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Restaurant Week--where are you planning on going?

kimie Jul 1, 2008 01:49 PM

Restaurant week is July 21-25 & July 28-Aug 1. What places are on your list? I'm looking for inspiration and suggestions.


  1. c
    chocokitty Jul 24, 2008 06:36 PM

    Been to:
    - Gramercy Tavern - one of the best RW experience I've had in ages (Oh, the snap peas! I still dream of it!)
    - Eleven Madison Park - as a RW experience, it's a lot better than last year in terms of food but it doesn't try to reach its known excellence in food

    Trying next week:
    - Aquavit Dining Room with my co-workers (been to the Cafe last year and it was a very good experience)
    - Town for lunch (I remember reading another post that it's good but not great)
    - Le Cirque for dinner (I'm a bit disgruntled by the fact that their RW lunch menu is the same as the dinner and I'm reading not-so-good reviews about them but I'm still hoping for a positive one.)


    1 Reply
    1. re: chocokitty
      chocokitty Jul 24, 2008 06:47 PM

      On a side note, has anyone been to Chinatown Brasserie or Rayuela for dinner yet? I'm awaiting reviews since I want to swap out Le Cirque after reading underwhelming reviews.

    2. c
      ConOrama Jul 24, 2008 12:35 PM

      Went to Pertossian on Monday and The Modern last night. Both were splendid.

      Wasted many RW years not combing through Chowhound first. :)

      2 Replies
      1. re: ConOrama
        Das Ubergeek Jul 24, 2008 01:11 PM

        I Trulli (very good but a bit salty, excellent wine)
        Opia (not worthy to be served to prisoners)
        Alfama (going tonight)

        1. re: Das Ubergeek
          Das Ubergeek Jul 24, 2008 07:00 PM

          Failed to go to Alfama -- they cancelled the reservation and conveniently stopped speaking English when I called to find out why. So I took the PATH train to the Ironbound instead and had more food more cheaply, even taking into account the extra $3.50 from my Metrocard. Phthbthbthbthbthbt on Alfama.

      2. owlwoman Jul 24, 2008 12:21 PM

        Went to Bar Bouloud for lunch yesterday, excellent, great pate for an app, beef ravioli w/fresh peas and lima beans and the ile flottante w/blueberry compote for dessert (out of this world), it's a dessert you don't see often and when it's good, it's very, very, very, good, forgot to mention, it's served in a bowl of creme anglaise, hard not to lick the plate, it is all about the dessert, isn't it? Other choices were a carrot soup or salad for app, mussels or chicken for main and chocolate-coffee tart or praline mousse (which my friend had, decadent!).

        1. j
          jbudnick Jul 24, 2008 11:30 AM

          I went to Megu downtown last night for dinner, and typically I am not a fan of super trendy places, but the food was great considering it was restaurant week. I had the soft shell crab salad, the miso lamp chops, and the house dessert. My friend had the salmon app and the kobe beef. I felt the service was below average. But def. a good value.

          1. l
            Lucia Jul 24, 2008 11:13 AM

            I went to Le Cirque for lunch yesterday not really expecting much but just taking a chance to eat in the restaurant for the first and probably only time. The initial welcoming was, well, not so welcoming--more like snooty and cold. But, our server ended up being much more welcoming. I had fluke sashimi, which I thought was too coarsely cut. Daurade was good, as was the chocolate "mille feuille"--although there were no feuilles in site, just a chocolate brownie w/mousse on top.

            1. e
              elderberry Jul 24, 2008 08:03 AM

              Last year I went to the Bar at the Modern (superb with impeccable service), Crema (dinner good but dessert tasteless), and Aquavit (good).

              This week, I went to Artisanal which had a fair selection for appetizer and main course. There were 2 dessert options. They seemed to churn people in and out.

              I also have reservations at Le Perigord and Davidburke & Donatella and would like feedback from anyone about these two.

