It’s not that we don’t like these restaurants. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We just don’t think their Restaurant Week offerings do them justice – whether it be small portions, slow service, or something else).  For a complete list of participating restaurants (and to make reservations), visit NYC Restaurant Week’s Official Site. By Yvo Sin.

China Grill


60 W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 333-7788
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Dinner
extended through Labor Day

While China Grill has a few standout dishes on their regular menu, the Restaurant Week menu has quite a few limitations. First, it asks you to choose, per two people, two appetizers, one entree, and one dessert (it moves up incrementally the more people you have). Not only that, but multiple items on the prix fixe menu bear a supplemental charge, including additional sides! Not only are you expected to pick one entree to share between two people, but you are also expected to share your dessert. That makes this “deal” not very special at all. Skip this one for Restaurant Week or order off the regular menu – and if you dislike the sharing of entrees and desserts, skip their sister restaurant, Asia de Cuba, which has the same thing.

Frankie & Johnnie’s

credit: Marcelo Teson via Wikimedia Commons

32 W 37th St
New York, NY 10018
(212) 947-8940
Lunch, Dinner
*Please note: ONLY the 37th Street location is participating in Restaurant Week.

Frankie & Johnnie’s is a classic speakeasy, from days of yore, with fantastic steak. Unfortunately, if you go for their Restaurant Week lunch prix fixe, the closest you’ll get to eating that fantastic steak is… braised beef short ribs. While those are certain to be lovely as well, the point of Restaurant Week is for people to try a restaurant that they might not be able to afford right now, see if they like it, and possibly return at a later date to order off the regular menu. It’s a time for restaurants to showcase their best items, lure in new customers to become repeat customers! The dinner menu offers “surf and turf” as an option without a supplemental charge, but the surf comes in the form of shrimp scampi… and turf? A petite filet mignon. You’re better off saving up to splurge on their regular menu and getting a real steak, with the full experience.

Hill Country Barbecue Market


30 W 26th St
New York, NY 10010
(212) 255-4544
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Lunch, Sunday Dinner
extended through Labor Day

It has been said that Hill Country is some of the best BBQ available to us in NYC. It’s undeniable that it’s constantly ranked among the top ‘cue here, but it’s also undeniable that their menu for Restaurant Week is laughable at best, and at worst, downright insulting. The lunch menu and dinner menu are near-identical, except for dinner – at $10.93 more – you get your choice of dessert. Considering Hill Country’s most expensive dessert is $10 (red velvet cake for 2, which may or may not be included in the Restaurant Week menu), the jump in price from lunch to dinner is unjustified. Of course, the base price of the Pitmaster – the heart of the Restaurant Week menu – is normally $25, but the add-ons are unnecessary at best. Besides, the Pitmaster fails to include Hill Country’s best item: brisket moist, the fatty piece of meat so meltingly tender, people dream about it. Skip this “deal” and return another time.

Mark Joseph Steakhouse



261 Water St
New York, NY 10038
(212) 277-0020
Lunch, Dinner

Another steakhouse with great food but that doesn’t include steak on its Restaurant Week lunch menu, Mark Joseph puts its name on a steak sandwich and calls it a day. Sorry, but slicing up the steak for you and putting it between two slices of bread isn’t really Restaurant Week deal-worthy. Though their Restaurant Week dinner menu tries to make up for it by including two steak choices, one of them bears a $10 supplemental charge, effectively making it only one choice for a deal. Pass on this menu, and opt to order the Canadian bacon (it’s good) followed by whatever steak you like – from the regular menu.

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Yvo Sin is the founder and head writer of The Feisty Foodie.