The first NYC Restaurant Week of 2016 runs from Monday, Jan. 18, through Friday, Feb. 5. Participating restaurants offer a three-course lunch for $25 and dinner for $38. But with hundreds of restaurants to choose from it can be hard to figure out which deals to take advantage of. So, we’ve narrowed down some of the best deals to check out in NYC. By Jessica Allen.
See what all the fuss is about by booking your Restaurant Week lunch at ABC Kitchen, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s homage to local, seasonal, and organic ingredients. To start, choose from lentil soup with Parmesan, celery root, and herbs, line-caught tuna sashimi, or roasted beets with homemade yogurt. Choices for entrees include a crispy skate salad or ravioli made with farm egg and ricotta. End on a sweet note with either an almond cake topped with poached pears and green apple sorbet or a sundae with salted caramel ice cream.
Blue Water Grill is, quite simply, one of the city’s best seafood restaurants. But that doesn’t go to anyone’s head: service is always impeccable within the marble-clad bi-level space and patio just off Union Square. We’ve celebrated major life events — and had quick weekday lunches — here over the years, and the food and ambiance have been top-notch every time. During Restaurant Week, we’d opt for the New England clam chowder to start, followed by the grilled rainbow trout and the coconut rice pudding.
One of the things we love most about Restaurant Week is that it presents a low-stakes, high-flavor opportunity to try new cuisines or restaurants we might not otherwise stumble upon. Take Khe-Yo, a Laotian-inspired restaurant in Tribeca. Its Restaurant Week offerings include crispy Berkshire pork belly with a jasmine rice soup, shrimp spring rolls, sweet sausage and egg fried rice (with a side of pickled cauliflower), coconut curry red snapper, banana flower salad, blood orange sorbet, and vanilla rice pudding. One of everything, please!
See how the other half lived by visiting the Morgan Library and Museum’s Dining Room. This lovely space was the house’s actual dining room way back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when financier Pierpont Morgan and his family lived here. During Restaurant Week, you can feast on a roasted parsnip and apple soup, winter mushroom risotto, Scottish salmon, and classic vanilla crème brûlée. When you’re finished, make sure to walk through the rest of the house-turned-museum. Just imagine filling your belly, then retiring to the library to quietly read by the fire. Sounds like heave to us.
Newly reopened under the direction of restaurateur and TV personality Geoffrey Zakarian, the Palm Court at the Plaza exudes elegance, charm, and sophistication, making it the perfect Restaurant Week destination. The gorgeous interior mimics nearby Central Park, with bespoke furniture in beiges, browns, and greens, while the food is carefully crafted American. Complement your meal with a cocktail by the in-house mixologist, or by taking a spin around the hotel that Eloise, and others, made so very famous.
In lesser hands, a restaurant that changes its food, décor, and name to match the seasons would no doubt be a total gimmick. The fact that Park Avenue Winter (and Spring and Summer and Autumn) has become a destination for serious foodies speaks to those that helm the front and back of the house (AvroKO and Craig Koketsu, respectively). Restaurant Week options range from carnival squash toast, mushroom ribbon “lasagne,” and sticky toffee carrot cake at lunch, to pumpkin ravioli, braised short ribs, and cranberry and tangerine sorbet at dinner.