?????It’s back! the 8th Annual Schenectady Restaurant Week will be returning next week, February 18-24. Over the course of seven days, more than 20 restaurants in downtown Schenectady and Schenectady County will be offering special fixed-price menus for $20.13 – most giving diners a three-course menu that includes an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Some are even offering beer and/or cocktails as part of the menu.

As always, if you dine at one of these restaurants during the promotion, remember to tip generously – these meals are often worth significantly more than $20.13 and the waitstaff should be tipped accordingly. Basically, follow Wil Wheaton’s Law, OK?

Businesses participating in 2013 Schenectady Restaurant Week are below – click the link to see the menu:

Reservations are highly recommended.

Here’s my roundup of personal picks (and pans):

Best Overall Menus: More Perreca’s and Cafe NOLA (And I’m not just saying that because of the beignets. OK, maybe I am.)

Most Adventurous Menu: Ambition. It’s ambitious, and sounds delicious. It’s even got a theme: “Sunsets & Sangrias”! I am totally going. Lobster Salad? Sign me up.

Most Unadventurous: Angelo’s Tavolo. Zzzzzzzzzz……..

Maybe Shouldn’t Be Participating: Bombers. Again. Though, they do list margaritas as appetizers, which they surely are.

Don’t Go Here If You Actually Want Some Choices: Katie O’Byrne’s. You only get what they give you. That’s no fun.

Biggest Bang for Your Buck: Cornell’s Restaurant. Because soup/salad is not considered a separate course; every entree comes with one or the other!

The Only Place to Go if You Want a Waffle for Dessert: The Bier Abbey

Best Meal You’ll Ever Eat in a Sketchy Part of Town: Petta’s.

Most Intimidating Menu Item: NY Strip Steak Mafioso at Marotta’s Bar-Risto (another good name would be “Sleeps With the Fishes en Papillote”)

Most Choices on the Limited Menu: Tops. So much to choose from!

Most Intriguing Menu Item: “Tiger Cake” at Waters Edge Lighthouse. What the hell is Tiger Cake? Guess you’ll just have to go there to find out. That’s how they get you! Runner up: Potato, Artichoke & Sun‐Dried Tomato Croquettes at Perreca’s.

Are you planning on hitting up Schenectady Restaurant Week? Where are you going?