Oh, Restaurant Week, how we love thee! This semi-annual event lets us enjoy a multi-course meal at participating restaurants for $29 at lunch and $42 at dinner. (This summer, Restaurant Week runs from July 25 through August 19.) Because Manhattan restaurants tend to get the lion’s share of love, below are our picks for where to go in Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. By Jessica Allen.
Buttermilk Channel is a popular bistro in Carroll Gardens that serves American comfort food. The restaurant takes its name from the narrow strip of water separating Brooklyn and Governors Island, whose currents were once said to be strong enough to churn milk into butter. During Restaurant Week, you can try the chicken liver mousse with country bread and pickled grapes; stone fruit and cucumber salad; duck meatloaf; hand-cut fettuccine with eggplant, buttermilk ricotta, and summer squash; chocolate pot de crème; and/or miniature pecan pie sundae. We’ll see you there!
People come from all over to attend the cooking classes held by Carol Frazzetta and to sample her talents and skills at her eponymous restaurant in Dongan Hills, on Staten Island. This restaurant serves “eclectic American”—basically whatever Frazetta feels like cooking—and it’s all great, in addition to being freshly made. Make a reservation for dinner Monday through Friday during Restaurant Week and choose from such options as grilled mussels with lime butter, pan-seared salmon with a pineapple, lime, and honey glaze, and vanilla panna cotta.
Family-owned and -operated since the Eisenhower administration, London Lennie’s began as a simple fish-and-chips joint, run by a husband and wife originally from London. Today, the Rego Park restaurant sources its fish daily from the Fulton Fish Market, and serves entrees like crabmeat-stuffed shrimp and pignoli nut-crusted red snapper. There’s also a justifiably famous raw bar (let’s hear it for oysters on the half shell!) and an excellent wine list. During Restaurant Week, you can stop in for lunch or dinner Monday through Friday.
Home to scores of Greek and Greek American restaurants, Astoria is where to go to find the tastiest moussaka, dolmades, octopus and baklava around. Restaurateur, chef, and television personality Michael Psilakis opened MP Taverna as a modern-day homage to a traditional Greek tavern — complete with a long wine list and 70+ craft beers. During Restaurant Week, you can head over for lunch or dinner Monday through Friday and for brunch or dinner on Sunday. (Note: MP Taverna in Brooklyn is also participating in Restaurant Week.)
If we lived any closer to Tanoreen, we’d no longer be able to fit into any of our clothes — the Middle Eastern specialties served at this Bay Ridge restaurant are oh, so delicious. We’re particularly enamored of the muhammara (a dip made from red peppers, pomegranate molasses, spices, and walnuts), sujok (dried sausage with harissa, garlic, and olive oil), and musakhan (housemade flatbread topped with shredded chicken, sumac, roasted almonds, and onions).