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Restaurant Week Summer 2011: The List

sinjawns Jun 26, 2011 01:49 PM

Open Table has the list of participating restaurants up. http://www.opentable.com/promo.aspx?m...

Three questions:

- what, in your opinion, are the most promising lunch options? I am thinking of quality places that don't normally offer a comparable fixed price menu. Nougatine, for example, regularly has a fixed price lunch for $28, so the RW menu is not a big draw. Aldea has a $24.07 three-course lunch on the regular menu.

- I see that only two Brooklyn restaurants participating: River Cafe and Benchmark. Is this typical? If not, why so few this time around?

- Have you had any experience with restaurants accommodating or not accommodating diners with allergies on a RW menu?

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  1. e
    eeee Jun 26, 2011 02:50 PM

    Thanks for the heads up. I had a fabulous experience last RW at Maialino, and just booked another lunch there. Also made reservations at SHO which I've been meaning to try.

    2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

    13 Replies
    1. re: eeee
      jdg5005 Jun 27, 2011 06:28 AM

      Any idea when the menus will be avail? Looked at http://www.nycgo.com/restaurantweek/ and it appears that they are still un-avail.


      1. re: jdg5005
        kathryn Jun 27, 2011 06:32 AM

        Looks like NYCgo hasn't put up the full site yet. Sign up here for alerts:

        Or just follow NYCgo on Twitter.

        1. re: jdg5005
          sinjawns Jun 28, 2011 08:44 AM

          Some of the menus can be seen on this page: http://www.nycgo.com/rw-earlyrez/?a=1...

        2. re: eeee
          Barcelonian Jul 14, 2011 06:20 AM

          Have you been to SHO yet? I went last night for dinner. We were made to wait 30 minutes for our 8:45 reservation and then we were finally seated - in the bar area at a table that had been free for probably the last 4 days. There was no apology, no explanation as to why we were not allowed to sit in the main dining room even though we had a reservation and had to wait a half hour. I was so angry. When I asked the waiter, he said that they were really busy because of restaurant week but was also completely unapologetic and almost non-existent during the meal. It was a terrible experience. I understand that it's restaurant week, but I eat at nice places all the time and I don't expect or deserve to be treated like second class. Also, don't get the carrot appetizer.

          Needless to say, SHO has lost me as a potential customer - I will never be back. The food wasn't nearly good enough to justify the attitude and poor service.

          1. re: Barcelonian
            Cheeryvisage Jul 14, 2011 10:39 AM

            I went to SHO on Tuesday evening. We didn't have to wait for our table and were seated in the main dining room with the view of the kitchen.

            The service was not in top form, for sure. The server was MIA for more than half an hour after we finished our meal.

            However, we enjoyed the food. The poached egg and the salad appetizers were both very good. My ocean trout main course was fantastic.

            1. re: Cheeryvisage
              uwsister Jul 14, 2011 03:42 PM

              I made a res for next week as I'd previously read some good reviews for SHO re: RW. Anybody else? Most likely we will keep the res - you never know, I read many bad reviews re: Le Cirque's RW yet we ended up having a great time a couple years back, so - but other opinions/experiences would certainly be appreciated.

              1. re: uwsister
                Cheeryvisage Jul 15, 2011 10:30 PM

                My full review of SHO is here, with photos: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/796029

                1. re: Cheeryvisage
                  uwsister Jul 18, 2011 08:24 AM

                  SHO called me for confirmation on my res tomorrow evening and asked whether we would be doing a RW or regular menu. For some reason I was taken aback by the question. I'd never been asked that on the phone before? I replied "I don't know" since well, I don't know if a RW menu is "good enough" for my husband (I know it is for me, ha) and the person on the phone was sort of like "Oh, okay."

                  1. re: uwsister
                    Cheeryvisage Jul 18, 2011 08:28 AM

                    I was asked the same question when SHO called me for confirmation. I initially thought that the restaurant would seat me in the bar dining room since I told them I was going to order from the Restaurant Week menu. But actually, I was given a very nice table in the main dining room with the view of the kitchen. Seemed like everyone else in the main dining room was ordering from the RW menu as well.

