Restaurant Week: a bi-yearly event where New Yorkers can experience a discounted, prix-fixe offering for $29 or $42 at nearly 400 restaurants in NYC.
Sounds great, right? Not quite. Without proper research, you may seriously regret the money you just dropped at a mediocre restaurant serving some of their cheapest dishes. To help you get the most bang for your buck, we’ve trolled through the list of participating restaurants and menus and hand-picked some our favorites. Happy Eating!
At Craft, Tom Colicchio, acclaimed restaurateur, chef, and Top Chef judge, serves up some deceptively simple, green-market inspired cuisine. We were lucky enough to preview their Restaurant Week menu and let me tell you, the kale salad with dried currants and pecorino renewed our love affair with the superfood and the gemelli pasta with short rib ragu (OMG) made it totally acceptable that we joined the Clean Plate Club.
Andrew Carmelini and the NoHo Hospitality Group have nailed traditional and modern Southern Italian fare, and their newest venture, Leuca, is no exception. This Williamsburg wonder specializes in wood-fire cooking, so everything from pizzas to suckling pigs is a piece of smoky-caramelly-perfection. Try the Tuna Crudo, the Mafaldini and the Chocolate Bundino with whipped hazelnut cream. Yes, I just picked your entire lunch order for you, you’re welcome.
Serious sushi lovers, look no further than Neta’s $29 lunch menu this Restaurant Week. Neta is new to the mix this year and their three-course offering may be the best valued meal we’ve seen all year. Start your lunch with five pieces of assorted sushi or a roll choose from a selection of five sushi entrees including a Kobe Bulgogi Crispy Rise, a Salmon Poke Bowl and a Sake Ikura Donburi. YUM.
In case you’re not familiar, Perry Street is basically the cool trendy younger sister of the OG Jean Georges. Everything about this place feels fresh and clean, with a relaxed elegance. Here, Jean George gets to play with classic American and French cooking, but it’s the restaurant’s Asian influences that make these dishes truly stand out. Last Restaurant Week we fell head over heels for their Korean-style fried chicken, this year we can’t wait to try the hake, the pork loin, and the romaine salad. Trust us and make a ressy here.
Riverpark is another Colicchio creation, but one that takes “local” to a whole new level –
they source a bunch of their seasonal ingredients from their own Riverpark Farm, just a few feet from the kitchen. In addition to the super fresh, uber local food, this restaurant’s stunning view makes it a truly special place, and the perfect place for a date night. We also love that the Restaurant Week menu is so expansive, boasting over 20 menu items to choose from.
The ‘21’ Club is the kind of place you definitely imagine James Bond goes to eat. Between the dress code and the swanky dining room, it’s no wonder celebrities like Hemingway, George Clooney, Barbara Walters, and now-President Trump are regulars at this former speakeasy. Luxe atmosphere aside, it’s also known for its top-notch service and food (*drools over gulf shrimp and lamb*). Make a reservation during Restaurant Week and eat like a king while paying like a pauper.
If you’re hankering for some good ol’ fashioned Low Country comfort food, but all the
flights to NOLA are booked for the weekend, head to Minton’s up in Harlem. Superstar Chef JJ Johnson just moved here from The Cecil and is cooking up grits you’ll wish you could swim in and ribs & barbecue that’s fall off the bone tender. Pro-tip: go for brunch and you’ll probably catch a live jazz show, too.
Il Mulino (Uptown)
Il Mulino has remained one of the most coveted, old-school Italian restaurants in NYC for years and their RW menu is truly a steal. Some of their must-try brunch items include the Ricotta Meatballs, Veal Parmigiana and a very decadent chocolate cake for dessert. If we were you, we’d go with three friends to get one of everything, or four times on our own, either works.