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Summer '09 Restaurant Week - plans, reviews

Thought we might as well start a new thread for the season. Anyone already have their reservations/ plans of attack? Inside info on the RW week menus? Reviews/recommendations based on past RW experiences?

I thought it was pretty slim pickins' for dinner options, so I got two back-to-back Friday night ressies at the Modern (loved it for RW last time), and two Sunday dinner ressies at Convivio. I have one more Friday night reservation slot to fill (the last Friday), but don't know if I should hit up someplace else for variety. What about you?

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  1. oh and anyone notice that some of the old DM standbys (Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Union Sq Cafe) are absent?

    9 Replies
    1. re: janethepain

      I had made a reservation at USC during the RW period, and they called me to make sure I knew they weren't offering a RW menu.

      1. re: janethepain

        I thought I read somewhere that Gramercy Tavern will be participating but only for the first week. (This year summer RW is three weeks.)

        Re: EMP. Since the lunch menu is now regularly 2 courses for $28 -- true, more expensive than RW's 3 courses for $24, but still a bargain -- I'm guessing they don't see a need to participate in RW.

        1. re: RGR

          Gramcery Tavern is participating for the week of July 13-17. I called yesterday to grab a lunch reservation and they were completely full. We're on the waiting list, but now have a reservation at Park Avenue Summer.

          Should we look elsewhere?

          1. re: AriB

            I did Park Avenue Summer tonight and had a great meal. You can even have your first glass of wine for only $7!! That is a steal!

            ONE: I got the Caprese Ravioli. It was a perfect portion...3 plump raviolis stuffed with tomato and mozz, topped with arugala and watercress. There were small gelatinous pieces which if I had to guess were made from balsamic vinegar. i LOVED them. that made the dish for a perfect tang..

            TWO: One too many episodes of Top chef and I had to go for the Dr Pepper ribs. They were delicious!! The caramel sweetness was not too overpowering and went really well with the crisp peach slaw. Four fall of the bone ribs were actually a little much for me. I should have stopped at 3. The only part about the dish I wasn't as keen about was the peach in the slaw, the rest of the slaw was crisp and fresh and the peach pieces were a little mushy.

            THREE: I picked the rasberry sorbet and the basil ice cream. The dessert was ok for me. I'm not a big dessert person but I did enjoy my basil ice cream.

            Everyone else at the table really enjoyed their meal. The corn soup was the only dish that seemed to fall flat. Other dishes ordered and loved were ceasar salad, filet mignon, salmon, and the chicken. The banana parfait was raved about but I'm allergic to bananas so I had to pass.

            The waitstaff was perfectly cordial and attentive. Did not show any displeasure when all four of us chose the RW menu and checked up on us throughout the meal. Unlike many RW places, Park Ave seem to be prepared for their crowd and demand. Would recommend it and it's a steal considering most entrees at $30.

            1. re: kelea

              I did PAS on Wed. night and was not as happy with my meal. Ravioli way too al dente. The edges were hard and totally undercooked. I did not like this dish at all. The flavor was fine and I just ate some of the middle. The salmon and tomato tartare was delicious.

              The Dr. pepper ribs were fine but the lamb chops were much better. I really liked that and it was delicious. Note there is a $10 supplement for the lamb.

              My friend picked the cherry sorbet and basil ice cream which were both very good. My banana parfait was terrible, the components were fine but did not mesh well together and I barely finished dessert even though I saved room for it by taking some of the lamb to go. It was disappointing and I had a mini dessert when I got home.

              The service was quite poor. My friend had not even arrived and they brought out the amuse bouche and warm rolls to the table. A waiter came as soon as she sat down asking for drink orders and when she said she needed a minute to look at the wine menu he disappeared and never came back. It was about 15 minutes later that we finally asked for our waiter to take the order. By then we had our dinner order ready too. There were many waiters standing around so I am confused as to why the service was so poor.

              I definitely would not go back and was not impressed with the yellow and white decor.

              1. re: G3B

                We don't do RW, but even when it isn't RW, service at Park Avenue SummerFallWinterSpring can be problematical. The first time we had dinner there (Winter '08), service was excellent. Went back for Spring '08, and it was not so good, i.e., the case of the m.i.a. waiter. As for the food, everything I had the first time was excellent, while the second time, there were hits and misses.

                1. re: G3B

                  Sorry to hear...guess we had completely different experiences. we didn't seat till 915 and that might have helped as the dining room wasn't nearly as packed. it's always unfortunate when a resto cannot keep a consistent standard

                  1. re: kelea

                    we were there at 6pm and not full at all when i arrived but certainly packed on our way out. oh well hopefully my next RW meal at Matsuri will turn out to be a better experience.

            2. re: RGR

              I received an email from Union Square Hospitality and it indicated that they're doing a RW-like thing - one restaurant per RW for City Harvest, $24 prix fixe menu. As mentioned before, Gramercy Tavern is doing one week on 7/13-7/17, then it's Union Square Cafe on 7/20-7/24 and Eleven Madison Park on 7/27-7/31.


          2. I have lunch reservations at db Bistro Moderne. I haven't done RW in awhile but db Bistro is around the corner from my office and the menu looks very good. I also am considering Convivio dinner reservations on one of the Sundays.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pellegrino31

              Made a reservation at Convivio for Sunday dinner. It seemed like the only one on the list really worth trying (for dinner anyway)

            2. We have dinner reservations at The Modern, Le Cirque, Megu, and Aquavit. Husband doesn't like Italian and Mexican & all the other places we wanted to try only offer lunch (db Bistro Moderne, Bar Boulud, Gotham Bar & Grill, etc.) and we get up way too late to eat out lunch. I haven't been to any of them & I'm super-excited to try them for RW. I hope they put some effort into RW menu. I'm not so worried about the Modern and Aquavit (read many good RW reviews) but for Megu and Le Cirque for RW, some reviews say fantastic, some reviews say horrible. Worth a try, I guess!

              1. Does anyone recall if the Modern changes its RW menu weekly? I have three Fri night reservations there since nothing else really jumps out at me.

                Am considering swapping one of those for 10 Downing for dinner though. Maybe Anthos? Aquavit Dining Room?

                2 Replies
                1. re: janethepain

                  I've done RW at the Modern several times (you realize it's the Bar Room, right?), and the RW menu is essentially a slightly pared down version of their regular menu (maybe 50-60% of the regular menu) which changes seasonally, but there is still a LOT of variety. You could probably eat there twice and not repeat any dishes, I am not sure about three times, though.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    Yup, I had RW dinner last winter at the Modern (bar room). We all agreed it was great and a terrific value, especially since it really was quite a good selection of "regular" Modern choices. I remember there were quite a few dishes I had wanted to try, and partially due to the lack of better choices this time around, I just booked the Modern three times haha. Even if I have a dish twice because I liked it so much the first time around, I'd still think it's worth the $35.

                2. I'm trying out Michael White's restaurants: Alto and Convivio for lunch and Chinatown Brasserie. I've managed to nab a reservation for Gramercy Tavern lunch during its prix fixe period.


                  1. I'm doing Chinatown Brasserie as well. Does anyone know if Le Cirque is accepting reservations this year? In the past, I know RW was walk-ins only.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: eameyer

                      It looks like the RW menu for Le Cirque isn't that different from its $28 anniversary lunch prixe-fixe, so check their website before you go.

                    2. Does anyone know if you need to pay a supplement to have the kobe beef at Megu?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: krystle920

                        I went to RW at Megu a few years ago and there was no supplement for the kobe beef but be prepared for a teeny teeny portion.

                        1. re: G3B

                          Agree on the portion and it was surprisingly tough. Overall, not a good RW experience.

                      2. Considering Water's Edge. Thoughts?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: greenegirl

                          I went there for RW week dinner a few years back (not my choice). I had very low expectations for the place, but turned out fine. I don't really remember the quality of anything standing out, but I do remember that my lamb chop (I think it was a lamb chop that I had) was HUGE. I mean, huge. Nothing was like bad hotel food, which was what I was expecting, but I think there are better choices out there purely food-wise.

                          1. re: janethepain

                            Thanks for the heads up. I'll try Megu instead.

                          2. re: greenegirl

                            I've been there non-RW. Greatest Creme Brulee (my mom still talks about it) and beautiful view.

                          3. I'm going to Anthos as they seem to be one of the few that has a menu of interesting things that I actually want to eat, as opposed to green salad and a hanger steak.
                            Am also considering 10 Downing--any comments?

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: chowbie

                              I ate at Anthos with my dad and some family friends back in spring of '05 after we'd read the "Tables For Two" review of it in The New Yorker. I really enjoyed it...the ambiance, the very thorough wine list of interesting wines from Greece, the extremely well-versed sommelier who helped my dad choose a few for our table... I had the skate appetizer & the "hilopites" made with rabbit. delicious. And I'm tempted to go back for RW...agree that their menu looks intriguing beyond the standard RW fare.

