It’s that time of year again, ladies and gents! Restaurant Week kicks off next week and NYC restaurants transform from expensive and delicious to… slightly less expensive and delicious. I always use it as an excuse to head to new spots that might otherwise be reserved for a special night out.
Lunch for $25. Dinner for $38. January 18th – February 5th. Any restaurant on this list.
The trick is to find restaurants that are a value at that price. The restaurants on the list tend to be pretty upscale (think $$$ or $$$$ on Yelp), but there are some where Restaurant Week prices give you real bang for your buck and others where the prices are pretty close (or even higher) than you’d pay otherwise.
My one complaint about Restaurant Week is that it doesn’t take full advantage of all the amazing restaurants that exist outside of Manhattan. Check out this map.
I wanted to try to hit all the boroughs, but gave up when hitting the Bronx or Staten Island would mean going to a pretty standard looking Italian restaurant. So, I resorted to a diversity of neighborhoods and cuisines, and lodged a complaint against RW’s Manhattan centric approach. I’m sure they’ll take it super seriously.
Here’s my list:
Pig and Khao (Lower East Side)
One of my favorites in LES, but this is a good excuse to head back. I love the Chicharron, Sizzling Siseg and the Ricotta Donuts.
French Louie (Boerum Hill)
A little French bistro on Atlantic Avenue. I’ve passed it a ton of times walking to and from Brooklyn Bridge Park and Cobble Hill, but never tried it. The entire menu looks amazing — grilled octopus, buckwheat pappardelle, foie gras terrine. Nom.
Little Park (Tribeca)
A relatively new gem in Tribeca. I accidentally stumbled into Little Park for a drink one evening and put it on my list to make it back for dinner. It’s a pretty standard new American menu, but with FANTASTIC, creative vegetable dishes with kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli, Cipollini onions and Brussel sprouts to name a few.
MP Taverna (Astoria)
There’s no better spot in NYC for Greek cuisine than in Astoria. MP Taverna has 4 locations in NYC and the ‘burbs, so I have some chain-restaurant-jitters happening, but the menu looks delicious. And, the menu is packed with healthy Mediterranean fare, which will be a nice relief from fried pig and French pasta…
Beauty & Essex (Lower East Side)
One of my favorite places to grab a cocktail in the city, but, while I’ve stared at their menu many times, I’ve never had dinner at B&E. The raw bar and seafood dishes are their specialty so I’m gunning for those. And then a Pink Panther or Emerald Gimlet (or both, why choose?!) from the cocktail list to finish off the evening.
Who’s coming with me?
P.S. Stay tuned for Taryn’s take on Restaurant Week. We have different priorities for NYC dining as you might imagine, but they’ll land us in the same seat next week 😉