New York is a food centric city to its core. So much so that every year, hundreds of restaurants create prix fixe menus for one and one week only to entice the people into their fine eateries. New York Restaurant Week has arrived and here’s everything you need to know about what and where to eat. Lunch is set at $29 for three courses, and dinner it $42 for three courses.
If Outdoor Dining is Your Jam
Over 100 restaurants offer outdoor seating, which is prime considering evenings in New York can be admittedly very beautiful (those #nofilter sunsets though). We weeded through your best options, because 100 is too much for any sane human to fit in a week.
355 W 14th Street
Expect Italian comfort food with an inventive twist. The restaurant’s name translates to “little shoe” which is the shape of bread used to soak up the delicious Italian sauces. Try the classics like creamy polenta, or spaghetti and meatballs, or branzino. Then take on riffs like coconut panna cotta or creme fraiche cheesecake. Enjoy with a glass of the house rosé on the outdoor patio.
325 Bowery Street
A casual pasta joint, all the food is made fresh, from scratch, in house. Every. Day. They also hopped on the frose train, which I am admittedly here for. Their mozzarella is made in house too and featured heavily in most dishes. Sip a cocktail, and lady and the tramp it with some spaghetti and meatballs with your significant other here. Or go ham all by yourself on the pasta, we’re not here to judge.
Central Park West & 67th Street
Eating here feels like you’re in a fairytale. With nods to Central Park and the diversity of New York’s culinary scene, Tavern on the Green has been revamped in the best way possible. Enjoy lunch here with odes to summer like watermelon salad, and strawberry cheesecake. Let the twinkle lights and ambiance convert you to a fan of old school meets new charm here over some darn good food from chef Bill Peet.
25 Cooper Sq.
Craft cocktails, organic Hudson Valley farm grown produce, and a varied wine list give this place all the charm. Al fresco dining is a blend of sophistication and East Village coolness here. Take in the city, and enjoy the menu, even though it’s still tbd, we can promise it will slay.
1 Little W 12th St
If you hadn’t heard of French Mediterranean cuisine, you have now. The ambience that feels like a chic and bustling Parisian bistro is likely to make you feel like you’ve found your own European escape, tucked into The Meatpacking District of all places. For lunch enjoy the truffle pesto gnocchi, a classic Branzino, and of course the chocolate mousse. For dinner aim for the brie with puff pastry and proscuitto, the asparagus risotto, and the creme brulee. When in quasi France.
257 6th Ave
Full of classic Mexican dishes like tamales, fajitas, and tacos this is the place to find comfort and class in harmony. Sit outdoors and try something made with one of their over 100 kinds of tequila. Get the churros, enchiladas, and empanadas, not necessarily in that order.
403 E 12th St.
You can’t say you live in New York and not know about the culinary gem that is Hearth. Locally sourced ingredients, with an Italian fare, is a comfy and quaint setting. What more could you ask for?
380 Lafayette St.
I already wrote about this place as having some of the best fries in NYC, but it’s so much more than that. They also have killer pastries, Stumptown coffee, and an ambiance that elevates the food to another level. You can get the same prixe fix menu for dinner or lunch. This place also gets hoppin’ at night. A housewife or two has been known to show up here.
54 Thompson St
The views here alone, a 180 of the city, would be enough to get me here. But add in that it takes a fresh spin on Mediterranean food and that there’s a rooftop garden and I am here for it. Melding all the Mediterranean flavors as whole instead of as separated places sets this warm and vibrant restaurant apart from others.
Any of the Sarabeth’s
Sarabeth’s has been around for 30 years and is consistently expanding its empire to many New York locations. They’re known for making you feel at home with classic American foods, friendly service, and an overall cozy vibe. Locals and tourists feel at home in Sarabeth’s, and isn’t that how it should be?
If You Trust OpenTable with Your Dining Choices
450 E 29th St
This place starts with a romantic setting, complete with river views in the up and coming Kip Bay neighborhood. Then add in an onsite organic garden where they source ingredients. Finish with an inventive menu that focuses on produce and unique flavors and you’ve got a rightfully lauded restaurant that OpenTable guarantees you’ll love.