                              1. re: chowbie

                                went to anthos last yr with high expectations and was sorely disappointed :(
                                altho the menu is interesting the execution was poor and i remember the entree (I had a white fish of some sort) being quite hum-drum. also a letdown were the desserts, unfortunately..

                                i still want to try anthos upstairs tho, the more casual, gently-priced restaurant..
                                i generally have liked michael psilakis' restos..

                                1. re: kareny123

                                  we also went to anthos last year.. ok but not spectacular. will not try again

                              2. when is this restaurant week taking place? i understand there are some good deals around the area?

                                1 Reply
                                1. I was just hoping to revive this thread again. I'd love to hear of a few recs for new places (that means not The Modern, GT, Convivio, or Park Ave Summer). I've been to The Modern and Park Ave - both excellent! But, I'm trying to try new cuisines this RW.

                                  Any thoughts?

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: middyboo

                                    We don't do RW. However, we've eaten at dbBistro Moderne a number of times, and the food's always excellent. No surprise since it's a Daniel Boulud restaurant. The RW menu looks very appealing.


                                    We haven't been to Centrico, but I've heard very good things about the food there, and the RW menu looks inviting.


                                    1. re: RGR

                                      I just had the RW menu at db Bistro today. The food was quite good, I think though my friend who I was with got the slightly better of the dishes between the two of us. I started with the alsatian tart with fromage blanc, bacon and onion and it was great but the edges were too charred. I had the nine herb risotto which was fresh tasting and not super heavy, but could have used some salt. My friend had the cold summer corn soup which had such an amazing corn flavor, and then the grilled mahi mahi which was very good. I had the peach cobbler for dessert which was fantastic. My friend had the hazelnut chocolate cake which was really rich and decadent; the ginger ice cream it was served with was also terrific.

                                      Service was great, and we each walked away with a 20% off dinner coupon which I thought was cute.

                                    2. re: middyboo

                                      My boyfriend and I have gone to Quality Meats twice now for RW and had a great experience both times. In the past, they've only offered lunch, but they're offering dinner this time, so I'd definitely recommend it.

                                    3. I was tempted to book Convivio, but instead opted for La Fonda del Sol.


                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: LeahBaila

                                        just wondering if you went yet to Fonda del Sol - I'm heading there tonight, and curious what your experience was like.

                                        1. re: adam

                                          Hey Adam,
                                          No, unfortunately I didn't. My friend had to reschedule and we're now having RW dinner at Devi tonight.
                                          I'm still eager to try LFdS. Have you been?


                                          1. re: LeahBaila

                                            I went the other night for RW week - I've been curious, but didn't want to commit to a pricier meal there.

                                            The meal was good, not great. For starters, we had the grilled peach with serrano, and the gazpacho. The gazpacho was fairly pedestrian, and the peach was underripe and undergrilled (although otherwise that dish was very nice). For mains, a really excellent skate wing a la plancha with pickled peppers, and an underseasoned but nicely cooked pork loin dish. And desserts were fine if nothing special -- tres leches and chocolate cake. The space was nice but unremarkable (like much of the meal), and service was very lovely. All in all, not bad; if I go back, it'll be to sit in the bar area and try a lot of the smaller plates.

                                            1. re: adam

                                              Wow, thanks for the report. Glad to hear that you were able to try it and came to the conclusion that it's probably a better spot for tapas. Are you going anywhere else for RW? Have you been to Devi? I'm going tonight. Will report back! :)


                                      2. I have RW lunch reservations at Alto & Beacon. If you haven't done dinner at Devi, I highly recommend it--they don't skimp on the RW offerings. It's not really a special deal for lunch because they do a $25 3-course lunch all the time.


                                        25 Replies
                                          1. re: Peter Cherches

                                            I tried Devi for RW dinner once a few years ago, but the portions were TINY. I remember the dessert being amazing though.

                                            1. re: Peter Cherches

                                              Alto lunch yesterday. Grilled calamari stuffed with fava/mint puree + chantarelle panzanella app. was fabulous but small, main of branzino Livornese underwhelming, with no sides (I think my friend may have been happier with the garganelli w/ veal ragu), Gianduja torta was excellent, and my friends who had the panna cotta with grapefruit were also happy. Portions smallish in general. Service excellent, onion foccacia excellent, black olive bread so-so. I was hungry a couple of hours later.

                                              1. re: Peter Cherches

                                                Alto lunch today. We both thoroughly enjoyed the grilled octopus appetizer. The branzino was good; fortunately, it wasn't dry as I read in another post. Pasta dish flavors were more complex and very good. Both dessert options were delicious. Pleasant and efficient service. We both thoroughly enjoyed the wine pairings ($20 for three wines). The wines helped to make the meal particularly *special*, as did the delicious French-pressed coffee. I agree that the portions are on the small side, and I'm not a big eater. All in all, a good RW menu and experience, but those with hearty appetites may leave a bit hungry.

                                                1. re: Peter Cherches

                                                  I went to Alto for lunch yesterday as well. I do agree the calamari appetizer was small but very good. My friend ordered the salad (she's picky with her food) but I did like the crostini that's served with her salad (I tried a bite). We both have the pasta (her reason: that's the only appealing choice and isn't remotely a pescatarian; I wanted it because it's Chef White's forte) very delicious. The pasta was cooked perfectly, not over sauced, and the portion was appropriate. As for desserts, the gianduja torta was good but nothing earth shattering. The panna cotta with grapefruit sorbet was delicious. My friend had a foodgasm from it. Haha. Anyway, the panna cotta was rich yet delicate. The grapefruit sorbet added the refreshing element and I liked the crunchy streusel on top of it.

                                                  For food porn, go to my Flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hellokit...


                                                  1. re: Peter Cherches

                                                    Fabulous lunch at Beacon yesterday, and they weren't even booked up, so two of us had a banquette for four. I had the wood roasted oysters ($4 supplement), 10-herb chicken, and coconut cheesecake. I'm glad they featured some of Waldy's signature dishes (sirloin was also on the menu, but for +$8), and they were definitely full-size portions--6 big oysters, lots of chicken. Service was delightfully low-key and friendly. The cheesecake was one of the best cream cheese cakes I've had in a long time (not that I eat many).

                                                    I tasted my friend's chilled tomato soup (very good), salmon (good, but simple), and chocolate souffle (very impressive & huge, but much too sweet for my taste).

                                                    This was definitely more satisfying than Alto, and I left full and happy.

                                                    1. re: Peter Cherches

                                                      Funny, I considered Beacon for my RW lunch yesterday but opted for Petrossian instead. We both started with the smoked salmon appetizer, followed by duck confit. The salmon with toast points was good, but pretty basic. The confit was very tasty - flavorful and nicely prepared. For dessert we had the fruit tart with sorbet. Overall I was very pleased. Service was pleasant and not overbearing. Apart from coffee / tea with dessert we only ordered the RW meal and no one made us feel uncomfortable, as it should be though from having read CH reports of other restaurants one can get a little anxious about things.

                                                      It was only my second visit to Petrossian, the first being years ago. I wouldn't really go for the atmosphere but the location is kind of convenient for me and I could see visiting again for their brunch menu, for example. Also, I would definitely include them on my RW list in the future.

                                                      By the way, I think the actual RW menu was slightly different from what I found on the restaurant's website.

                                                      1. re: uwsgrazer

                                                        Too bad, because Petrossian now offers a RW-priced menu year-round (I guess until the economy recovers). I had dinner there in June and was pleased--2 of us shared smoked salmon & the caviar/blini ($12 supp), and my striped bass was exquisite. I liked the tart too. I too found the service pleasant.

                                                        1. re: Peter Cherches

                                                          No regrets on my part; I thoroughly enjoyed Petrossian. According to Beacon's website they will offer RW thru Labor Day. In that case, I should have plenty of time to go! Was the 10-herb chicken served on the bone? As with Petrossian, the menu posted on Beacon's site also seems to differ from the actual one (no mention of oysters or chocolate souffle)

                                                          1. re: uwsgrazer

                                                            Yes the chicken was on the bone--if you search for online for Waldy Malouf and 10-herb chicken you can find the recipe, I believe it was a half minus wing. If Beacon is through Labor Day I might be back. And yes, I was pleased that the oysters were added to the menu. I think if you're really into chocolate and ultra-sweet the souffle is a good bet, but it was really much too sweet for me.

                                                            1. re: Peter Cherches

                                                              Actually, the Devil's Food chocolate cake listed on the website sounds pretty tempting. But maybe it's not on the actual RW menu, in which case I guess I would go for the souffle or coconut cheese cake.