                    So not sure why they asked. Maybe there is some logistical reason behind it.

                    1. re: uwsister
                      Cheeryvisage Jul 21, 2011 08:33 AM

                      How was your dinner at SHO, by the way? How did the food and service turn out?

                      1. re: Cheeryvisage
                        uwsister Jul 21, 2011 08:47 AM

                        Unfortunately we had to cancel our res at last minute as my husband became very ill and I couldn't find anyone to go with me on such a short notice.

                        1. re: uwsister
                          Cheeryvisage Jul 21, 2011 10:27 AM

                          Aw, okay. I hope your husband has since gotten better. :)

                          1. re: Cheeryvisage
                            uwsister Jul 21, 2011 10:32 AM

                            Not quite yet - but thank you for well wishes :)

          2. k
            kathryn Jun 27, 2011 06:23 AM

            For lunch, I have enjoyed past RW lunches The Breslin (no reservations), Maialino, Lupa, SD26 (though my next meal there was not so great), and A Voce.

            I've also seen reports where other CHers enjoyed Park Avenue Winter/Summer, and Quality Meats.

            For dinner, I've liked the Bar Room at the Modern and Blue Smoke.

            For reference, RW previously:

            170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

            A Voce
            41 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

            The Modern
            9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

            Park Avenue Cafe
            100 E 63rd St, New York, NY 10021

            Quality Meats
            57 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

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

            The Breslin
            20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

            2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

            19 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010

            2 Replies
            1. re: kathryn
              InfoMofo Jun 28, 2011 12:41 PM

              How was A Voce? I was thinking of doing their dinner RW menu at A Voce Columbus on a Sunday.

              A Voce
              10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

              1. re: InfoMofo
                kathryn Jul 1, 2011 08:19 PM

                It was solid but not somewhere I'd be running back to.

            2. loratliff Jun 27, 2011 10:39 AM

              We've enjoyed lunches at Maialino and EN during past RWs.

              En Japanese Brasserie
              435 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

              2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

              1. s
                sasamii Jun 28, 2011 06:58 AM

                I enjoyed Craftbar's RW lunch menu from last summer. To second other recommendations, I've also had regular lunch at the Breslin and SHO (they have a usual $25 lunch prix fixe though), and both places were very different but tasty and spectacular in their own way.

                Everyone has such high praise for Maialino; I'm running to make my own reservation now!

                In case you also wanted opinions for dinner, I loved the RW menu at The Modern Bar Room.

                The Modern
                9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

                900 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

                SHO Shaun Hergatt
                40 Broad St, New York, NY 10004

                The Breslin
                20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

                2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                1. i
                  InfoMofo Jul 14, 2011 07:41 AM

                  I'm thinking of going to the Sunday dinner at Riverpark? I still haven't been, and I walk by all the time and the space looks cool. I thought RW might be a good low-pressure way to try it out...

                  There was a rave review for their January RW menu here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7375...

                  If anyone has gone for this RW cycle and has an opinion on the July menu, please let me know.

                  450 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: InfoMofo
                    uwsister Jul 14, 2011 08:23 AM

                    This is from NYPost's recent article about RW:

                    "And Tom Colicchio’s Riverpark is offering a menu with a huge array of options, a choice of eight dinner entrees that boast everything from Berkshire pork chop to squid-ink chitarra pasta with calamari, octopus and shrimp."

                    1. re: uwsister
                      InfoMofo Jul 14, 2011 09:55 AM


                      1. re: InfoMofo
                        uwsister Jul 14, 2011 03:40 PM

                        We have a res tomorrow - I will report back.

