Philly's most famous chef, Marc Vetri, has begun a Tweet-assault on Center City Restaurant Week. Fresh off the plane from a research trip to Italy with his staff in preparation for the impending opening of Alla Spina, the Prince of Pasta has been announcing to his 5,500 followers that it's all "smoke and mirrors."
Vetri didn't stop there, though.
Shiny new restaurateur and Top Chef champ Kevin Sbraga is another cook not participating in RW, and got a big thumbs up from his cheffy neighbor:
And then, some more:
As many of Vetri's followers started asking the chef what he meant by "smoke and mirrors," Vetri broke down his thoughts in a well-written tome on his Facebook page that explains: "restaurant week started a couple years back when the market went to hell and everyone was struggling...it was a good thing. But like a good thing that is overused and taken advantage of, it has turned into a big mess."
We asked Vetri why he decided to take to the airwaves this time around, and if he's ever participated in Restaurant Week.
"None of our restaurants have ever been a part of it. And, I've always felt this way, that diners don't get the truth about these supposed deals," said Vetri. "In most cases, check averages are coming in higher than what they would in a normal week. Restaurant owners have to spend $600 to even participate in the event, which also doesn't make much sense."
Vetri hopes that these misconceptions will soon be dispelled, and people will dine out more on their own. "You won't get the best efforts from chefs, servers, and restaurants in general during Restaurant Week, so the $5 you think you're saving is costing you so much in terms of a real restaurant experience," said Vetri. "Everyone is stressed out, and out-of-town traveling diners actually schedule their trips to avoid coming here during Restaurant Week. I've known of a number of national critics that came to Philly to visit a place, and missed out on dinner because of it."
Vetri is not alone with his disdain for Restaurant Week, though, as Konstantinos Pitsillides of Kanella has long protested the two-week event by closing his restaurant altogether. But until Pitsillides figures out how to use Twitter, Vetri will keep us entertained as the leader of the rebellion.