                                                              Oops - just looked at the Beacon site again and I think the "thru Labor Day" applies to the 10% discount on their new menu, and not RW. I would call to be sure but I think I was probably mistaken. Sorry.

                                                              1. re: uwsgrazer

                                                                I think the devil's food cake was on the menu. IIRC, there were 4 desserts, and the cheesecake was the only one without chocolate.

                                                                1. re: Peter Cherches

                                                                  Well, it looks as if Beacon will particiapte in RW up until Labor Day after all! I just called and they said RW lunch is served M-F, and RW dinner M-F, plus Saturday. Call to confirm, just to be safe, but I believe you should be good to go if you're up for some more 10-herb chicken. It's on my RW short-list as well, at this point.


                                                                  1. re: uwsgrazer

                                                                    I just posted a separate thread. RW has been extended until Labor Day across the board, all restaurants.

                                                                    1. re: Peter Cherches

                                                                      It is not across all restaurants. I just searched for the Bar Room at the Modern and it is no longer on the list.

                                                                        1. re: uwsgrazer

                                                                          Alto website shows RW as being extended

                                                                          1. re: uwsgrazer

                                                                            I wouldn't run to Alto for the RW menu. As time passes I'm less impressed.

                                                                            But the best way to check if a restaurant is extended is the Restaurant Week website or Opentable.

                                                                            1. re: Peter Cherches

                                                                              I'm not rushing back to Alto. I was mainly curious if they extended. As mentioned, the wine pairings made a difference. And while it may have been good *value* it wasn't a cheap lunch.

                                                                              So, what would be on your RW short list for Italian? Actually, I had been meaning to try Locanda Verde but never made it. Maybe I'll visit if they've extended.

                                                                              1. re: uwsgrazer

                                                                                If you're asking me, I don't really know upscale Italian in NYC.

                                                      2. re: Peter Cherches

                                                        I went to Beacon for lunch after reading about the chicken and the oysters. I enjoyed both the 10 herb chicken and the oysters. There was half of a juicy roasted chicken, with a nice crispy skin. The oysters were tasty but fairly small. It was mostly cooking liquid and bits of herbs and onions. I also had the chicken livers and lamb kidneys, the roast crisp sweetbreads, the chocolate souffle and they gave me a complimentary order of mashed potatoes. The chicken livers were mediocre but the bacon wrapped kidneys had a lovely smoky and gamey taste. They were sitting in a pan half submerged in juices/grease with garlic slices. I would have preferred the removal of the grease. It made the pieces unnecessarily oily and I'm a fan of greasy food. The sweetbreads were a disappointment, neither crisp nor roasted. Three meager pieces each the size and shape of half a domino tile) of tasteless mush. I was half annoyed that it was 18 bucks for 3 minisicule bits and half glad there wasn't more I would have to choke down. It actually reminded me of steamed firm tofu. It was placed on top of a bed of greens overly covered with a fairly acidic vinagrette. There was nothing remarkable about the potatoes and the souffle was a bit too sweet. I think I should have went with the cheesecake. The a la carte items had a 10% discount.

                                                        1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                                                          Yes, the chocolate souffle is cloyingly sweet.

                                                          When I had the oysters they varied greatly in size.

                                                          1. re: Peter Cherches

                                                            Here's a photo of the oysters of many sizes.

                                                              1. re: Peter Cherches

                                                                Here's a photo of the oysters of many sizes. (I had a bad file at first, hence the empty posts)

                                                      3. My wife and I are going up tomorrow for Concert in the Park (it's become a tradition), and we kicked around the idea of taking advantage of the lunch promotion during RW. We considered Aquavit Cafe, Blue Water Grill, Pershing Square, City Crab, Central Park Boahouse, and Zoe. Anyone care to comment on their experiences at any of those establishments?

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: wubar

                                                          Aquavit is great, during RW or any time, you can't lose! I am personally not a fan of Pershing Square and would not go there during RW since there are many, much better place to choose from. I'll leave it to others to comment on the rest.

                                                          1. re: wubar

                                                            Did RW a few years back at Zoe Townhouse when that was still open. It was not memorable. Would imagine the RW at the original location is similar.

                                                          2. Anyone been to Convivio last night for RW dinner?

                                                            I have a reservation to Convivio for 6/26 at 6:30 for four that I may not be able to use. Does anyone want it?

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: janethepain

                                                              I believe Convivio is only doing dinner on Sunday during RW.

                                                              1. re: ukitali

                                                                Whoops, I meant 7/26. But yeah, they're doing weekday lunches and Sunday dinners.

                                                            2. 5 Upcoming Reservations... let me know what you think

                                                              Aquavit Dining Room


                                                              Giorgio's of Gramercy

                                                              Park Avenue Summer

                                                              Compass Restaurant - New York

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: Asumnuthin

                                                                I would stay far, far away from Country. The formal dining room closed sometime last year, and someone who used to work in the Cafe told me it's now totally disfunctional. Not too surprising since the last time we ate in the Cafe in '07, we experienced a boatload of problems with food and service. And that was the year *before* Chef Geoffrey Zakarian severed his relationship with the operation.

                                                                1. re: RGR

                                                                  I would agree. The Cafe at Country is awful.

                                                                2. re: Asumnuthin

                                                                  Have had very good dining experiences at Aquavit, Park Ave. Summer, and Compass -- RW and non-RW.

                                                                  1. re: Asumnuthin

                                                                    I loved my experience in Park Avenue Winter...I hope you have a great meal!

                                                                  2. How is Le Cirque for RW? Been there non-RW many years ago when they were next to the Palace. Also, if anyone has any comments on Mercer Kitchen or Chinatown Brasserie for RW they would be appreicated.

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: eameyer

                                                                      I am planning to check out Chinatown Brasserie for RW soon... if I made it there I will definitely keep you informed. I have been going there during regular, non-RW period and I have always liked it but I am curious to try their RW menu just for comparison (with non-RW menu, that is).

                                                                      1. re: eameyer

                                                                        Good news. I just got back from Chinatown Brasserie. I ordered their Restaurant Week lunch special for $24.07 and had the following items:
                                                                        a) chicken salad - some of the chicken was a little dry but overall the flavor was good and the salad greens were nice and crispy. (I remember seeing shredded carrots, sliced pink radish and radicchio)..The dressing was a light Asian-style vinegrette with maybe a touch of fish sauce in it.... I had thought it would have been a peanut/sesame dressing but this is more refreshing...
                                                                        b) Dimsum. I got Assortment A: Shrimp dumpling, snow pea leaf dumpling, pork and shrimp dumpling. All were nice and hot and good. One piece of each was served. Everything arrived together inside a small bamboo steamer. They are a little smaller then typical dimsum you find in Chinatown but typical in quality and size for this restaurant.
                                                                        c) Seafood Trio with XO Sauce. The "seafood trio" is composed of shrimp, scallops and fish (I think it's tilapia but I am not 100% sure). A few pieces of fish had skin on so they were slightly fishy for me, but the sea scallops and jumbo shrimps were pretty fresh and cooked just right. These seafood items were stir fried with ginger, scallions and XO seafood sauce and came with a few pieces of carrot slices (carved into little butterflies), shredded green onions and pea pods. Everything is placed inside of a fried thin rice noodle "basket"... very cute presentation!
                                                                        d) For dessert, I got custard bao with ice cream. Those tiny (size of a small scoop of ice cream) custard baos were so cute. There were two of them on the plate. Both filled with a custard sauce and they were still slightly warm when I got them. Placed in between the little custard baos was a scoop of vanilla ice cream (with lots of vanilla bean pieces) and caramel sauce (maybe with some carmelized sugar too but I can't remember because the quantity was small and I just eat way too fast sometimes to even have time to analyze/dissect the food.. sorry..)

                                                                        Overall I think it's a good deal for $24.07 for CB... and a good way to try the food at Chinatown Brasserie. I would say the RQ menu food is consistent with what I have had before (i.e. their regular menu items), when I ate there during non-RW time. As you probably know, some places present lower quality food and/or services during RW, but that's not the case here. One watchout is that the drinks can be expensive so if you are watching your bill, you might want to just get tap water. My ice tea was $4.50, which was expected at a restaurant like CB but it's a little steep for just a glass of ice tea.

                                                                        1. re: bearmi

                                                                          Sounds great! Can't till my res this Friday.

                                                                          1. re: eameyer

                                                                            By the way, there were many other entrees on the menu so you can pick non-seafood dishes. At first I thought the portion size was kind of small but after I finished my meal I was full....

                                                                            Please let us know how you like it. As you probably already know, Chinatown Brasserie is a very polarizing restaurant... people either love it or hate it. I am curious to see what you think.

