Even Vallarta Lifestyles, which introduced Restaurant Week to Puerto Vallarta last year, was caught by surprise at how wildly successful the 16-day event proved to be. An invaluable way to introduce everyone to the town's most fabulous restaurants, apparently a lot of people had been just waiting for a good excuse to try some of the places they'd been hearing about and this was it! With 33 restaurants charging one of two fixed prices for three course meals —149 or 249 pesos, or just under $15 or $25 USD respectively — there was no fear of going over budget, so folks were free to concentrate on having a good time discovering venues that may now be among their favorites.
Most people we know set out to try as many new spots as possible — some attempting to hit a different one every night of the event. And why not, when the menus can be downloaded from this site first so you can see you exactly what each restaurant is offering.
Kaiser Maximilian's Andres Rupprechter was so delighted with the business Restaurant Week brought him that he offered the same prix fixe special as part of his restaurant's 10-year anniversary celebrations. "What a great opportunity to enjoy good food at a very reasonable price, especially for those who sometimes think that eating out is too expensive."
Café des Artistes director, Carolina Barrera, says she and chef-owner Thierry Blouet were very pleased — and also surprised to see so many old and new faces during the event. "People came all the way from Guadalajara. And we had lots of big groups, everyone making the most of the opportunity to enjoy dishes from our regular menu at such a good price." Restaurant Week worked so well for them that they offered the exact same formula throughout their anniversary celebrations too, marking 15 years in business.
While Restaurant Week is an effective marketing tool for good restaurants, the customers love it too. Local resident Ben Schatz, a member of the talented and very amusing Kinsey Sicks a cappella quartet, says it gave him "a great social excuse to get together with friends and try some of the restaurants I'd been hearing about and see which ones I would want to go back to."
Despite a busy schedule, this writer made it to three and was delighted with the value received, the air of anticipation at each of the eateries adding an exciting element to those dining experiences.
Now, those who appreciate good food with ambiances to match are eagerly anticipating the second annual Vallarta Lifestyles' Restaurant Week 2006. May 15–31 we will once again be able to enjoy amazing three-course dinners — and in some instances even lunches — at some 30-plus eateries. And the best news is that we'll be able to do so at exactly the same low prices as last year!