Keeping tabs on New York City's restaurants is something of a sport, and only those who are seriously committed to it can stay in the game. Committed and equipped with a massive disposable income, that is. But we’re happy to tell you that there are a few times a year when you don't have to run a hedge fund or a Madison Avenue advertising agency to indulge in everything NYC's countless talented chefs have to offer. Right now is one of those times. New York Restaurant Week--which is actually "Restaurant Weeks"--runs through August 18. It's an opportunity for you to dine like you're going out for a special occasion, except you're not. Unless you consider Tuesday a special occasion.
The bi-annual event offers world-class three-course meals at almost 400 restaurants throughout New York City (you read that right!) for a fixed price of $29 for lunch and $42 for dinner. The menu at each restaurant is specially created for the occasion. (Sorry, lobster or anything with black truffles is probably not in the cards.)
We like to think of Restaurant Week as the ultimate free rein. Without price to consider, there’s nothing to hold you back. If you’ve long been wanting try one of the city’s grand dame dining institutions, snag a reservation at 21 Club or the legendary Barbetta, or a modern classic like Mission Chinese or Hearth.
Italian dining fans can get their fix at any number of ristorantes, like the much beloved Scarpetta, and for the Francophiles, there are all kind of classic fare at fabled brasseries like Le Cirque as well as more laid back options like La Sirene. Curb your carnivorous cravings at chop houses like Bobby Van's Grill on West 50th, the Midtown West location of Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, or the always classy Delmonico's down by the hustle and bustle of Wall Street. Even restaurants by celebrity chefs have a strong representation among the choices. Daniel Boulud's group is rolling out the red carpet at Cafe Boulud as well as Bar Boulud, and Wolfgang Puck's Cut in lower Manhattan is participating as well.
Or you could use the time as an opportunity to explore global cuisines that aren't your standard go-to options. Burke and Wills specializes in Australian cooking, Wallse and Schilling are Austrian, and French-Vietnamese fusion is on the menu at Indochine. All that’s to say nothing of the countless Asian, modern American, fusion, and Latin American restaurants on the roster.
So put aside some time to browse through the hundreds of options--and do it soon because restaurants book up--and bon appetit!
PS: While you’re getting an amazing deal, restaurant staff is working just as hard as they always do. Please keep that in mind when leaving gratuity.