                                                                            1. re: eameyer

                                                                              I found CB's RW menu to be one of my personal favorites. For the price, you get a great amount of high quality food. I was very impressed. Enjoy and report back!


                                                                              1. re: LeahBaila

                                                                                Chinatown Brasserie's RW was great! Had Ribs, Dim Sum Dumplings, Crispy Chicken (This was dark meat so I wasn't a huge fan as I don't care for dark meat) and these delish custard baos. Service was attentive and not rude and portions were large. Also, if you get there a little early during happy hour you can get half price drinks at the bar. The bar also has really cheap apps for happy hour - would def come back for those. We sat outside, but the atmosphere inside was very pretty.

                                                                                Also enjoyed a delicious RW as Le Cirque. Portions were tiny, but food and service were great. Certainly a good deal being that prices are usually quite high.

                                                                                Went to RW at Mercer Kitchen - food was good, but service unattentive and rude. Also had RW dinner at Centrico. Food and service both average, margs awful.

                                                                        2. I had a lovely lunch today at Locanda Verde. There was not a separate RW menu. It was just a choice of one antipasti, one pasta or main (including a special) and gelatto or sorbet. Everything was fabulous and loved having the choices from the regular menu.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: mari mac

                                                                            I had lunch yesterday at LV, too. Loved it. We were seated at the front of the restaurants; I was facing out. With all the windows and doors thrown open, and the Hudson River just a block away, breezes blew through the place just lovely. Like sitting outside, without cars.

                                                                            Of course I love restaurants that offer their regular menu during RW.

                                                                            I had the crispy artichokes and the porchetta sandwich. Enjoyed both.

                                                                            Today was Gramercy Tavern. If you don't know, GT, USC, and EMP aren't fully in on RW. You won't find them on the official lists. But GT is doing a $25 menu this week. EMP is doing the week of 7/217. So if you were disappointed to see no DM restaurants on the list, call and check.

                                                                            Gramercy Tavern was wonderful, as usual, and they gave out $24 gift cards, useable through 9/4.

                                                                            1. re: floretbroccoli

                                                                              I'm going to GT tomorrow, what did you have for lunch?
                                                                              I had a nice RW dinner at Perry st.

                                                                              1. re: ernie0716

                                                                                I had the calamari and carrot salad starter, which I found to be the outstanding item of the day. Seasoned perfectly. My friends had the summer bean salad and the sugar snap peas, shrimp, and cucumber. All very nice and light and perfect for summer.

                                                                                Our second courses were summer flounder, sea bass, and braised lamb, all of which we enjoyed.

                                                                                The best dessert, hands down, was the warm chocolate bread pudding. The others though, were also excellent -- chocolate cherry fudge cake with cherry vanilla ice cream, peach-blueberry streusel tart with toasted almond ice cream, and the cookie plate.

                                                                                Have a wonderful time. Let us know what you have.

                                                                                1. re: floretbroccoli

                                                                                  Thanks so much, I'll let you know what we ate!

                                                                                  1. re: floretbroccoli

                                                                                    Love GT, fabulous service. 5 choices of bread, including a wonderful green olive roll. Free refills of iced tea(you'd be surprised how many places charge per tea).
                                                                                    We had the summer bean salad with gooseberry vinaigrette and the lamb papardelle with olives/lemon confit, very tasty. Next up was a very well prepared chicken with spring vegetables, but the star of the show was the pork croquette over a potato puree, it was amazing, crunchy crust with pieces of shredded pork.
                                                                                    The desserts as usual were amazing, I took your suggestion and had the chocolate bread pudding and the peach/blueberry streusel tart.

                                                                            2. Went to the Modern Bar Room for dinner last night and was not impressed with food except for desserts. The desserts were spectacular. I hope we have better luck with our next one -- Aquavit Dining Room.

                                                                              17 Replies
                                                                                1. re: kathryn

                                                                                  From "One"
                                                                                  Tarte Flambee
                                                                                  Lamb and goat cheese terrine
                                                                                  (thought both were bland & the terrine was served w/ the saddest looking watercress I've ever seen at a restaurant -- brown & black spots and slimy -- I'd be embarrassed to serve that at home.)

                                                                                  From "Two"
                                                                                  Tagliatelle w/ braised rabbit
                                                                                  (good but not mind-blowing)

                                                                                  Pistachio and dark chocolate dome and buttermilk panna cotta for desserts -- both were fantastic.

                                                                                  1. re: uwsister

                                                                                    Was anything from "Three" available? Both the quail and the tagliatelle sound good

                                                                                    1. re: janethepain

                                                                                      oh nevermind, just saw that the post below references some "three" items. Methinks I'll have enough good choices to fill up three dinners there.

                                                                                    2. re: uwsister

                                                                                      I went to RW at the Modern Bar Room last night and I thought last winter's menu options were better, but I was still relatively happy. Also I recall there being 7 options for dessert last time and only 6 this time.

                                                                                      We had for appetizers: the long island duck breast with nutty apples (delicious, but only 3 slices of duck breast) and the mushroom soup with some kind of fried empanada or dumpling (really great flavor to the broth, but the dumplings are better off not being dipped in the broth.)

                                                                                      For the main: Pork belly with sweet pea puree (this was kind of a miss - the two textures were both soft and there was a slightly off taste there - I'm not sure if it was the ginger jus or the sweet pea puree but it tasted kinda funky.) And then my partner had the saffron tagliatelle with rabbit and mushrooms, which was quite delicious.

                                                                                      I'm going again later in RW and I think I will go for the quail to try something new.

                                                                                      For dessert we had the buttermilk panna cotta with lemongrass gelee (the gelee was the highlight of dessert) and strawberry gelato (I actually make better, I was surprised) and the hazelnut dacquoise, which was really excellent. Last time I had the pistachio and chocolate dome, which was delicious.

                                                                                      If anyone else has impression of other menu items, let me know. I am curious what the upside down tuna tarte or the duck confit with passion fruit is like. I'm thinking of trying the caramel and vanilla trifle for dessert next.

                                                                                      Maybe going to Jean George for a prix fixe meal upped my expectations, but I was ever the tiniest bit disappointed. Still worth the roughly $100 that we paid though.

                                                                                      1. re: windycity

                                                                                        IMO it was definitely worth what we paid, but I won't be returning for a non-RW meal. Maybe for desserts at the bar.

                                                                                        I wish I had ordered the duck!

                                                                                  2. re: uwsister

                                                                                    Once again I feel disappointed by my NYC restaurant week experience at one of the “top” restaurants available during this promotion, Aquavit. My husband is a chef and we dine out very frequently. We typically like to order a pre-dinner aperitif, champagne or cocktail. Because we were dinning at aquavit, we decided to each try one of their many specialty cocktails made with their house made concoctions. We also order from the three course restaurant week menu and a bottle of wine to follow. Our bottled water and popcorn amuse came out right away, as did bread, quickly followed by our appetizers, no drinks. This began our night on the wrong foot, who knows if it was a bartending error, or server mistake, but it should be said the restaurant was not even half full come our 6:15 reservation. We decided to slow down the process ourselves, and thank goodness we choose two cold appetizers, my husband the salad and me the herring. I noticed that the table to our left also received the herring sampler, however had it delivered on a different set up and had each portion explained to them.
                                                                                    Again I will say the obvious, I think that restaurant week is an excellent opportunity to appeal to dinners that have never been to your restaurant and you should treat the RW attendant the same as a customer to your regular menu. If we had been treated more fairly I might actually consider dinning again, if not solely for the dessert portion of the meal which was show stopping.
                                                                                    The entrees have mixed reviews; my husbands chicken was moist and flavorful with cheesy grits, however the regular string beans could have been better, haricot vert? My meatballs were so dry; my husband got the feeling they were leftovers from the day before. No one actually check on us through our meal, and my husbands small outburst regarding the rock hard nature of my MB went unanswered, I actually sent him outside because I was embarrassed. Once the dessert and dessert wine came out our meal took a turn for the better, the chocolate moose was superb and the Arctic Circle was surprisingly refreshing for a cheese parfait. Despite our $24.00 coupons I doubt we will be back to dine again.

                                                                                    1. re: Asumnuthin

                                                                                      Interesting post about Aquavit...my husband and I went there for Winter Restaurant Week and I felt we were being slighted (I'm really not paranoid) compared to others near us who were not ordering from the RW menu. The main difference was the rapid pace of our service which, by the time we really noticed it, it was too late to change. And the place was not more than half full! We did not have a chance to enjoy one course because as soon as we put our forks fown the next appeared. The food itself was very good and I would go back, but this was not a great introduction.

