BY WENDY HUNG
It’s that time of the year again, New York City Restaurant Week! Want to dine and experiment in the Big Apple’s finest restaurants all at once? For first-timers, this is the most delicious week around town, where prix fixe lunches and dinners are offered from July 22nd through August 16th.
Historically, Restaurant Week made its debut back in 1992 with a lunch-only promo event. Since then, it has inspired other cities around US to create various versions of their own Restaurant Week. This year, you can expect selected restaurants to provide 3-course meals at $25 for lunch and $38 for dinner. Register for Restaurant Week at NYCgo.com and start reserving your tables!
Here is Jetset Times’ guide to top restaurants you should pig out at:
Junoon Craving for modern Indian? Junoon, created by restauranteur Rajesh Bhardwaj is showcasing delicious tandoor (clay oven,) tawa (cast-iron cooking,) sigri (open fire pit,) handi (curry) and patthar (stone cooking.) If you feel like splurging beyond its restaurant week menu, they’ve got a great selection of wines perfect for the summer heat.
Gotham Bar & Grill Still at the top of its game after twenty-seven years, Gotham Bar & Grill remains as one culinary landmark of fine dining in New York City. Chef Alfred Portale’s innovation and consistently high quality of service and cuisine have captivated diners internationally and locally. Besides Restaurant Week’s prie-fixe menu, the restaurant also regularly offer a fresh $28 Greenmarket Prix Fixe Lunch that includes: chilled corn soup, chatham cod, slow-cooked chicken breast, raspberry cremeux, Gotham chocolate cake…and more.
Kin Shop Winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Season 1, chef Harold Dieterle serves up one of the best contemporary Thai plates in town. Besides indulging your taste buds in Restaurant Week specialties like: Fried Isaan Sausage (fresh herbs, mango & thai chili sauce), Pan Seared Skate (bok choy, bamboo shoots & siamese green curry), Braised Beef Tips (boiled peanuts, baby spinach & penang curry); Kin Shop also contains a list of delicious Thai-influenced cocktails you shouldn’t miss out on!
Taboon Want to switch it up a bit and explore wood fired “Middleterranean” cuisine? Taboon is a must-stop! During Restaurant Week, Taboon is offering unforgettable options such as: Smoked Paprika Shrimps, Branzino (half branzino fillet with heirloom tomato/mint salad, crispy capers & preserved lemon/chives oil), and Chicken Taboon (charcoal grilled French cut chicken with cured lemon, served with roasted corn, pineapple, fresh dill, fingerling potato confit & lemon infusion). Hungry already? Put this on your list!
Bann As one of the most buzzworthy Korean restaurants in NYC, Bann is presenting quite an eclectic list of choices during Restaurant Week. From traditional Bi Bim Bap with a modern twist for the lunch prix-fixe, Dak Do Ri Tang (chicken, potato and carrot braised in a spicy chili pepper broth), Un Dai Gu Jo Rim for dinner (black cod simmered in a spicy garlic soy reduction), to Dai Ji Kalbi (slowly roasted pork spare ribs blazed in a tangey soy & barbecue glaze). Make a stop at Bann!
Abe & Arthur’s Contemporary brasserie is always a classic way to do Restaurant Week. At Abe & Arthur’s, you can never go wrong with its Pan Roasted Sea Scallops & Foie Gras (cauliflower-almond purée, bliss elixir & oyster mushrooms) or it also does a really great Ricotta Cavatelli (grilled mushrooms, kale & pine nut cream). It goes without saying that just a juicy piece of steak or chop here absolutely fulfills the appetite as well.
Fig & Olive describes itself as “…about passion for the best olive oils, flavors and cuisine from the Riviera& Coastal regions of the South of France, Italy and Spain.” While most European foodies emphasize on the quality of olive oil, Fig & Olive does a perfect job bringing such flavors to its clientele. Experiment with their Restaurant Week options: Lobster Bisque (chive crackers, pimenton mascarpone), Truffle Mushroom Croquette (cremini mushroom, parmesan, bechamel, Truffle Olive Oil aioli), Chicken Tajine (served with fig, olive, apricot, carrot, zucchini, cipollini onion), Beef Tartar (marinated grass fed filet mignon, caper, shallot, parsley, dijon olive oil emulsion, olive oil crackers – Tuscan Olive Oil), Paella Del Mar (black tiger shrimp, sea scallop, calamari, mussels, saffron rice with chicken, green pea, red bell pepper, artichoke, saffron)…and much more.
