Are people really surprised at their disappointments with Winterlicious? Year after year, people on this board and others talk about their experience with bad food, terrible service, rushed seating, bad location, server attitude, limited avability of expensive wine, being patronizied... etc, yet people still seem to think that they can be the exception.
I'm not saying that people can never enjoy Winterlicious. Many do. But for every good Winterlicious experience I read at least 10 bad ones, and this is over a period of at least 5 years.
Here is how I break in down: there are two categories:
1. Very expensive restaurants (Canoe, Truffles, etc)
Sure, you're getting a better deal (normally, let's say a three-course dinner will cost $70 per person before drinks and tips - $18 + $41 + $11)
But is it really worth it? First of all, with Winterlicious I was always forced to order something that I would not otherwise order, so I can't exactly say I'm saving money there. Besides, given all the potential disaster elements (and they almost certainly will happen at a restaurant like Canoe or Truffles during Winterlicious), you will almost certainly have bad experiences throughout the night.
2. Moderately expensive restaurants (others with $35 dinners)
It is true that with less expensive (and probably less popular) Winterlicious restaurants, your chance of getting a bad experience is slightly less. On the other hand, because these restaurants are less expensive, you are also not saving as much money. We're talking probably paying $35 for a meal of $50-55. Again, given that you will have to order food that you won't otherwise want to order, and the potential (albeit a little less) for disaster - trust me, there is always room for bad experiences with Winterlicious - again, is it worth it?
For me, if I have to pay $35 for 1) $70 of food that I won't otherwise choose, plus a 80% chance of having a bad experience (at the very LEAST, getting rushed through the meal), or for 2) $50 of food that I won't otherwise choose, plus a 50% chance of having a bad experience, I may as well save my money just to dine normally.
Contrary to popular belief, you are not saving that much money with Winterlicious.
Take Boba for example.
$9.5 apps + $30 main + $7 dessert, $47. You are saving $12. Would you not pay $12 to buy the broader power to choose, and the potential for better service and more time?