Summer Restaurant Week ’09 Recommendations

RestaurantWeek'09Summer

After a tough year Summer Restaurant Week is here and has officially extended its offerings from the get-go. New York City Restaurant Week is now three weeks long which gives us a better opportunity of actually scoring reservations at some of the better restaurants out there, or so I thought.

The two restaurants I had initially planned on trying out were 10 Downing and Daniel Boulud’s new East Village gastropub, DBGB. I’ve confirmed that these hotspots are the most desirable restaurants on Restaurant Week as I was unable to get a reservation at either of them before 6pm any day of the week. Honestly, I’m not too crushed over 10 Downing as I’ve heard they still have some kinks to work out but was sincerely disappointed about DBGB. And I was trying to make dinner reservations which doesn’t even offer a Restaurant Week menu. I guess I’ll try back next month.

In any case, all is not lost. Today my lovely grandmother treated me to lunch at Brasserie and will be trying out Opia this evening. Friday I’ll be at Amma and I hope to make it to Elettaria AND Centro Vinoteca before the end of the month. We shall see.

But for those looking to get a taste of the good life without spending a small fortune I recommend trying out some of these fine New York City establishments:

LUNCH

DINNER

Oldies but Goodies

New AND Notable

Remember, often times the more expensive the restaurant, the better value you’ll receive. That is unless your meal is the size of a penny.

Winter Restaurant Week 2009

Restaurant Week is something I used to look forward to season after season. Though I’m sure most of you have found that the prix-fixed $25 lunches and $35 dinners have gone downhill since the week’s inception. The majority of restaurants included in Restaurant Week usually do not serve the same items as on their regular menu, have very few choices available, and occassionaly serve their dishes in smaller portions. But despite Restaurant Week’s downfalls, it does allow the public to experience a meal that they may have not had otherwise.

Though this winter is the first time some of the restaurants have opened up this offering to Sunday night dinners. Winter Restaurant week is being held January 18th – 23rd and January 25th – 30th. Typically, Restaurant Week is held twice a year for two consecutive work weeks, in the winter and in the spring. But due to the current state of the economy it’s been more common for restaurants to extend their Restaurant Week offerings or temporarily offer a prix-fixed $35 dinner option on weeknights.

When choosing restaurants (for myself or groups) that participate in Restaurant Week I usually follow a few guidelines:

  1. Book your reservations on Open Table immediately. Participating restaurants book up fast. Open Table allows you to cancel a reservation up to 24 hours in advance.
  2. Check the Restaurant Week menus in advance. It’s common for Restaurant Week participants to serve unlikely or unpopular food pairings.
  3. Read up on the more expensive restaurant choices. You may as well get the best bang for your buck.

My recommendation’s for Winter Restaurant Week 2009 are:

Lunch:
– Butter
– Grammercy Tavern
– Norma’s
– Tamarind

Dinner:
– Apiary (NEW)
– Calle Ocho
– Chinatown Brasserie
– Jojo
– Periyali
– Telepan
– Mesa Grill