Center City by train.