Morimoto Food Network’s Iron Chef and previous executive chef at the celebrity-hotspot Nobu, Chef Masaharu Morimoto is giving you a chance to taste a wide variety of his masterful skills that highlights Japanese foundation with a sultry Western flair. Just when you think foie gras croissants or tuna pizza couldn’t possibly exist on a Japanese menu, you’ll be amazingly surprised at Morimoto’s gift of allowing you to expand your eager palate.
Spice Market Casual but sexy! Originally inspired by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s travels to Southeast Asia, Spice Market has allured foodies who wonder what international street foods could be like in a sophisticated setting. Its Restaurant Week menu includes coveted plates such as: Pork Belly Banh Mi (pickled carrot and cilantro), Wok Charred Daikon Cake (scallion and peanuts) and Miso Caramel Pudding (glazed cherries and sesame cake).
21 Club Once a glamorous speakeasy, today ’21’ is one of the most celebrated restaurants in New York. During Restaurant Week, 21 Club’s got: Grilled Shrimp (pickled nectarine chutney, cucumber salad, pea greens), Grilled Pork Tenderloin (butter beans, herbed potatoes, honey-peach gastrique), Sesame-Crusted Salmon (kale, edamame, cucumber, miso dressing). One dessert not to be missed: Devil’s Food Crunch Cake (chocolate pearls, raspberry purée). And that’s all we’re revealing!
Maze by Gordon Ramsey Taste and style. French and Asian. You can’t possibly expect anything less than Michelin star quality and class all the way from Gordon Ramsey, especially during Restaurant Week. Typically, what we love at Maze are: Red mullet (crispy squid, garlic and lemon purée, red pepper vierge), Hamachi yuzu-kosho (thinly sliced yellow tail, white tosaka, yuzu-kosho), Duck and foie gras terrine (cherries, wet almonds, Sauternes gel) and Pork belly (razor clams, wasabi, crushed peas, lobster and sake dressing.)
Circo If you’ve been following Jetset Times, you know we’re huge fans of the Maccioni family. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting them like we have, then Circo is a great way to get inside the heart and soul of the family’s matriarch! Every recipe is from the family’s Tuscan kitchen. Expect Restaurant Week to showcase: Zuppa Di Pomodori con Verdure (Italian-style chilled gazpacho soup, basil and croutons), Pollo alla Pizzaiola con Capperi e Pomodori (chicken escalope, buffalo mozzarella, capers, tomatoes), and Capesante, Peperonata e Insalata di Mais ($5 supplement – sea scallops, pepper and zucchine piperade, greenmarket sweet corn). Delicioso!
Le Cirque NYC From Circo to Le Cirque, is like meeting the mother and sons of the Maccioni family to the patriarch – Sirio. The ultimate King of Hospitality – Sirio, along with the legend of Le Cirque have continued to wow away diplomats, politicians, Hollywood celebrities and social butterflies. Restaurant Week is the perfect chance to discover why Le Cirque has been such a favorite among the mass. Some of my personal favorites include: Lobster Risotto ($5 supplement –Sauce Americaine, sea beans), Seared Bonito “Sicilian Style” (eggplant puree, campari, tomatoes, caramelized olives), Grilled Hanger Steak “Vierge de Boeuf” (arugula, balsamic jus). Don’t ever leave the restaurant without ordering the famous Crème Brûlée “Le Cirque”. There is a secret at the bottom of the dish. Shh!! (Read more of our exclusive interview at Le Cirque).
Monkey Bar As a true New York City institution, Monkey Bar never fails. It’s a pleasure to see it partake in Restaurant Week. Some of its classics and must-eats include: Halibut (pea ravioli, hen-of-the-woods, truffle sauce), Rohan Duck (black rice, rapini), Colorado Lamb Rack (garbanzo beans, swiss chard crêpes) and Dry-aged Bone-in Sirloin. A personal favorite at the bar is an absolutely delectable apple martini. You won’t regret it, promise!
The National A shining Midtown star, The National describes the dining experience as “…inspired by the grand cafés of Europe and by classic American dining rooms, with a welcoming yet refined interior design by the Rockwell Group, bustling atmosphere, and great service.” During Restaurant Week, make sure to devour in: Watermelon Salad (feta, olive, cucumber), Mahi Mahi (coconut basmati rice, asparagus, sweet & sour sauce), Grilled Flank steak (chipotle pomme puree, charred leaks, chimichurri).
