Originally Posted by middie
*Note to self*
NEVER eat out on a Monday *shudder*
That was actually the one tip that I completely disagreed with. It makes logical sense that a restaurant would use weekend leftovers in Monday specials... except for the fact that Friday and Saturday are the busiest nights of the week for any restaurant, and it's a pretty uncommon practice to have your suppliers send you a shipment on a Sunday, if they will at all. I don't think our suppliers even ship at all on Sundays. Monday is probably the day when you can get the freshest food, because restaurants are in dire need of new produce, meats, and fish to replenish their fridges and freezers. If Friday/Saturday aren't enough to come close to cleaning out your kitchen, the Sunday crowd almost always will.
I'd say the best tip is about the specials. I think if you go to a fine dining restaurant, you're generally safe from those types of practices, but if you're headed to your average corner restaurant, then definitely watch our for the specials. A fine-dining restaurant really has to think about quality, so the chefs there generally try to use that as their opportunity to try new things. For example, the only special our restaurant ever serves if a fish special, and the only fish we keep on the menu is salmon, so the chef uses this as an opportunity to serve an incredible variety of fish. We've gotten some fish in that were beautiful and delicious that noone but chef had ever heard of before. We get tuna semi-often and run variations on the classic peppercorn-crusted tuna.
The last fish spec. we ran was halibut (a big fish! we got only 1/2 of it, but man it was big!) which we seared and served with a sort of roasted baby gold beet mash, haricot verts, and some sort of vanilla buerre blanc, which just have been the best sauce for fish I've ever had.
I guess the name of the game is just getting to know your favorite restaurants, and pay attention to the menu and how their specials are run.