                                                                                      1. re: City Kid

                                                                                        We had a great dinner at Aquavit last night -- I actually thought the service was very, very good, but then again my husband had a non-RW meal, so maybe that has something to do with it? They had one glitch where the broth that was supposed to be hot was cold, but they replaced the dish quickly (which was perfect the second time) and while we were waiting for the dish they brought us little bites of food AND comped a glass of wine. I ordered a RW meal and they brought me a couple extra items that I don't think are normally included in a RW meal, which I thought was nice. I was very, very satisfied with dinner and we will definitely be going back for a non-RW dinner.

                                                                                    2. re: uwsister

                                                                                      We went to MBR last night and enjoyed it very much. I had the duck with apples followed by the tuna with sweetbreads, and my bf had gazpacho followed by pork belly. Desserts were cheesecake for me and chocolate/pistachio dome for him.

                                                                                      We also liked the lower-priced selection of bottled wines and I still had my favorite cocktail--the "Coming up Roses."

                                                                                      1. re: lawgirl1984

                                                                                        i had such a bad experience on my birthday at MBR, I do not think I will ever be back, 35 dollar menu or not

                                                                                            1. re: kathryn

                                                                                              Thank you. This is what happens when you read a post on one day and its replies on another.

                                                                                      2. re: uwsister

                                                                                        I'm late getting on the RW bandwagon. The Modern Bar Room seems to be fully booked on OpenTable next week. What are the chances of getting a table on a walk-in basis, without a ridiculous wait?

                                                                                        1. re: uwsgrazer

                                                                                          Not sure. All I can say is that every time I've gone (except for the ridiculously early time of 5:30pm), I have to wait, even if I have a reservation and I'm on time/early. And then I say the magic words "I don't mind sitting in the bar area" (yes, I know it's Bar Modern, but I mean the long cushy chairs not the formal tables) and I somehow magically get seated instantly. Not sure why people aren't as willing to sit in that area - it's really comfy.

                                                                                      3. Any thoughts on Nobu, Bar Boulud or Tribeca Grill?

                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: L.C.

                                                                                          We went for lunch at Tribecca Grill during RW once, and it was alright. Not wholly memorable though.

                                                                                          1. re: windycity

                                                                                            I went for dinner. Appetizer and entree were not memorable. Dessert was good.

                                                                                          2. re: L.C.

                                                                                            Going to bar Boulud tomorrow, last year it was good, small menu.

                                                                                              1. re: L.C.

                                                                                                Bar Boulud, Pate grand mere was excellent, ravioli with shortribs, good too. Desserts were both good, the macaron with coffee ice cream and the pralin rouge with a lemon curd and fraises de bois!

                                                                                                1. re: ernie0716

                                                                                                  Oh, I am so pumped now. I really appreciate a good pate...big points in my books.

                                                                                                  1. re: L.C.

                                                                                                    We had a nice lunch at Bar Boulud today. One order of pate grand mere, one salad. One order of mussels, one coq au vin. And the two desserts ernie0716 got. Everything was excellent, as was the service. Overall, a very enjoyable meal at a great price. As an aside, this was my first visit to Bar Boulud I was struck by how small and narrow the place is. We got a pretty nice table up front, with some space to set us off from other tables, but some tables seemed rather awkwardly placed. I think I would think twice about paying regular prices at one of those tables.

                                                                                            1. re: L.C.

                                                                                              Did Tribeca Grill a couple years back...steak was ok. nothing great.

                                                                                              1. re: L.C.

                                                                                                At lunch at least, Nobu and Tribeca Grill have a fixed price menu all year round, so don't waste a RW day on them. I think Tribeca extends it for Dinner as well.

                                                                                              2. has anyone been to Butter or Georgios of Gremmercy for RW what about park ave summer or telepan? I cant find a butter rw menu online anywhere, trying to decide where to go tonight...
                                                                                                my husbands a chef/foodie and he is never pleased with the dinner choices during RW, any suggestions that will blow his socks off?

                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Asumnuthin

                                                                                                  Butter's reato week menu is on their site. It's on the bottom right corner of their landing page. To be honest, this is one of the better menu's i've seen and I'm doing resto week there. It's my only restaurant. http://www.butterrestaurant.com/

                                                                                                  I have done Giorgios for RW 3 years ago. While it wasn't terrible, it was not the least bit memorable - as in after the meal, i never once considered going back. But then again this was 3 year ago...maybe things have improved

                                                                                                  1. re: kelea

                                                                                                    Giorgio's doesn't seem like it'd be a great value during RW, since it's not like it's that expensive a restaurant anyway.

                                                                                                  2. re: Asumnuthin

                                                                                                    We don't do RW, but looking through the list of restaurants participating for dinner, I see Tocqueville. Imo, it definitely has the potential to "blow the socks off" your chef/foodie husband. However, the bargain lunch and dinner prix fixes are available all the time, so that might mitigate against choosing to go there during RW. (Note: We've had many of the $24.07 lunch menus at "normal" times, and they have always been superb!)


                                                                                                    1. re: RGR

                                                                                                      we REALLY enjoyed Tocqueville last night! it was a wonderful dinning experience, not just a wonderful RW expierence, thanks all for the recomendations, more to follow...

                                                                                                      1. re: Asumnuthin


                                                                                                        Thanks for reporting back. So glad to hear that you and your chef/foodie husband had a great experience at Tocqueville. It does tend to travel under the usual culinary radar, a shame for those who overlook it because Chef/Owner Marco Moreiro's cuisine is top-notch, and the elegant dining room is one of the most beautiful in the city.

                                                                                                    2. re: Asumnuthin

                                                                                                      I wasn't very impressed with Butter's RW menu/food. It was very unmemorable, but I'd like to try their non-RW menu sometime.


                                                                                                      1. re: Asumnuthin

                                                                                                        i don't know if it's too late for you but we just had rw dinner at Telepan and it was very very good. you order off the regular menu for rw --pick one selection from each savory panel for $35. Four courses (dessert) is an extra ten bucks. They brought out an amuse panel of three items (a cold soup in a cup, a spicy pizza w ham and a chick pea thing). I think the best starter was the vegetable-bread soup. the only disappointment was the arctic char starter (which was $3 suppl) --it was fine but the fish just didn't wow me

                                                                                                        my middle course was a mushroom and wild green lasaga w veal sausage sauce -- it is a small portion but very rich so just the right amt for a middle course.
                                                                                                        for entree both the striped bass and halibut were terrific. dh had the heritage pork he was happy with. my favorite dessert was not on the menu (strawberry granita parfait) but the crepes w milk choc hazelnut creme brulee was wonderful. cheesecake sundae parfait also very nice.
                                                                                                        we left very satisfied and plan on making it back before the summer ends

                                                                                                        1. re: LilianNY

                                                                                                          We also went to Telepan - they're extending RW prices through Sept. 4 - terrific service and great food. We got the 3 course RW special and they let us do two savory courses and one dessert - a good option, but apparently only doable if everyone at the table does it. Highlights included the fennel-golden raisin bread, the creamy-spicy cucumber soup in the amuse-bouche, the smoked trout over corn blini app, the bass with very buttery smashed potatoes and the telepan s'more (graham cracker ice cream = yum). But everything was excellent - one of the better RW meals we've had this summer!

                                                                                                      2. I'm so surprised that no one has mentioned Del Posto! See if you can still snag a reservation. I went yesterday (also went during Summer RW last year), and again, it was fantastic. Get the garganella (2nd course). They really go above and beyond--they give you a Bellini cocktail when you arrive, and cookies as you're leaving. Very nice place, and the garganella (spinach pasta with a meat sauce) is just off-the charts.

                                                                                                        Another I'm surprised that isn't mentioned is Gotham Bar and Grill. Went there for lunch today, and everything was spot-on. The chocolate cake is worth the visit. They also have a wine list of $25 bottles, which I appreciate. I also had the watermelon and feta salad (very good, I could eat 5 portions of it) and the salmon (good.) The $25 Pinot Noir (Burgundy) was a nice, light choice for lunch.

                                                                                                        So happy to see many mentions of the Modern....I have one reservation...I'll see if I can get more!

                                                                                                        Went to 5Ninth last night--nothing exciting. This is one of those places that really seems to skimp during RW. How stupid--no return customers.

                                                                                                        So dissapointed that Grammercy Tavern is so chock-full. I didn't get a reservation. Boo hoo!

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: loriannkru

                                                                                                          Gotham is probably not mentioned because it runs a lunch prix fixe deal year-round.

                                                                                                          1. re: loriannkru

                                                                                                            I went to del posto today and had a fabulous lunch and the best service so far this week by a mile. However I didn't get any cookies.

                                                                                                          2. Any thought or reviews of Fishtail?

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: misnatalie

                                                                                                              My friend went and found it to be blah.

                                                                                                              1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                Would I be shunned if I forget the dessert and order two "ones" or "twos" instead? Is that even allowed?