Quality Meats Designed by AvroKO (PUBLIC, Stanton Social, Sapa), Quality Meats is one of the city’s top steakhouses. We recommend these dishes during Restaurant Week: Seared Diver Scallops with Corn Chowder, Dry-Aged Meatballs with Couscous & Oven-Dried Tomatoes, Open-Faced Shrimp Salad Sandwich and Matcha Mango Bubble Tea. That’s right, boba!
The Russian Tea Room Besides its fanciful vodka selections, The Russian Tea Room is another culinary landmark that one must explore in Manhattan. Besides its colorful history in the city, we urge you to try these dishes during Restaurant Week so you can at least introduce your taste buds to a great spectrum of Russian cuisine: Traditional Tea Room Red Borscht (pickled red beets, seasonal vegetables and dill in a short rib broth served with a braised beef pirozhok), Chicken Chakhokhbili (stewed chicken with tomato and onions, Georgian style, served with rice), Vareniki (vegetable Ravioli with daily sauce preparation), and Chocolate Pyramid for dessert (bittersweet chocolate mousse with a raspberry filling.)
Tao Looking for a spot with a hip crowd? Famished for authentic Chinese dim sum? Is your appetite bigger for sophisticated noodles and fancy rice plates? Or is Japanese much more of your taste? Tao’s got it all. There isn’t one particular dish we would recommend, frankly its tapas (family) style of cuisine allows you to try and love anything you order. What we really think you should do is order a very nice sake to go along with your meal. Can’t ever go wrong with that!
Mercer Kitchen is where Chef Jean-Georges makes sure you look good while eating even better! Hang out with the stars as you indulge in the perfection of: Chicken and Coconut Milk Soup, Rack of Lamb (with green chili and mint, sweet pea puree), or go classic and order The Mercer Burger (Pepperjack cheese, avocado, crunchy red onions, Russian dressing, french fries). We also don’t want you to leave without giving its raw bar a try, just an brilliantly fresh choice!
Nobu New York is the flagship restaurant of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, it has also been a pioneer for Japanese cuisine since its opening in 1994. Nobu partnered with restaurateur Drew Nieporent, Meir Teper, and Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro to bring his modern Japanese to Tribeca. Although Restaurant Week might include some dishes that you’re dying to eat, we’re huge fans of these: Sea Urchin Tempura, Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna, Creamy Spicy Crab, Lobster with Wasabi Pepper Sauce, Spicy Miso Chips with Bigeye Tuna, Monkfish Pate with Caviar, Salmon Skin Salad, Fluke Sashimi with Dried Miso. Yes, that was a long list, but we’re pretty sure after a trip to Nobu, your list will be much longer!
Mr. Chow New York Opened in 2006, this is the second post in NYC to the original on 57th Street. Mr Chow’s latest & hippest NYC location attracts clients from the music, art and fashion industries. Sure you can expect the usual chicken satays and Chinese noodles, but what we absolutely crave for are: Prawn Toast, Minced Beef Pancake, Squid Ink Rice Noodles, Emperor’s Crab, Gamblers Duck, Spicy Pork and the amazing Tofu Casserole!
Mesa Grill And there’s Bobby Flay! A Manhattan gem you don’t want to miss out on, from Spice Rubbed New York Strip Steak with House-Made Mesa Steak Sauce to Chile Relleno. American cuisine from Bobby Flay’s perspective will take you for a whirlwind. During Restaurant Week, we love: Fish Cakes (with Grapefruit-Avocado-Mango Salsa, Poblano Vinaigrette), Wild Striped Bass (with Smoked Tomato-Black Olive Relish, Hot Red Chile Garlic Vinaigrette), Cornmeal Crusted Chile Relleno (filled with Roasted Eggplant, Manchego Cheese with Sweet Red Pepper Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar). If you’re fan of bread pudding, don’t miss out on his!
Olives New York In the same neighborhood, Todd English’s Olives is another fantastic option where you an only expect the best, especially with dishes such as: Todd English’s Famous Spicy Roasted Broccoli, Lamb Merguez Sliders, Crab Carbonara, Olives Doublecut Pork Chop, Caramelized Diver Scallop is also fantastically satiating. Located at the iconic W Hotel Union Square, Todd English’s new menu features his signature Olives classics, as well as fresh and modern Mediterranean dishes.
