I love many things, but there are only a few things I’m completely and utterly obsessed with.  There are few events that I will gladly allow to disrupt my life, require a legal name change, climb over a mountain, swim the widest river to conquer.  614’s  Restaurant Week is a MAJOR event in my life.  I remember the first time I discovered this glorious event.  The year was 2010.  I was currently displaced due to a major water loss at my house and was living in temporary housing.  I remember seeing an advertisement for this “Restaurant Week.”  I’d never heard of it but I was intrigued by the restaurants listed and the pre-fixed menu and prices.  I pretty much lived my life on a budget, so to find a food event that was based on a price that wouldn’t change as long as I selected one item per category was the best concept I ever heard of!  So I counted up enough pennies for my Mom and I, selected a restaurant I wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford, made a reservation, and waited with limited patience for the selected day to arrive.

I went through my closet to select my best outfit for my first visit to Smith and Wollensky’s.  I told my Mom we had to look our best, we were going to a fancy restaurant!  We arrived 15 minutes early, and were promptly showed to our table.  There I sat, wide-eyed and innocent, experiencing a luxury that this Southwestern gal had rarely received in her life.  As I gazed at my linen napkin, wondering what in the world I was supposed to do with it, I had a moment of anxiety.  Should I be here?  Was I too country to fit in?  Did I know which fork to use?  Was this restaurant too fancy for me?  Would my waiter look down on me for ordering from the Restaurant Week menu?  Would the other patrons look down on me and my beloved country mama because we really didn’t seem to fit in?

Well my dear readers, when the Restaurant Week menu was sat in front of me, and I for the first time in my life ordered a 4 course dinner accompanied with my very first bourbon drink, these anxieties of life no longer concerned me.  I was so excited to be with the lady I love more than most!  I was so happy to be able to patron a restaurant on most days I wouldn’t think was for me.  I was ecstatic that I could afford to take my favorite lady out to a fancy restaurant and break bread together.  I was so happy to be out and about in a city that I wanted so much to explore but was very afraid to venture into.

Here I sit, years later, reviewing the Restaurant Week list with a completely different mindset.  I approach the list as a group of contenders, vying for my attention, begging for my affection.  Do I want to go to one of my tried and true spots, or be adventurous and explore a new destination?  The options are truly endless, and full of so many possibilities for a great evening at some of the finest restaurants in the city.  There is no need to be intimidated by the menu or by the locale.  We are all people with one objective – eating incredibly well while enjoying great company.

The Columbus 614 Restaurant will be July 21 – 26.  Check out 614 Columbus for full details.  I hope to see you out there.