Tuesday, June 30, 2009

NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2009

NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2009 (July 12-31) is soon upon us and today, the list of participating restaurants has been posted online. What is NYC Restaurant Week? (Well, for one thing, it’s more like three weeks, excluding Saturdays.) Select New York City restaurants offer discounted, pre-fixe menus (lunch: $24.07 and dinner $35.00). It’s a great time to sample fare that’s normally too pricey, and get an idea how the other half lives.

I always get excited about Restaurant Week, but it’s important to keep the event in perspective. If it’s anything like Winter 2009, for instance, many restaurants will extend Restaurant Week menus past the 31st, due to the current state of the economy. Or, take JoJo and Perry Street—many Jean-Georges restaurants offer the Restaurant Week menu year-round.

So strategize. Try to get BANG for your buck, and find a restaurant that’s ordinarily out of your price range (ie, why use this opportunity to go to Ruby Foo’s?). If you’re able to swing lunch, your choices are pretty solid. You’ve got: Del Posto, Dovetail, Esca, Nobu, Alto, Bar (and Café) Boulud, Craftbar, Gotham Bar & Grill, Lupa, Morimoto, and even the new DBGB Kitchen and Bar is making an appearance this year (although isn’t the whole deal with DBGB suppose to be casual, affordable food?). Most super exciting? Probably hot hot HOT Ago successor Locanda Verde. Notably missing from the picks this time around is the very posh, much adored, Eleven Madison Park.

For dinner, finding a great deal gets a little tougher. Convivio is an exciting addition, although their regularly-priced menu is actually quite affordable without the Restaurant Week discount. You've got Lure Fishbar, which makes up for its nautical cheesiness with a great-looking menu. I had a great experience at Anthos in Winter 2009, which I would recommend, although the service was sub-par. I think I was most jazzed to see the Aquavit Dining Room—last time they only offered the Café as an option.

What am I missing? And what are you most excited to try?


  1. Oh I wish I were in the city for this.

    On a related note, I was at Kefi on the upper west side at the end of last month, and they were participating in kids restaurant week. Kids under 12 were only charged the dollar amount according to their age for a three course meal. That meant that I only paid $10 for both of them! It was a good deal, my kids really enjoyed their food, and my wife an I were impressed with everything but the service. (new waiter) I can't wait to go back.

  2. Kids restaurant week... I heard about this for the first time this year. Ingenious. Will try to snag a kid to cover it next time. :-) Thanks for the tip!

  3. By the way, your blog is proof of the fact that there are too many food blogs. The market is flooded, which stinks because yours is so good! I can't believe you don't get a lot more comments! Even if it seems like you're the only one reading this, keep it up. If only just for me and you-lol.

  4. Thanks, madgreek, what a wonderful compliment. And getting comments makes the "work" (it IS work, but it's lots of fun, too) worth it!

  5. By the way, Kefi (http://www.kefirestaurant.com)is another restaurant guided by Michael Psilakis. He is the owner/chef of Anthos (http://www.anthosnyc.com) as well, which you loved. You need to try this place (If you haven't already). They do phenomenal un-pretentious homestyle Greek food. It might not be completely "traditional", but that is always relative anyway. Every Greek family/population has their own variations of recipes from the old country based on personal tastes and availability of ingredients. This is his family's food. I like his family-lol. I think you will too.