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Cafe Boulud Chef Daniel Boulud’s Michelin-starred restaurant is not only a neighborhood staple but a well-known international gem. Elegant dining, seasonal delicacies and the freshest ingredients are reasons why this foodies’ hotspot is quite epic. Restaurant Week at Cafe Boulud allows you to experience: Rock Shrimp Ceviche, Blacked Hake, New Jersey Corn Ravioli, Manjari Mousse, and the best Poached Blueberries!
Fishtail by David Burke As one of the most popular seafood restaurants in Manhattan, Fishtail offers the freshest seafood provided by David Burke’s company-owned fishing boat out of Brielle, New Jersey, the Hunts Point fish market and Litchfield Farms. On this special week, besides diving into a plate of oysters, we think some of the best include: Ritz Cracker Crab Cake, Swordfish Pappardele, and Pan Roasted Mussels. For dessert, Caramel Crunch Cake is insanely good!
Hospoda has got a new and fascinating beer-inspired menu! But on Restaurant Week, there are some ridiculously good dishes that you just can’t leave without discovering: Soft Poached Egg (chive, yukon gold potato, trout roe, onion), Veal Loin (potato confit, romaine hearts, lemon, bohemian pilsner), Seared Scallops (sweet corn, cherries, chicken jus)! The New American dishes are created by Executive chef Rene B. Stein and prepared using beer. Make sure to pair your plates with recommendations of Czech Pilsner Urquell, local craft beers, and some delicious vino.
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Nougatine by Jean Georges Celebs, business-savvys, socialites can be found at Jean Georges’ hippest restaurant of the moment. The bar scene at night is undeniably happening and a brunch out in the terrace on Sundays is typically a coveted place to be. Though Nougatine is open 365 days in a year, Restaurant Week is the perfect time for you to venture various dishes that you’ve always wanted to try but never got a chance to before. What we especially like from its menu are: Scallop Sashimi (Chipotle Mayo, Crispy Rice), Foie Gras Brule (Roasted Strawberries, Aged Balsamic), 28 Day Dry Age Ribeye for Two (Crispy Potato, Herbal Spinach), Lobster Burger (With Gruyere, Green Chili Mayonnaise, Yuzu Pickles), and Roasted Dover Sole (Potatoes Cooked with Lemon, Olive Oil and Herbs). Plus, the Jean Georges’ Warm Chocolate Cake is not to be missed!
Boulud Sud Seeking for a menu that travels the entire Mediterranean region from the South of France to North of Africa?Boulud Sud is your perfect choice. Chef Daniel Boulud creates dishes that truly reflect the flavors and cultures of each region. During Restaurant Week, we highly recommend you to return and taste all options, but if we had to choose: Andalusian Gazpacho (cucumber, basil, pickled garlic), Marrakech Spiced Flank Steak (red pepper, couscous, carrots, cumin, cilantro), and the Lemon Blueberry Gateau (goat cheese Bavarian mousse, limoncello, sorbetti) would certainly be an immaculate meal!
Lincoln Ristorante Modern Italian with panoramic view of the city. Didn’t think this was possible in Manhattan? Well, it is at Lincoln Ristorante. With Lincoln Center’s reflecting pool, Henry Moore’s sculpture straight ahead, a grass lawn roof, and even a central open kitchen…you simply can’t experience a bad meal here! On this week, you shouldn’t miss out on: Insalata Di Tonno (olive oil poached tuna, mosciame, scarlet runner beans, celery, confit tomatoes, 5-minute egg, Taggiasca olives), Strozzapreti Al Ragu Di Mare (scallop and shrimp sausage, hot and sweet peppers, garlic scapes, shellfish sauce), Pollo Fritto con Insalata mista (Tuscan fried chicken, market greens), Trippa Alla Fiorentina (honey comb tripe, sunny-side up eggs, parmigiano-reggiano).
Sushi Samba 7 Honestly, you just can never go wrong with Sushi Samba. We know there are many sushi options in the city, but its consistency over the years has given trendsetters and partygoers reasons to return time after time. If you’re a foodie, what’s not to love about an eclectic fusion of Asian and South American cuisine? Some of your future favorite plates during Restaurant Week will be: New Classic Seviche (market fish, sweet potato confit), Pan Seared Market Fish (tomato seviche and aji amarillo), Churrasco Sandwich (charred beef tenderloin, sunny side up organic egg, black truffle, ciabatta), and of course, how can you say No to Chef’s Sushi Plate?