                                                                                                                1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                  I've tried it before as I don't care for dessert. (can't remember where) and was shot down. Hell even substitutions on the sides were rejected. When it comes to the RW menus, my experience has been they tend to be much less flexible

                                                                                                                  1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                    I actually think their desserts are amongst the better section of their portfolio if you will. I have yet to have a bad or even mediocre dessert there whereas the pork belly just left an odd taste.

                                                                                                                    eat the dessert and enjoy it. if you go with a friend with a sweet tooth, see if they want to swap your dessert for their ONE. But I also tend to like the ONE menu better than the TWO anyway.

                                                                                                                    1. re: windycity

                                                                                                                      The desserts were the highlight of the meal for us.

                                                                                                                      1. re: windycity

                                                                                                                        Ok, went again with friends and we had:

                                                                                                                        Long Island Duck Breast (yup, this is a fave of mine. Better medium rare than medium.) although what is with the really slim knife? It's beautiful and sleek but pretty useless (to me.) Was on Winter RW menu.

                                                                                                                        Lamb/goat cheese terrine

                                                                                                                        Tuna tartare - very light, very refreshing. Should have ordered this for a change.
                                                                                                                        Next time I will order the tarte flambe which is the size of a pizza, and then no one will be hungry.

                                                                                                                        Quail - more smokey and I don't know, rustic? than I would have liked. There were almonds in the mix which were an interesting textural counterpoint. I didn't think it was a miss, it just wasn't for me.

                                                                                                                        Saffron Tagliatelle - so delicious. rabbit tastes like chicken. I kept forgetting it was rabbit.

                                                                                                                        Duck Confit w/ passion fruit - delicious. I think this was on Winter RW menu too.

                                                                                                                        We all thought we had each ordered the best dessert for what it's worth.

                                                                                                                        Caramel and White chocolate Trifle - comes like a layered parfait with I believe what is mango on the bottom, a lovely caramel mousse, and a white chocolate layer on top. Very light and refreshing. Oh and there are 2 lovely caramel macarons on the side, along with some diced pineapples in simple (mint?) syrup. As a macaron fan I couldn't have been happier with the surprise since they aren't listed.

                                                                                                                        Pistachio dark choc. dome - rich, delicious and dense. This was on Winter RW menu.

                                                                                                                        Strawberry and buttermilk panna cotta

                                                                                                                        Hazelnut dacquoise - sinfully creamy. decadent mousse.

                                                                                                                        I think Janethepain's plan to eat there three times during RW is a good one, I could have easily ordered other options off the ONE menu and I would be happy to eat any of the desserts off of THREE again. As for TWO, I could keep coming back to the tagliatelle. But I think two experiences are also fine. Besides, I had 4 prix fixe meals last week and my stomach needs a rest!

                                                                                                                        1. re: windycity

                                                                                                                          Totally, totally wowed by RW dinner at the Modern Bar Room last night. RW or not, I don't think it gets better than this.

                                                                                                                          Had the tuna tarte: actually tuna tartar with a crispy, delectable thing on top -- not sugary but reminded me of the glazed top of creme caramel. Sensational. Tasted the duck app, also great. The yellowfin tuna entree with crispy veal sweetbreads was wonderful and the hazelnut dacquoise dessert was, to me, like the world's best candy bar...heavenly! Excellent bread.

                                                                                                                          Fabulous friendly/professional service, Meyer's other trademark. Comfortable, beautiful surroundings and lighting.

                                                                                                                          A memorable meal!

                                                                                                                          1. re: windycity

                                                                                                                            Wow, nice - my plan is to get the duck app and saffron tagliatelle next time, along with the white chocolate parfait. Good to know that they're good!

                                                                                                                            I had the same comments about the quail and the tuna tarte.

                                                                                                                            However, did always want to try that tarte flambee but the bf is saying NO MORE RW DINNERS!

                                                                                                                            1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                              Yeah, I thought I swore off RW after eating 4 of them in a week. Then I went to Union Square Cafe for lunch earlier this week and I had apparently made 3 Bar Modern reservations including one for tonight. So we will get the tarte flambe (so we don't have to fill up on bread) and the tuna tartare. Who knows, even though I don't like cheesecake I might try the cheesecake since it's the one dessert I haven't tried.

                                                                                                                              USC was decent foodwise but nothing spectacular. I went during lunch so it was mostly an older ladies who lunch crowd. I will say that the service is exceptional, and that I was ridiculously casually dressed and no one batted an eye or treated me differently. I was very impressed by that.

                                                                                                                              1. re: windycity

                                                                                                                                Haha, for our only dinner so far at the Modern RW, we filled up on bread on purpose because we've been here before and know that the sizes aren't enormous. We ate a LOT of bread. I love their butter. Going again tonight!

                                                                                                                                I went to USC for lunch for Winter RW, and wasn't terribly impressed either. Nothing wrong with it, but just not that exciting to me. I would think it's one of the most 'boring' but fine of Danny Meyers' restaurants. What's with the old crowd in there?

                                                                                                                                1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                  Too funny. Maybe we'll pass like ships in the night. I have a pretty late reservation, so we'll probably wind up eating in the bar section tonight.

                                                                                                                                  I like their butter but I have definitely had better bread. The bread at Jean George was amazing.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: windycity

                                                                                                                                    haha darn, i have a prime-time reservation. but am still looking forward to a report!

                                                                                                                                  2. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                    USC has a lot of people who have been going since it was open, and Union Square was a sketchy area. It was the first Danny Meyer restaurant. My instinct is that the people who have been going since the 80s don't want ANYTHING about it to change (i.e., lots of classic dishes that have been on there forever), which is why the menu seems "boring" in comparison to his other restaurants.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                                                      Ok to be fair to Union Square Cafe, I went again for dinner using the 24 dollar gift certificate from RW. I had the crispy duck confit and mostarda, and it was amazingly tender and fall off the bone delicious. My friend's pasta was not bad, but I could have eaten that duck for 2 days - there was 3-4 times as much duck as the Modern Bar Room's version, which is sometimes slightly dry, and ridiculously difficult to cut using the slender knife that they give you.

                                                                                                                      2. Has anyone been to The River Cafe for RW? What is their menu like?

                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: thobum

                                                                                                                          I've never been for RW but I've been there twice, both times the food was good but nothing special BUT the view is amazing, it's a very romantic place. This is the RW menu

                                                                                                                          1. re: thobum

                                                                                                                            I have never been for RW, but I was there last summer and it was decent. The location and the view is what would bring me back.

                                                                                                                            1. re: L.C.

                                                                                                                              I'm a little scared to keep my Aquavit reservation after Asumnuthin's review, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway. I'm just happy to see the Dining Room as an option as opposed to only the Cafe this season. Very jealous for those who can get to Loncanda Verde for lunch. That would be my top choice. Reviews have been fantastic so far. Also tempted to try Lure Fishbar because their RW menu looks so tasty, although I think their nautical theme looks a little ridiculous.


                                                                                                                              1. re: SharonNY

                                                                                                                                The RW menu in Aquavit's dining room is excellent. If your appetizer comes out very quickly just let them know that you do not want to rush the rest of the meal. The pace of the service was my only complaint.

                                                                                                                                1. re: City Kid

                                                                                                                                  Thanks City Kid. Appetizers did come out extremely fast, but the rest of the pace was perfect, as was my experience as a whole. Most exciting was spotting Marcus Samuelsson in the Dining Room - looked like he was entertaining some VIP guests behind us.

                                                                                                                                  I was initially stoked to eat in the Dining Room as opposed to the Cafe, but last night I realized that it didn't really make much of a difference - both rooms are incredibly dim in the evening, and both are offering the same Restaurant Week menu.

                                                                                                                                  But yeah, what a menu it is. No complaints. Herring was bold and generous, the meatballs were incredibly moist (what's all this smack about them tasting like sawdust?), and I thought it was totally ballsy to serve popcorn with the complimentary bread. And it was damn good popcorn!

                                                                                                                                  I thought Aquavit was one classy place. Also appreciated the $24.07 gift certificates that were given to us with our bill.


                                                                                                                              2. re: L.C.

                                                                                                                                Regarding River Cafe -
                                                                                                                                I went there against my will a year ago - and had the best duck I have ever had in my entire life - the whole meal was much better than I had anticipated, but I still dream about that duck!

                                                                                                                              3. re: thobum

                                                                                                                                We had a fantastic meal at River Cafe. They didn't skimp on the portions and everything was really well done. I recommend it.


                                                                                                                              4. Has anyone gone to Apiary? I have reservations for dinner there tonight, but wondering if I should try to switch to something else.