                        1. re: uwsister
                          uwsister Jul 15, 2011 10:17 PM

                          Just wanted to say - we had a fantastic dinner at Riverpark tonight. It truly was a steal for RW price - they certainly didn't skimp on anything. I'll come back w/ details when I have a little more time but wanted to let y'all know. The terrace was quite lovely too - and the weather should stay perfect next few days :)

                  2. r
                    roze Jul 14, 2011 08:46 AM

                    Jury Duty called for me on Monday and I'll be honest with you- my first thought was- Yippee!!!! Work has been brutal lately and Restaurant Week is just beginning. Maybe I would get a nice break and be able to enjoy a fabulous lunch?? I was on pins and needles in the court house. I made a 12:15 reservation for City Hall Restaurant but the sheet said lunch was from 1:00- 2:00. That was not enough time for a three course meal and out of my reservation time. But still...I got out early one time, maybe again?

                    At exactly 12:00 the women gets on the mic and says "If I call your name you may leave early and return at 2:00". As she read off the names I was literally on the edge of my seat. So much so that when my name was read I almost took a dive onto the floor! I quickly regrouped myself and ran out. Two full hours and perfect timing! I felt like I had won the World Series- free at last! I walked over to City Hall Restaurant and made it right at 12:15 on the dot.

                    I got a seat at a wonderful table right by the window and set to checking out the RW menu. Everything looked fantastic and when I finally placed my order I was only conflicted about choosing the Watermelon Tomato salad over the Summer Carrot Ginger Soup. Imagine my surprise when the first course brought out was the soup!

                    "A gift from the Kitchen" I was told. How lovely! The cold soup was nice and earthy. Definitely a wonderful start to the meal but I have to say the actual appetizer I ordered blew it out of the water. Billed as a Marinated Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad I was expecting one or two little shrimp mixed in. There must have been 4 or 5 huge shrimp in there! But the real goods was below all those shrimp. Heirloom Tomatoes! What's better than fresh, sweet Heirloom Tomatoes. This was a shining example of summer. Just a little olive oil, fresh basil for spice, some juicy watermelon slices and fire grilled shrimp. This dish was so good I pretty much demolished the entire plate. Thank goodness this is always on the regular menu- it's a must have in my book and filling enough for a meal if you eat on the smaller side.

                    When my entree arrived I thought to myself once again- wow this is a huge dish for restaurant week! Short Rib and Brisket with Corn Salad. This was one of the biggest pieces of Short Ribs I've ever had and the slab of Brisket on the bottom was no joke.The meat was so moist my fork easily slid through the each tender piece. The corn salad gave it a nice rustic flavor and it really felt like an upscale picnic dish (in a very very good way). The tastes of summer were all over this place!

                    I was so full I almost turned away my dessert but the Chocolate Bread Pudding with Peanut Butter Ice Cream was calling. Luckily I had room to fit in this scoop of homemade nutty goodness. I fit in some of the Bread Pudding as well but it was all about the ice cream for me. The texture of the Bread Pudding was a tad to dense and while the raspberry sauce was nice it made me feel like I was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead of dessert.

                    The meal ended and I was ready to explode before they brought me the check and a plate of macaron cookies. I can never say no to a macaron and these were delicious. I had a brief thought of smushing my cookies over the peanut butter ice cream and making my own sandwich...Good lord I can be gluttonous sometimes.

                    Overall City Hall Restaurant was a wonderful surprise. I loved the atmosphere, the abundance and quality of the food and the service was exceptional. My waiter was so friendly, my water was always filled and the chef even stopped by during dessert to see how my meal had been going. It was truly the best jury duty experience ever! It was lovely and what a great way to kick of restaurant week!

                    Pictures here and full review :


                    City Hall
                    131 Duane St., New York, NY 10013

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: roze
                      rkaene Jul 16, 2011 12:33 PM

                      great review! everyone is going to be wanting to go to jury duty now.

                    2. b
                      bella2222 Jul 15, 2011 05:27 AM

                      We had an amazing meal at Modern Bar during RW this week. Tons of choices on the menu. I started with the Tuna Tarte and my husband had the lamb terrine. I had the duck confit and he had Long Island duck breast. My cheese cake was very good but his dessert, the dark chocolate tart, was amazing! We also tried Park Ave Summer. My app, the gnocchi with sweet corn was superb, but the rest of the meal fell flat. Our server recommended the Dr. Pepper ribs, but they were waaaay too sweet. My filet mignon ( $10 supplement) wad boring and the desserts were just bad. Lunch at Morimoto was very good. They offered a bento box of beef, black cod or veggie. But our best experience was definitely The Modern.
                      Outside of RW, we enjoyed Boulud Sud and Scarpetta.