128 1st Avenue.
This modern Hawaiian restaurant reflects the translation of its name, which is “playground.” With fun and inventive dishes, like poke, spam anglioti and King’s Hawaiian bread pudding. The space is modern, casual, and inviting. There’s also an extensive wine list with a heavy French representation. The goal here is for diners to enjoy thoughtful plates, curated wines, and a laid back vibe, all in one place. Mission accomplished.
42 E 58th St.
Thai, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines are all covered here. Enjoy pad thai, Kobe beef, pot stickers and more. The price tag is worth it, the decor is over the top but chic and authentic and the food is enticing and delicious. Leave here with no regrets. Not even your wallet will regret it. Open Table promises.
This place has and does it all. Live jazz seven nights a week, and at brunch, seasonal New American Chef Patricia Williams and her food that sounds almost as good as it tastes ( baby back ribs, buffalo bacon meat loaf, jumbo sea scallops and “lazy” duck as examples). One of a few restaurants to offer brunch during restaurant week, make sure not to miss out on the Belgian waffles or strawberry shortcake cannoli. Dinner offers an extensive amount of options from Lobster ravioli to breaded crispy pork chop, to vegetable quinoa fritters. There’s really nothing Williams can’t do with food.
If You’re Into Big Name Chefs
There are 64 notable chefs reppin’ for restaurant week. I’m here to tell you the 5 you should go to, the rest is up to you. Because ain’t nobody got time to tell you about 64 chefs in one article.
400 5th Ave #2,
You’ve heard the housewives discussing The Langham, and Al Fiori is a much needed new restaurant within the acclaimed hotel. Chef Michael White has made an effort to celebrate cuisine derived from Italy and the French Riviera, giving a spin on traditional Italian dishes. There’s also a welcoming bar and lounge with a creative cocktail list. Walk up the langham’s gran staircase to the second floor and the become surrounded by elegance with floral decorations and refined decor.
16 W 29th St.
The thrice cooked fries alone would inspire anyone to go here, but there’s a lot more to love here than fries. Executive chef April Bloomfield is a meat magician, creating dishes like braised shin of beef with polenta and black cabbage; a chargrilled lamb burger with cumin mayo and those signature thrice-cooked chips; as well as smoked pork belly (for two). Carnivores, this is your place. Chow down, tastefully of course.
70 W 45th St.
Iron Chef and Food Network star Alex Guarnaschelli’s restaurant has gained a dedicated following in NYC and she’s made a name for herself as a fierce female chef. She creates a seasonal menu for her dining space, which utilizes high ceilings and comfy booths, to keep things casual and cozy for patrons. Simplicity done to perfection is an accurate description of this place.
505 Columbus Ave.
Chef Michael Psilakis and Donatella Arpaia have joined and made this winning Greek restaurant. The food is authentic, deriving from the dishes of Psilakis’s childhood. And the restaurant is set up on two floors, to invoke the vibe of a little hidden Greek gem. It proves to make for an inviting environment.
425 Lafayette St.
Chefs Andrew Carmellini and Zach Faulisi are the masterminds behind this restaurant. Located within The Public Theater, which is a performance venue, the place is a watering hole, dining establishment, and escape for all walks of life in NYC. It stays open late, crafts some dang tasty cocktails and provides tasty bites in a place that feels like your own in home library.
132 W 44th St.
Geoffrey Zakarian puts out dishes that can cool you down in the summer heat, like Yellowfin Tuna or Kale & Blood Orange Salad, as well as staying seasonal with some tempting desserts such as Strawberry Semifreddo and a Coffee Swiss Roll. For dinner, the Mezzanine level gives diners a glamorous atmosphere, complete with plush red leather seating, custom Empire Lights above a dedicated bar, and floor to ceiling windows overlooking Manhattan. This is where you go to see and be seen.
This is just a handful of your 365 options during Restaurant Week, and I can guarantee that wherever you go you’ll have a stellar meal at an unbeatable price. Now get your forks, napkins and stretchy pants ready for the occasion.
[featured image by foodfrenchienyc on instagram]