Whether you’re a die-hard foodie or just someone who likes to dine out, NYC Restaurant Week is the perfect time to test your palate without breaking the bank. From July 21 to Aug. 15, over 300 gourmet restaurants will offer 3-course lunch menus for $25 and dinner menus for $38. Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry, we’ve narrowed down the 10 best places to get your grub on. Don’t forget to talk about your eating and dining experience online with the hashtag #NYCRestaurantWeek. By Carly Petrone.
The Writing Room
The Writing Room isn’t just for writers. It’s also for foodies. Head over to this new Upper East Side restaurant and order the juicy Fried Chicken with Buttermilk Biscuits and top it off with a slice of seasonal Peach and Raspberry Pie with honey ice cream. In the mood for something lighter? The Grilled Corn Soup with baby shrimp, fresh lime, sour cream, and spiced popcorn (yes, you read that correctly) is the perfect summer starter or entrée. Chef Lucas Bilheimer is certainly making restaurant week worth your while. (Monday-Friday & Sundays)
The historic ’21’ Club is serving up quite the restaurant week menu. Stop by for lunch or dinner and enjoy a selected menu that includes everything from Cucumber Gazpacho with shrimp, basil and avocado to Faroe Island Scottish Salmon. Make sure you save room for dessert because their Classic Crème Brulee and Almond Chocolate Blondie Sundae certainly won’t disappoint. Reserve your spot now before it fills up. (Monday-Friday)
Whoever says there’s no good Mexican food in New York City hasn’t been to Toloache. Chef Julian Medina has whipped up some south of the border favorites for both the lunch and dinner menus that will leave you booking a trip to Mexico. Choose three courses – may we suggest the Tacos de Chuleta (pork chop tacos marinated in fire roasted six chiles salsa) Pollo Borracho (chicken breast with fresh peas and fingerling potatoes) or Ceviche de Pescado (Fluke-Rocoto Leche de Tigre with Peruvian corn and Thai basil)? Finish it off with their signature Lemongrass Flan. (Monday-Friday)
The trek up to Harlem will be well worth it after you taste the Spaghetti and Roasted Veal Meatballs at Lido. Executive Chef Serena Bass has created lunch and dinner menus that will have you salivating at the table. Begin with the Parmesan Polenta Fries with Truffle and Olive Dip or a Salad of Warm Arugula, Roasted Pears, Walnuts, and Shaved Parmesan before diving into heartier dishes like Crispy Short Ribs (with Parmesan Polenta with Horseradish Cream) or Tuscan Pizza Tart. And who can leave without a scoop of gelato with a salted shortbread cookie? (Monday – Friday)
Put on that fancy outfit and enjoy a three-course meal at the legendary Le Cirque Café. Start with the Summer Pea Risotto or Foie Gras “Maison,” savor each bite of Garganelli (fish ragout with carrot foam) or choose the Confit Lamb with corn pesto and lemon. Dessert options are just as decadent. Choose from Pineapple with Malibu rum, coconut, and bourbon vanilla, Crème Brulee “Le Cirque,” or Panna Cotta with strawberry ragout. Make sure to say hello to Sirio Maccioni on your way to your seat. (Monday – Friday)
Fig and Olive
Step into Fig & Olive’s meatpacking district location and you already feel like the coolest person on the block. The modern yet inviting space is the perfect compliment to the hearty food that is served. You’ll want to devour the Lobster Bisque and Beef Carpaccio with 18-year balsamic, tomato, and Parmesan. Seafood lovers should take advantage of the Paella Del Mar being served during lunch. For the main dinner course, try their signature Chicken Tajine with couscous and harissa. Top it off with the Dessert “Crostini”: strawberry, mascarpone, shortbread with micro-basil and you can call it a day. (Monday-Friday, Saturday – Lunch only, Sunday – Dinner only)
If you’re in the mood for a quality steak, head over to the new NYY Steak, home to USDA prime steaks dry-aged in house. Try the decadent NYY Steak Bacon, Pan-Seared Salmon, or perfectly grilled 6 oz. Center Cut Filet Mignon. And who can say no to a slice of New York Style Cheesecake with graham cracker crust? Luckily, you don’t have to thanks to this Restaurant Week deal. (Monday-Friday, Sunday – Dinner only)
Grab your chopsticks because SushiSamba in the West Village is serving up some seriously delicious sushi as well as Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine. Wagyu Sliders with Roasted Shishito Peppers and Aji Panca ketchup, Kuromitsu Glazed Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps, and Chocolate Banana Cake await you. If you’re feeling adventurous at dinner, order the ‘Yoridori’ Seaweed Tasting, the Samba Sushi Plate, and a soft Japanese rice cake filled with ice cream (aka Mochi). You won’t be disappointed. (Monday-Friday, Sunday)
If Italian is what you’re craving make a reservation at Armani Ristorante. As a first time participate in Restaurant Week, they’re coming out strong, offering such dishes as La Burrata with pickled spring onions, red and yellow sundried tomatoes, and a fruit mostarda as well as al dente Pappardelle al Prosciutto served with tomato and saffron. Do as the Italians do and end the meal with classic Il Tiramisu with Marscapone sorbet. (Monday – Friday, Sunday – Lunch only)
Ed's Chowder House
With Lincoln Center as your backdrop, it’s hard not to enjoy your dining experience at Ed’s Chowder House. During Restaurant Week, get your seafood fix with appetizers ranging from Smoke Chatham Cod Cakes to Organic Skuna Bay Salmon Tartare. Just a few of the entrees on the menu include a Summer Vegetable Barley Risotto, Spicy Steamed Mussels, and Atlantic Hake. Choose from Vanilla Banana Cream Pie, Lemon Meringue, a Chocolate Ganache Tart with Coffee Ice Cream, and a variety of gelatos for dessert. Mouth watering already? Make your reservation now. (Monday – Friday, Sunday).
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Carly Petrone is a freelance writer living in New York City.