              1. b
                baobao Jul 23, 2008 11:32 AM

                Devi was fine, portions were pretty good (especially for the cauliflower appetizer), but our service was so bad. Dishes were taken away before they were finished. One of my friends had definitely asked for the scallop appetizer, but was brought the cauliflower one. When we corrected our waiter, he went away for a second, then came back and firmly pushed the plate onto her desk and TOLD her, "YOU ordered the cauliflower." What?!

                1 Reply
                1. re: baobao
                  csfx2 Jul 24, 2008 07:17 AM

                  I just had dinner at Devi last night, and I found the service to be perfectly acceptable. Courses came very quickly, as seems to be about standard for RW, we were out in about an hour, but the service was generally pretty polite and on point.

                2. k
                  kathryn Jul 23, 2008 10:35 AM

                  Gramercy Tavern was excellent and an excellent value if you factor in the gift certificate (good for weekday lunch until late Sept).


                  1. bolletje Jul 16, 2008 02:42 PM

                    I reserved Devi, Perry St., Bar at the Modern and Molyvos. I've never done RW so decided to try it out!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: bolletje
                      foodftw Jul 24, 2008 07:59 AM

                      I had dinner at the Modern monday, it was excellent! The beer braised pork belly was so good I'm still dreaming of it! My boyfriend has some really great scallops too. Definitly a place that didn't phone it in for RW. Highly recommended

                      1. re: bolletje
                        itoNYoshi22 Jul 24, 2008 12:04 PM

                        I am having dinner at Perry St. next week. Fingers crossed.

                        The other place I'm going for RW is Fig & Olives/Midtown (but only because they do a good job and had an amazing waitstaff).

                      2. t
                        Taylor.Watson Jul 15, 2008 01:45 PM

                        I understand that some of these places might not be as good during RW, and was hoping to get some of your guys opinions on the 4 places I made reservations for. The 4 places are Anthos, Petrossian, Aquavit, and Eleven Madison Park. Are they all worth it? Should I keep them all? Are any going to be not nearly as good as they usually are? Thanks.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Taylor.Watson
                          chocokitty Jul 15, 2008 05:11 PM

                          Taylor, I've been to Anthos during the winter RW and I didn't think it's worth it - service was practically non-existent when my friend and I kept flagging down for our waiter but he's no where to be seen, and the RW menu didn't really make us want to order anything from it that we ended up ordering from their normal, slightly higher priced, prix fixe. In terms of the food, we were both left disappointed.

                          Aquavit Cafe was very good (as I'm going there again, but with my colleagues this time and it's going to be in the Dining Room). Service was attentive, the food's cooked perfectly, it wasn't rushed. I enjoyed my experience there.

                          EMP, when I went there last summer wasn't what I expected since I had their Gourmand lunch a few months prior to that RW experience. Except when I read the past winter's, it seems like they listened and shaped up.

                          Hope this would answer your question.


                          1. re: chocokitty
                            Taylor.Watson Jul 15, 2008 06:03 PM

                            Thanks so much Tina. I just canceled Anthos. Much appreciated!

                          2. re: Taylor.Watson
                            ConOrama Jul 16, 2008 05:52 AM

                            Im going to Petrossian on Monday. Doesnt look like their RW menu differs from their normal prix fixe.

                          3. g
                            glen3a Jul 10, 2008 04:57 PM

                            We were thinking of Union Square or Mesa Grill. Anyone have any thoughts on either place?

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: glen3a
                              fayth Jul 10, 2008 06:56 PM

                              I loved my Winter RW lunch at Mesa Grill. They offer a selection of dishes from the regular menu. Fantastic bread basket. Here is my RW review with photos:

                              Also check the recent thread about Mesa Grill:

                              1. re: glen3a
                                RGR Jul 10, 2008 10:38 PM

                                After not having been to USC for many years because our first meal there was disappointing, we decided to give it another try a few weeks ago. What a difference! This time, the food was first-rate! I certainly recommend it though I seriously doubt you can get a RW reservation at this point. As has been noted by others, Danny Meyer restaurants are extremely popular during RW, and reservations fill up very quickly.

                                1. re: glen3a
                                  foodage Jul 23, 2008 08:21 PM

                                  I would avoid this place for RW and in general. One of the apps. was really good, the spicy tuna tartare. After inhaling it, I was eagerly looking forward to the entrees. My red snapper was covered in a thick coating of pepper bits... I guess you could call it a pepper shell... I had to gently remove it and laughed when I saw little piles of pepper shells on other people's plates. The fish was dry and flavorless. The eggplant dish incidentally tasted like pepper and was also covered in some kind of bad breading/shell. The quesadilla was not good. For dessert, I had some cornbread pudding which was tasty but did not make up for the main course. Overall a pretty bad experience and not worth the money.

                                2. b
                                  bykim1 Jul 8, 2008 07:11 PM

                                  no where, the food that's served during restaurant week is pretty sub-par. not just my own opinion, but from the very mouths of some of the people that work at the restaurants listed in this thread.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: bykim1
                                    douglas525 Jul 10, 2008 03:40 AM

                                    I've heard the same, and some other posts here have alluded to this assertion. What my wife and I do is ask for gift certificates for our birthdays, anniversary, etc so that we can try these places that we otherwise couldn't afford. Even if the gift certificate doesn't cover the whole cost, the tab still comes to about the same or less as it would during restaurant week. And it works out perfectly because our apartment is so small, we don't want anything that takes up actual space.

                                    1. re: douglas525
                                      ginsbera Jul 10, 2008 07:16 AM

                                      I disagree. I've had delicious meals during RW, it's all about where you choose to go. Some restaurants take RW service very seriously while others merely throw a salmon and chicken dish on the menu and breeze through it. I find it hard to make such broad generalizations about RW when clearly there are people happy with what they get. This year I am going to Perry Street and Mia Dona or Bar Room (on the waiting list here).

                                      1. re: ginsbera
                                        bosun Jul 10, 2008 11:15 AM

                                        I agree with ginsbera. Some places will use restaurant week to try out new dishes or step up their service to catch new Clientele. I made a res for the Bar room and was very impressed that they called me to make sure I knew the menu would be changed for RW just in case I was not aware. Meyer restaurants are very good during RW. But that's not to say that some places don't phone it in. I had a sub par meal at Del Posto this past winter.

                                        1. re: bosun
                                          elizabeth2929 Jul 10, 2008 01:07 PM

                                          Choose a Danny Meyer restaurant -- in his book he says he believes in using this week to impress with generosity, not to cut the food so he still makes a profit. Example -- I ate at the Tabla Bread Bar which I really enjoyed. True, I ordered extra things off the menu so I could try some new things. Still, I was stunned to be given two gift certificates (25.00 each) for dinner upstairs. (They did have a three month expiration date.) And yes I used them so the PR device worked.

                                          1. re: elizabeth2929
                                            ginsbera Jul 10, 2008 01:16 PM

                                            glad you both agree, and you know what Meyer and his organization are great examples. I too had a wonderful meal at Bar Room and plan to go back this year. I also found a meal at JoJo to be quite good and have heard other good things about JG owned restaurants during RW, with the exception of the horrendous Vong (one of the most unsatisfying dinners I've ever paid for).

                                            1. re: elizabeth2929
                                              kathryn Jul 10, 2008 01:56 PM

                                              Most Danny Meyer restaurants book up well in advance, though. Check OpenTable or call ahead!

                                              elizabeth2929, when did you dine at Tabla Bread Bar? I know for a few of his places, they don't do the RW gift certificates at all or any more.

                                            2. re: bosun
                                              douglas525 Jul 11, 2008 06:38 AM

                                              OK, I guess it's time for a new thread. Restaurant Week Restaurants That Don't Phone It In...see you there.

                                      2. bosun Jul 8, 2008 01:54 PM

                                        I am doing lunch at Artisanal and dinner at The Modern bar room. Looking forward to both!

                                        1. k
                                          KiwiGirl625 Jul 2, 2008 06:05 AM

                                          Mai House
                                          Gramercy Tavern

                                          Any thoughts on Mai House, for RW and otherwise? Don't see much about it on these boards.