                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: loriannkru

                                                                                                                                  Frankly, I don't see the point of going to Apiary during RW since the $35 prix fixe is available all the time. Plus, Mondays are always BYO. That said, we were there on a quiet Sunday evening in February, and Chef Scott Bryan's food was excellent. One thing to note. Reports are that when the place is full, the noise level is horrendous.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: loriannkru

                                                                                                                                    We decided to go to Apiary even though the prix fixe is available outside of RW. Loved the chicken there--probably the best I've ever had. I also generally don't like the texture of mushrooms, but got the mushroom soup (long story), and absolutely loved it. We also got the fava bean salad (not on the RW menu; we got it as an addition), and thought that was very good. We also got the orzo mac&cheese (as an addition), and while it was decent, I thought it was too reminiscent of packages of instant noodle mixes I've bought at the grocery store.

                                                                                                                                    The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! Couldn't hear myself think. Would go back anyway because of the food.

                                                                                                                                    And tell me what you think of this--I asked the waiter which of the White Burgundies under $100 he would recommend. (Yes, we also decided to not take advantage of their no-corking fee Monday nights.) The waiter sent over the sommelier. I told him we were thinking White Burgundy to go with the chicken, and he said, "Oh, well that would be a very typical combination" (with a bit of disdain as he said "typical." Amazing I could hear the disdain over the noise.) He then went on to talk about California Chardonnays and how they could be overwrought---but hey, what sommelier in his right mind would talk about California Chardonnay when I'm asking about White Burgundy? So I asked if he had something off the beaten path that he found more exciting than a White Burgundy and he ended up suggesting a Chablis. I wasn't sure what parallel universe we were in...isn't a Chablis a White Burgundy? Good God. And in the end, I thought the Chablis wasn't really that great a match with the chicken--something more round and less acidic, like, oh, I don't know...the White Burgundies from further south that I was pointing to in the first place...would've worked. Final analysis: not so sure about that sommelier. Maybe the noise level was impacting his ability to think.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: loriannkru

                                                                                                                                      I feel your pain. I like what I think of as a big white wine (a good shouldery Chablis type, strong-flavored) with a lot of things. On occasion I have asked for recommendations for a big white wine, suggesting white Burgundy, etc. (Male) sommeliers seem to interpret that as "what white with the most unusual flavor profile can I pass off on this schmuck who obviously has no clue about wine". Au contraire, mon frere.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: loriannkru

                                                                                                                                      Agreed that you can go to Apiary outside of Resto week (but NOT on Saturdays!)...but it is certainly a MUST!

                                                                                                                                      I was there with friends on Saturday. Started with a glass of riesling - spot on. I had the Tuscan Mushroom soup which was like heaven. Chunks of mushroom in a light broth, with perfectly seasoned croutons...mmm.

                                                                                                                                      I then had the roast chicken with a smooth polenta, and carrots and peas. The chicken was moist, perfectly cooked, and hit the spot (I was famished!)

                                                                                                                                      We shared two desserts - one was the chocolate cake. I LOVE chocolate, and molten cakes are my ultimate weakness. Apiary's has a chocolate cake that has no taken the top spot on my list!!!! Chocolatey without too much richness, and a quenelle of vanilla as an acoutrement.

                                                                                                                                      We were also delighted by their blackberry financier, coupled with a delightful sparking shiraz. Not too sweet, but just enough almondy moistness. Coupled with a creme fraiche cream quenelle and blackberries... HEAVEN. ON. EARTH.

                                                                                                                                    3. Went to the Modern on Friday night for my first RW dinner of the season. We had:

                                                                                                                                      Upside-down tuna tarte - interesting dish, very "refreshing", as my bf described it, tasty
                                                                                                                                      Lamb and goat cheese terrine - bf complained about the bitter watercress puree surrounding the whole thing. The lamb was good, very rich and creamy-tasting

                                                                                                                                      Grilled quail - I think I have some low salt tolerance, especially with restaurant food, but the surrounding barley and chorizo jus(?) was a bit salty for my taste. Overall, it tasted a lot like jhaute-barbecue, possibly due to the chorizo.
                                                                                                                                      Duck confit - pretty standard duck confit.

                                                                                                                                      Buttermilk panna cotta with strawberry sorbet - has a lot more components than the description actually mentions. I really liked this, lots of different parts to it, including some big, flat, crispy, buttery pastry thing (tastes like a palmier) and some kind of citrus gelee
                                                                                                                                      Hazelnut dacquoise - only got one small taste in, was dark chocolate-y and uh, hazelnutty.

                                                                                                                                      It was weird that a lot of the choices were the same as in Winter RW. Wasn't terribly impressed with dinner here, but it's still good enough of a deal for us to try again next Friday. I'm planning on getting the duck app and saffron tagliatelle.

                                                                                                                                      As for Convivio, we checked out their RW menu and found nothing we wanted. How can a restaurant this prized for its pastas have only one (plainnnn) pasta on the menu??

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                        > It was weird that a lot of the choices were the same as in Winter RW.

                                                                                                                                        It's probably more reflective of the regular menu which doesn't change all that often. Good for me, because I love so many of their dishes, but bad if you are looking for something new/exciting.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                          LOLs, went to Convivio for lunch RW with a friend and it actually redeemed itself from a previous, first visit. I had the hangar steak and the pancetta salad. The salad was great, steak decent. I was also confused by why they would only offer such a plain pasta and went for the meat.

                                                                                                                                          I was not impressed with dessert.

                                                                                                                                        2. We ended up at city crab, totally by accident, on Friday night and wound up enjoying two lobsters and king crab claws for dinner, from the RW menu. I thought twin lobsters along with tuna carpaccio and the fruit plate a very satisfying meal for 35.00. They also seem to have a very well rounded wine list.

                                                                                                                                          1. I just had a very tasty lunch at Gotham Bar and Grill. Service was excellent and the Chicken Sausage was fabulous. However I didn't love the Chocolate Cake. It was soo rich! Is it just me? I just felt overhwelmed by it. Overall though the meal was excellent.


                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: roze

                                                                                                                                              I do enjoy their chocolate cake, and typically I prefer non-chocolate desserts.

                                                                                                                                            2. Hi Everyone:

                                                                                                                                              I am a long time lurker, but this is my first post.

                                                                                                                                              At the midpoint of RW here are my quick-takes:

                                                                                                                                              JoJo dinner: I have always wanted to go and am often next door for meetings, but those meetings always serve lunch; so this was my first visit. I thought the space was beautiful. The service was unhurried. The food was generally excellent. I had warm asparagus with avocado salad; salmon with a very nice, gritty polenta; and the classic J-G molten chocolate cake. I thought it was the best J-G food outside of the actual J-G. I was very impressed.

                                                                                                                                              Alto lunch: The space was great and the service was fine... but I was unimpressed with the food for a 3 star restaurant (even for RW). The poached sea bass was slightly tough, and nothing really wowed me.

                                                                                                                                              Oceana dinner: The service was slightly off, but I have found that over the last few RWs that Oceana is the best deal of all participating restaurants. Every course I have had there has been outstanding. I have been to around 60-70% of the NY Times 3 star restaurants and think this is the best. Hopefully the quality will be even better at the new location.

                                                                                                                                              Park Avenue Summer dinner: I had never been and was thoroughly impressed with the food and the decor. They have a $42 option that includes a choice of 1 of 4 glasses of wine. I had a delicious yellow and white corn soup with tomatillos, and one of the best salmon dishes (with slightly pickled vegetable salad) I have had in a long time.. the deserts were not as strong. Generally I was very impressed, though the crowd seemed a bit UES fratty for me. I will be back.

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: setup610

                                                                                                                                                I went to the Palm Tribeca with my mother and my daughter. Not the very best restaurant around, but it was the closest RW restaurant to my apartment. We were just back from vacation and we were tired.

                                                                                                                                                There were only a few choices on the RW menu and several of them had a surcharge, which annoyed me. My mother and I both got the filet mignon for our entree. It was delicious. Very tender and flavorful. I got a seafood salad for my first course. It was a huge portion for an appetizer. There was shrimp, squid and a big piece of poached salmon. The salmon was very good. My mother got a salad with grilled peaches and camembert. She liked it. There was just one dessert choice, key lime pie. Fortunately we both like key lime pie. It was good _ neither too sweet nor too tart. My daughter ordered off the kids' menu, which had the usual kids' menu items _ pasta, chicken fingers. Again, huge portions. The kids' menu there is actually a good deal. My daughter had the chicken fingers and an ice cream sundae. All in all it was a good meal.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: NYCkaren

                                                                                                                                                  i noticed all of the steakhouse that has RW available has filet mignon as an option...

                                                                                                                                                2. re: setup610

                                                                                                                                                  ITA about Park Ave, Summer but I had an awful RW dinner at Oceana in the winter...sort of like the old joke about the food not being so good and the portions were too small! The bluefish tartar appetizer sticks in my mind -- 2 small bites and given the price of bluefish that was really chintzy...left hungry.

