8/17-30/2020 Hudson Valley Time to Dine promotion, HVRW replacement (but not really)

Valley Table is running a replacement for the March HVRW, which got “postponed” on the very first day due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Unlike the $22.95/32,95 price fixed menus of HVRW, Time to Dine seems to be a “do whatever you want”, as it says on the website “Restaurants may offer any type of menu they wish—it does not have to be a prix-fixe menu. Be sure to contact the restaurant directly or check out their menus on The Valley Table website to see their offerings.”

So basically when you check their restaurant list and see a menu posted, you’ll see a combination of some HVRW priced 3-course menus, some with no prices, some at higher prices (I saw $36 and $45), and some regular menus with no obvious specials. Oh, and a couple of the menus are posted rotated, just to add to the “we have no clue what we’re doing” vibe.

Making matters worse, today’s Journal News/lohud has an article where an entire paragraph talks about HVRW pricing and the way I read it, at least, does nothing to say that it isn’t the case this time.

I spoke to a restaurant owner who I am friendly with who is not offering the price fixed menu (and who I made a reservation at before realizing it was not going to be price fixed), and he said that he would do one for me, but I feel guilty taking him up on the offer.

I welcome comments from others since I am wondering if I am the only one confused about this. Here’s the main site and list of restaurants (yes, they reused the HVRW list website). Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to encourage people to return to restaurants if they are comfortable doing so. Personally, I am OK dining outdoors but not in a restaurant yet.

http://valleytable.com/time-to-dine
http://valleytable.com/hvrw/restaurants

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Strange idea, MisterBill. I kind of don’t get i t. Thanks for posting!!!

Yes, seems odd. But I get not wanting to hold potentially struggling restaurants to the presumably low profit margin of the usual HVRW deal.

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They had collected the money to participate in HVRW, they “postponed” it and did not refund the money. So this way they have another promotion.

I think it’s a great idea to encourage people to return to restaurants, but I’m not going to bother going out of my way if it’s their regular menu. Valley Table posted a picture of The Cookery’s meatballs on FB today and said “great news, it’s on their Time to Dine menu”. Well, of course they are, because the menu they have posted is their normal menu without any promotions!

There are a few places that have $32.95 menus, but they are rare (Ship Lantern Inn up in Milton is still doing it). Speaking of rare, The Rare Bit was listed the other day with a $32.95 menu and now they’re not on the list at all. Turns out they’re closed for vacation for all of August per their FB page. And I guess no one told them that Winston’s in MK has closed, since it’s still on the list.

They could have let them price it at whatever they want, which is what many are doing. My issue is that many restaurants just posted their normal menus.

So did anyone take advantage of this? I did not, since most of the places I would have gone to didn’t do the price fixed menu. I did go to Stamford one day for lunch at a Greek place for their RW promo, which was pretty good.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold