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Jun 28, 2010 10:27 PM

2010 restaurant week

there's tons of restaurants here that i've never tried so feel free to input if there are any places you guys see that one should avoid or should take advantage of.

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  1. I 2nd this as a new transplant to New York. Seems like a lot of the places I know off of the top are only offering a special for lunch.

    1. daffyduck: are you available to dine during the week for lunch? If so, that opens a LOT of options.

      Restaurant Week is indeed a great IDEA but you need to be aware of the pitfalls:
      - don't expect normal portions of high quality ingredients like steak as a rule
      - huge crowds and rushed service: most well known and high quality places are slammed due to the extra diners, and there will be a higher percentage of diners who typically don't dine out that often
      - some restaurants cut corners by offering, say, only two choices per course -- chicken and fish, none of the signature dishes, etc.
      - getting shut out of reservations since you didn't call 28, 30, or 31 days in advance...many popular places book up as soon as their books up for that date
      - the *really* high quality and popular restaurants usually do not participate
      - participatings restaurants often already have a prix fixe deal that is in that price range: Devi, Tocqueville, a few of the Daniel Boulud restaurants like Bar Boulud, Cafe Boulud, Gotham, Aldea, etc. You could pay one price for the regular lunch prix fixe any other time of the year or you could save a few dollars and dine there with more people, a harried kitchen, fewer options on the menu....

      I've always had a good experience at any Danny Meyer restaurant like Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park (who no longer participates), Union Square Cafe, Bar Room at the Modern, etc. I also typically dine well during RW at restaurants who usually don't have a large lunch crowd but are popular for dinner. I really enjoyed Lupa, SD26, and A Voce. I've also seen reports where other CHers enjoyed Park Avenue Winter/Summer, Convivio, and Quality Meats.

      HOWEVER, a lot of Danny Meyer places have stopped participating (EMP) or only participate for a partial part of the Restaurant Week. The Danny Meyer restaurants who are doing the full RW are Bar Room at the Modern, Blue Smoke, Tabla, and Maialino.

      There have been MANY MANY threads on RW previously:

      FYI, for anybody who is reading this who doesn't know about RW: participating restaurants will be serving special lunch and/or dinner menus: three-course, prix-fixe meals for $24.07 and $35, respectively, not including beverages, tip or tax. Some restaurants participate only for lunch, others only for dinner, and others do both. Many of the restaurants will restrict participation to Monday-Friday (no weekends) and do lunch only. They're trying to drum up business on their slow days, and if a place is going to be full on a Friday night or Saturday night anyway, they don't need additional diners during those times.

      NYCGo holds the list pretty tightly until it's officially announced. They are the ones who run RW and don't let people know the full list until they want to. HOWEVER, although NYCGo says reservations "start" on on a specific date, BUT most restaurants open their books about a month in advance, so you can gamble and make reservations at places you THINK will participate, and then cancel later.

      Official site:

      Opentable page:

      Eleven Madison Park
      11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

      Gramercy Tavern
      42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

      Del Posto
      85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

      A Voce
      41 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

      Blue Smoke
      116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

      3 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        I'm having RW Lunch at Nougatine! I was lucky to sneak in! Del Posto was already completely shut out by the time I checked it out. Any Nougatine tips? Also any hidden gems on the list that might still be free?

        -Nick F.

        Del Posto
        85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

        1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

        1. re: Nick F.

          I loved their shrimp salad and tuna tartare. Their slow cooked salmon is okay, but not all that exciting.

          1. re: Nick F.

            Del Posto has a year round prix fixe, BTW.

            Del Posto
            85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

        2. I have enjoyed dinner at the bar room at the modern and also perry street in the past. EMP was my past favorite - i'm sad they aren't participating! This year, was thinking of trying spice market, maialino, maybe river cafe for lunch?

          1 Reply
          1. re: mc22

            I like Spice Market very much, but I had a terrible RW meal there. I normally don't care much about service, but our server was super rude, the food wasn't up to their usual standards, and hey didn't even bother to defrost the desserts - our tapioca still had ice crystals on it!

            I'd suggest going for a late lunch or off-hour dinner at another time and sitting at the bar that overlooks the open kitchen. They have some great noodle dishes for around $15, affordable small plates (which are their strongest items) and tasty drinks - you can make a night of painlessly without RW.

            For a JG bargain, I just had dinner at Nougatine, and the $38 prix fixe is an obscene amount of food. Two people could easily share a prix fixe and an appetizer. (As usual, it's the appetizers where they really shine.)

            Spice Market
            403 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10014

            1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

          2. I'll be dining at Perry St, Le Cirque, Nougatine at Jean Georges and Fishtail by David Burke. Any thoughts or past experiences to note?

            In the past, I LOVED ilili for their creative dishes and generous portions, enjoyed Megu Downtown for delicious wagyu beef, although I left the restaurant still hungry, and was disappointed with my experience at the Bar Room-Modern.

            @mcc22-- I've never tried Spice Market for RW, but I've eaten there twice, and love it both times. The food is unique and flavorful, the service was great and the decor is dramatic and definitely a highlight. I went there both times with large groups, and loved dining family style.

            Jean Georges
            1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

            Spice Market
            403 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10014

            Le Cirque
            151 East 58th Street, New York, NY 10022

            62 Thomas St, New York, NY 10013

            1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

            4 Replies
            1. re: monamiestephanie

              I was disappointed to see that 11 Madison is not participating at all. I have reservatons at Butter, but haven't muster up the excitement to make reservations anywhere else.
              I think I am suffering from past RW fatigue.

              1. re: maria_nyc

                Now that EMP is a 4-star, why would you expect it to participate in RW? None of the other five 4-stars do.

              2. re: monamiestephanie

                I've had RW dinners at both Nougatine and Fishtail, loved both!

                1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

                1. re: monamiestephanie

                  We never do RW, but we had an excellent dinner at Fishtail.

                  Fishtail photos:

                2. i generally do not like the prix fixe menus for RW but I was able to score a res. to the modern bar room so ill try that out.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jester99

                    I love the Bar Room at the Modern and have found their RW menus just great, also good wine specials featured. The tuna tartare is out of this world, as is the hazelnut dacquoise dessert.

                    1. re: City Kid

                      thanks for the heads up, I saw they had sweetbreads on the menu and that made me happy