                                                                                                                                                  Going to Terrace in the Sky tonight, hope it's good.

                                                                                                                                                3. Any thoughts on Centrico for RW?

                                                                                                                                                  1. Anthos and 10 Downing--RW review: Both were very good. One didn't feel sneered at for being a RW'er. Both had menus that included interesting choices from the regular menu and no supplements, which I appreciated.

                                                                                                                                                    At Anthos, we got full service--from two amuse bouches to the complimentary bags of sweet popcorn to take home. They also gave us a couple of glasses of wine for free. DH had a particularly tasty olive oil poached chicken, which was a terrific combination with eggplant and other yummy things. My sesame-and-chocolate dessert was also excellent.

                                                                                                                                                    10 Downing also lived up to expectations. Everyone in my group liked their starters and mains quite a bit, although the desserts were flat. But it was nice that such a 'hot' new place did RW and did it well.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Went to Devi last night, unfortunately not having realized that their restaurant week deal is no deal at all. (You can always get an appetizer, a main, and a dessert for $35.) They added a few special dishes to the RW menu in order to distinguish it, but that just left us frustrated: we wanted the paneer that was on the RW menu, but didn't want either of the RW desserts. They wouldn't give us the paneer à la carte.

                                                                                                                                                      The saag paneer was absolutely delicious (fresh, bright flavors, and not too oily or creamy), and the sweet and sour eggplant was pretty good, though overly sweet for my tastes. The manchurian cauliflower was good, though not spectacular. The pappadum paratha was terrible, tough and dry, and a huge rip-off at $9. (Why is a pappadum paratha so much more than others? Each pappadum costs, like, five cents. I got it because it sounded interesting and unusual.) I didn't like the Emperor's morsel dessert. What was underneath the warm and salty cream did not taste like bread pudding: it tasted like a piece of deep-fried but soggy toast.

                                                                                                                                                      Overall it was disappointing, in part because I had high expectations. The food came out very quickly, which means everything was prepared in advance. There's a wide variation in the value of the dishes (the sides and vegetarian main courses are a great deal, but the appetizers and the pappadum paratha seem vastly overpriced for the deliciousness that you get). I'd go back for some of the better dishes, but would order carefully. The more adventurous dishes seemed to be the less successful. I loved his first cookbook, but wasn't too impressed with most of the food we had.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lavagirl

                                                                                                                                                        I believe the $35 dinner at Devi the rest of the year is before 7PM, unless they've extended it in honor of the recession. Lavagirl, it sounds like you're a vegetarian. The least memorable meal I've had there was when I went with vegetarian friends and we all shared. I think their strength lies in meat and seafood--lamb chops, Goan shrimp, stuffed tandoori chicken...I'd easily send a vegetarian to Saravanaas before Devi.

                                                                                                                                                        I agree with you on the Emperor's Morsel. Sounds great on paper, but doesn't deliver.

                                                                                                                                                      2. Went back to the Modern for a second night on Friday. Got the duck app (good, came out more medium-rare than the rare I requested, but that's minor) and the saffron tagliatelle. Really enjoyed the tagliatelle, though I feel like the entrees are jsut a little heavy on the salt for my taste. Had the white chocolate-caramel-mango trifle, which was ok, but I preferred the panna cotta. The bf had the tuna tarte, which was the hit of the night. He was kind of disappointed with his crispy cod though - said ti was just glorified fish and chips. Our other dining companion loved the mushroom soup and steak. Your experience may depend completely on choice of dishes, as it seems kinda hit-or-miss - not that any of the ones I've had so far are bad, but some are better than others, to me at least.

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: janethepain

                                                                                                                                                          I agree with this - the tagliatelle is the standout for me in terms of the entree selection. This time we had the duck au jus which I also had during Winter RW and the sausage. Don't bother getting the sausage w/ mustard - it's not bad, it's just not that good. We had the mushroom soup the first time which was very flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                          My experience with BM's fish entrees are that they are usually a tiny square. Though the artic char that we had during Winter RW was tiny and tasty.

                                                                                                                                                          I took a chance and ate the cheesecake this time, since it was the last one that I had yet to try and I was interested in the fromage blanc gelato (it tasted like the tangy froyo, only richer and with more of a salty hint.) I still don't love cheesecake, but it was passable. I would have preferred getting the white choc-caramel-apricot (I checked the menu, it wasn't mango) trifle again or the hazelnut dacquoise.

                                                                                                                                                          For apps, we had the flatbread tarte which helped in filling us up, and the tuna tarte, which was light, lovely, and tasty. I am always happy to eat tuna that isn't bloody tasting, so this was the highlight of my third Bar Modern RW meal. And now I really am done with RW for these few weeks. My wallet and stomach will thank me for it.

                                                                                                                                                        2. I went to Fishtail which was very good and Barbounia which was also quite good. Portions were regular size at both and there were good selections on the RW menu.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dalsny

                                                                                                                                                            Fishtail on Thurs. night for what is now, the summer menu, $35 prix fixe as their RW menu is over. Fewer choices than the posted RW menu, but it was fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                            We'd been walking Manhattan for hours and showed up nicely dressed but lugging water bottles and our Goretex rain jackets around our waists but were treated right up front as finely as anyone (and there were many less well dressed than we, and many better dressed.)

                                                                                                                                                            We'd booked for 9:30, but our evening event let out much earlier than we'd expected. We called hoping for a better time, were given 8:45 but were seated on arrival at 8:15. Smooth, effortless service with charming, young staff -- no put-on airs here, which was great.

                                                                                                                                                            Had the Angry Mussels - pan roasted with crispy basil and a chile powdering. Healthy portion, filled a small cast iron pan -- I was too busy eating to count. Came with herbed melted butter, but they were better w/o - tasted more spice that way. Fine app but I liked my wife's gazpacho more -- finely pureed and well balanced, with Peekytoe crab garnish. Smacked with tomato flavor. Summer at last.

                                                                                                                                                            I had the swordfish steak frites -- absolutely perfect with a dab of house made steak sauce and those great fries. The fish was regular portion, and I've never had better both in flavor and doneness. Heaven.

                                                                                                                                                            Wife had pan roasted wild salmon with bok choi and 2 curries. Really great -- salmon was sweet and tender -- I loved it and I usually avoid salmon.

                                                                                                                                                            Desserts - she had smores and I had a white chocolate pudding with roasted peach. Both were decent portions and really well made. Liked the peach one better, not quite as strong a chocolate hit on the smores -- but it was the only chocolate dessert on the prix fixe menu. House made grahams, btw.

                                                                                                                                                            I'll go back on another visit to NYC.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Went to Matsuri on Tuesday night and while food was good, except for green tea tiramisu which none of us liked (too gelatinous) apps and entrees were good and decent sized portions. We ordered two RW dinners and four plates off the regular menu. Service really was not good. Our side of edaname came after we were halfway through with our entrees, could never find a waiter even though the rest. was only half filled. Entrees came out and we were not even finished with apps so lots of plates on the table until we were finished. Interesting cavernous decor, reminds me of Tao, but their's is better and without the weird Carribean music which did not fit the decor at all.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Very nice RW dinner at Anthos on Friday. I had low expectations, recalling some not-so-positive posts, but food and service were both excellent.

                                                                                                                                                              Generous and delicious amuse bouches, included tiny meatballs, yoghurt dip, and a couple of other items, as well as roasted corn soup; delicate calamari and mussel salad with couscous appetizer; perfectly roasted sea trout with crispy skin entree; and chocolate fondant with tahini sorbet and a crispy sesame brittle. A couple of refreshing $10 RW cocktails were the perfect complement to a summer meal. Great bread.

                                                                                                                                                              No complaints whatever -- a surprising and thoroughly enjoyable experience!

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: City Kid

                                                                                                                                                                City Kid, I also had a very good meal at Anthos during Restaurant Week Winter 2009. Lots of free stuff thrown in between courses, all of it tasty and complex. No complaints about the food, but the service was pretty scattered, borderline abysmal. How'd they do service-wise this time around?


                                                                                                                                                                1. re: SharonNY

                                                                                                                                                                  Service was top-notch -- from the greet to the goodbye!

                                                                                                                                                              2. RW Newbie -- I have booked a table using opentable for Butter while in NYC at the end of August -- Where else should we try aswell though?

                                                                                                                                                                Party of 3 (DH&DW, DD[18]). Mainly looking at the Dinner Menu's -- just can't decide where they are soo many options. No Seafood. Like: Steak, Pasta, up for anything really, something different.


                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: emmaxoxo

                                                                                                                                                                  Butter was really not all that great.

                                                                                                                                                                  The only part of the meal that was really good was the rasberry beignets. that's it.