                                          1. JungMann Jul 2, 2008 05:46 AM

                                            I didn't obssess too much since it seems like the special menu usually gets offered until Labor Day. I made dinner reservations at: Roy's, Devi, Amalia, Rayuela, Town, Mai House and Crema. Lunch reservations are at: davidburke & donatella and I'm debating possibly taking a trip to EMP.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: JungMann
                                              kobetobiko Jul 8, 2008 12:52 PM

                                              D&D always have prix-fixe lunch right? You don't have to go during RW as it will probably be more crowded.

                                              1. re: JungMann
                                                foodwhisperer Jul 10, 2008 06:45 AM

                                                i'm amazed that so many list Mai House. The place is average at best. They eliminated the frog lolly pops from the menu, which was the best thing they had IMHO. I'd rather eat at Indochine , Viet Cafe, Nam, or the place on 57th between park and Lex.

                                                1. re: foodwhisperer
                                                  JungMann Jul 11, 2008 05:30 AM

                                                  I had heard that Mai House was pretty mediocre which is why I didn't visit during the last restaurant week. But with the recent changes in staff and increased visibility of the restaurant, I'm curious to see what they offer. Of course if the RW menu turns out to be a poor reflection, I'll have no qualms cancelling my reservation.

                                                  1. re: JungMann
                                                    lastingly Jul 23, 2008 10:02 AM

                                                    Just wanted to confirm the mediocrity of Mai House. Went earlier this week with a friend. Had the beef and the papaya salad, the chicken and the ribs, and finally the ganache and the sorbets. Utterly underwhelmed by all of it.

                                              2. c
                                                chocokitty Jul 2, 2008 03:10 AM

                                                I'm going to:

                                                - Gramercy Tavern
                                                - EMP (some menu choices read vaguely familiar to last year's but sounds good anyway)
                                                - Aquavit (Dining Room but it won't matter in terms of the menu - it's the same as the Cafe)
                                                - Del Posto
                                                - Le Cirque (for dinner)

                                                In re: to sticham, I've been to Anthos and Devi for lunch the past winter. Anthos's RW menu wasn't that great that my friend and I opted for their regular lunch prix fixe and service was pretty bad. As for Devi, it was very good. Their RW menu is pretty much what they offer on their normal menu and service was attentive.

                                                kimie, if you're looking for a dinner option, I do suggest the Bar Room at the Modern. I had a very good meal albeit service was a bit lacking.


                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: chocokitty
                                                  kimie Jul 8, 2008 12:38 PM

                                                  Thanks for the rec to the Modern. I cannot find their RW menu. Do you know where I can find it? Thanks again.

                                                  1. re: kimie
                                                    chocokitty Jul 8, 2008 06:59 PM

                                                    No problem! Just call them to fax or email it over to you. They should have it on hand, if not, the week of.

                                                    1. re: kimie
                                                      ConOrama Jul 10, 2008 06:55 AM

                                                      Im going to the Modern for RW also. If you get the menu could you post it?

                                                    2. re: chocokitty
                                                      kobetobiko Jul 8, 2008 12:51 PM

                                                      Hi Tina,

                                                      Just a word of warning that Del Posto's RW menu is very limited and sized down and not representative of the restaurant's regular offering at all.

                                                      This year the list is so boring that I am going to go to restaurants that are NOT participating in RW instead! I hope they will be less crowded! :D

                                                      1. re: kobetobiko
                                                        chocokitty Jul 8, 2008 07:00 PM

                                                        I found out too late! ...as in the week after they released the RW list and inquiring their menu after I made reservations. Argh, I don't know where I can find a decent place to have lunch by now! :(

                                                    3. s
                                                      sticham Jul 1, 2008 02:00 PM

                                                      Since I can only do dinners:

                                                      Davidburke and donnatella

                                                      Not been to any of them yet, so can't offer advice i am afraid!

                                                      Everyone else is going to say EMP....

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: sticham
                                                        rugburn Jul 24, 2008 08:58 AM

                                                        Petrossian for Rest Week is incredible. My fiancee and i did that last Rest Week and were blown away. You'll have a great time!! Mmm, caviar...

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