Restaurant Week in NYC-Recommendations?

Jan 7th, 2009, 07:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
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Restaurant Week in NYC-Recommendations?

Restaurant Week in Manhattan runs from Jan. 18 thru the 30th. Visiting from Southern California and don't know the territory. Appreciate any recommendations. You have a choice of lunch or dinner. I presume reservations are a must. Any help as to what to expect is appreciated. My 27 year old daughter is a vegetarian. Thanks so much!
bkcangel is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 09:56 PM
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They usually put together a pri-fix menu.It is better to go for lunch IMHO as the restaurants are very crowded.generally the experience is different than othertimes.Stll worth it to try out some restaurant you may not have gone to.If you pick out a few we can help you decide.make sure you book early as the good restaurants book up
cindymal is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 03:06 AM
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Go to to see the selection and book online. Big time saver.
Elainee is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 04:55 AM
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Reservations are a definite must, and it's already too late to get reservations at most of the best restaurants that only join the promotion for a limited time. Don't wait to make your reservations if you want to take advantage of the promotion.

But the truth is (and not everyone agrees with me on this) that most restaurants rarely serve their regular food on these cheaper menus, and they aren't a very good value. A lot of restaurants offer the same price year-round for a lunch prix-fixe.

Vegetarian options may be limited at most of these restaurants, so that's a bit issue.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 07:49 AM
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Doug, I am one that DOES agree w/you.
I remember one French restaurant that normally would be cost prohibitive that had printed up special (Read: cheap) menus and the food wasn't
even worth the reduced price.

Couple that w/harried service & crowded tables.

Some are okay but I guess you have to know which ones are sticking close to their normal menu.
Rhea58 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 07:57 AM
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I was going to help you, but you lost me with "daughter is a vegetarian."

I am a meat eater and don't pay any attention to vegetarian selections on menus in Manhattan restaurants.

Chanterelle is my favourite restaurant in Manhattan, by the way. Others include Picholine, Aqua Grill, and Gotham Bar/Grill.

Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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Vegetarian can be an issue - since the Restaurant Week deals are usually quite limited menus. I think you'll need to check carefully what they're offering on the special menus - and do so now so you have a chance of getting reservations.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 08:48 AM
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I'm with Doug - restaurant week usually is not that great a deal - limited menus, harried kitchens and staffs, just not that great an expereince. usually Danny Meyer's restaurants(Union Square, Gramercy, Eleven Madison, Tabla, Blue Smoke) are a bit more of a deal, but they are usually booked solid by the first day or so, anyway.

But maybe in this economy, that won't be true.

here's a link to the list, if you don't already have - some you can book thru opentable, some you have to call.

if you're looking for a high-end, excellent meal with a vegetarian, I'd recommend Aquavit - either the dining room or the cafe. Brilliant veg. tasting menu, great service, delicious food.
mp is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 10:35 AM
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Hi bkcangel,

I respnded earlier this week to someone asking for which restaurants offer the best deals for Restaurant Week. Here are my picks:

Dollar for dollar, IMHO, the best deals on the list (factoring in restaurant quality and the menu's bang for your buck) -- are:
A Voce (incredible modern Italian)
Anthos (sophisticated modern Greek)
Asiate (high-end Asian, overlooking Central Park -- request a window table)
Del Posto (Mario Batali's fanciest Italian)
DB Bistro Moderne (super chef Boulud's "casual" French outpost)
Eleven Madison Park (New American, one of the most exciting restos in the city)
Gramercy Tavern (American, a NYC classic)
The Modern (gorgeous modern French in the MoMA)
Nougatine at Jean-Georges (excellent French in a lovely park-side room)
Tocqueville (jewelbox, hidden away New American steps from Union Square)
Union Square Cafe (New American, also steps from USQ, a NYC classic)

Definitely book reservations soon -- these places will fill up quick, if they still have space!

I do agree with Doug in that some spots offer more value than others. The ones I've mentioned all are good values.

Bon Appetit!
Erica_D is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 12:42 PM
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I went to Butter for lunch during summer restaurant week and it was great. I was with a vegetarian friend and he had no problem.

That being said - check the menus since they change every season. The lunches are indeed a much better deal and the waiters way less harried. But I always enjoy taking advantage of it.
shirley82 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 05:01 PM
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I won't do Restaurant Week dinners anymore - the menus offer less expensive food than they normally do and we've been disappointed many times. The last time we did the dinner, no one in our group liked what was offered and we ordered a la carte - ending up with a big bill. The lunches, as stated by others, are a good deal. Nougatine, btw, offers the lunch deal year round.
Centralparkgirl is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 10:56 AM
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Thank you all so much for your kind input. You were right-most of the best places were already booked up. I should have mentioned that my vegetarian daughter does eat fish and seafood. We were able to get reservations at China Grill, Blue Smoke, and Il Cantinori for dinners; and Mesa Grill and Centro Vinoteca for lunches. Any comments? We are hoping for the best. I do understand your comments about it may not be the best experience and your points are valid and that has me concerned. My daughter is really excited about this and wants to do it.
Thank You for any additional input.
bkcangel is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 12:15 PM
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Blue Smoke will have very very few options for your daughter, even though she'll eat fish. But there are a few things on the regular menu. Still, not the best destination for a vegetarian. Perhaps you could try Breadbar, which is mostly Indian (it's the more casual part of Tabla, which has a wonderful, albeit expensive, vegetarian tasting menu). Dinner for two there can be about $50 each, depending on what you order.
doug_stallings is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 12:46 PM
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Hmmm... I agree that most places, including otherwise exceptional restaurants, disappoint with their Restaurant Week prix fixe.
That said, I was at Esca, an amazing seafood restaurant, for a restaurant week lunch last year and it was just as good as their usual entrees & particularly satisfying at $25. You'll not find seafood like this (or like some other high end seafood spots in NYC) anywhere else in the US.
If your daughter actually likes seafood, in addition to standard fare like tuna salad or filet of salmon/tuna/swordfish etc., then I highly recommend Esca.
If restaurant-week was coincidental to your trip, I would pick places regardless of their participation. Devi & Tamarind are 2 very good Indian restaurants and different from the usual "Taj Mahal authentic Indian". Hangawi is an upscale vegetarian, Korean restaurant and it's quite an experience where you'll be reated to a variety of veggies never seen elsewhere but taste delicious. Try some good Greek spots that have seafood, salads & olives aplenty & lots of other stuff to keep you happy as well. Molyvos is more traditional; Anthos is self-proclaimed "new Greek"; Snack Taverna is a cozy nook in the W. village and Pylos in the E. village isn't bad either.
New England style seafood spots are Mary's Fish Camp and Pearl Oyster Bar.
I think you can do better than the restaurants you mentioned if you decide to toss the restaurant week idea. And it doesn't have to be much more expensive.
mdn is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 05:19 PM
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I've been to Hangawi and it is a real treat ($$$$).
seetheworld is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 10:26 PM
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Tabla has a vegetarian menu.I am not sure what happens during restaurant week.
cindymal is offline  
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