                      88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                      355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                      Boulud Sud
                      20 W 64th St, New York, NY 10023

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: bella2222
                        sinjawns Jul 15, 2011 06:06 AM

                        We did lunch at Maialino, and dinner at the Modern Bar. Both were excellent, but overall we preferred the former for ambience and food... we were able to converse. The Modern was extremely loud, even at 9pm and stayed so until our departure after 11. The crowd was young (30 somethings) and boisterous.

                        At the former, we had: prosciutto and melon(1) and (2) an artichoke mousse crostata (they advertised fried artichokes but there was a menu change), both fine; a lamb minestra and a pasta with mussels, both excellent; and cheese plate and a gelato plate, also excellent. We especially enjoyed the olive oil and strawberry-basil gelati. Good $40ish rose from le Marche. Excellent service. They accommodated a food allergy in a professional and reassuring way.

                        At the Modern Bar Room, we had: (1) egg (interesting but not a 'must have again') and tarte flambee (massive, just OK); the duck confit and the steak (both exceptional); gelato (three flavours tasting almost the same, for some reason) and the chocolate dome (non-sweet eater went crazy for this). Gruner Veltliner for wine, $40 from the value menu (there are plenty of very expensive wines here). Competent service. A fun night out, $160 for 2 all in.

                        The Modern
                        9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

                        2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                        1. re: bella2222
                          nmprisons Jul 16, 2011 11:10 AM

                          Went to MoMA this morning and peaked at the restaurant week menu at the Bar Room. Looks like a great deal. I am glad to hear you enjoyed it. Next week will be a relatively soft week at work for me, so I am thinking about taking the plunge myself.

                          1. re: nmprisons
                            kathryn Jul 16, 2011 12:47 PM

                            I think I've done RW dinner at the Bar Room at the Modern maybe 3-4x and it's always been very good.

                        2. u
                          uwsister Jul 16, 2011 11:15 PM

                          Just wanted to add a little more detail to our RW dinner at Riverpark. As already stated, their entire menu is RW (like Bar Room at the Modern) which is usually a good sign. I had sweetbreads to start, braised lamb shoulder for entree, black forest sundae to finish. All of them excellent. Husband had ceviche, cobia, and chocolate pot de creme. The only dish he was disappointed with was chocolate pot de creme, but I did warn him! I thought it was most mundane choice out of all of them (some of the other choices: steamed lemon pudding, beignets, creme fraiche panna cotta, etc.) but he's a chocolate fiend so he had to ignore my advice. Portions are quite generous - especially cobia, topped with lots of toasted pine nuts to boot - they didn't skimp one bit. Very reasonable prices for wine by the glass, husband especially loved that they offered "tastes" of each wine - he ended up with four. Warm, tasty rolls and good quality butter that was actually spreadable, which is a huge plus for me (hate ice cold butter.) Very good service, especially considering it was a Friday night during RW week. Terrace is quite lovely, especially around sunset/moonrise. We had skipped RW completely past couple seasons, so I was pleased to have such an excellent experience this time. Highly recommended for RW, and most likely other times as well - it's not a neighborhood we frequent, but I would like to come back.

                          450 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: uwsister
                            hungryinmanhattan Jul 17, 2011 07:38 AM

                            What entree do you suggest for The Modern Bar Room? Last time I ordered a piece of fried fish. There was a 3 inch piece of fish (No, I am NOT exaggerating!) inside a 6 inch batter rectangle! We like everything, so suggest away! (BTW, the Mushroom Soup starter was the best!)

                            1. re: hungryinmanhattan
                              uwsister Jul 17, 2011 09:12 AM

                              I remember being satisfied with my duck breast entree - honestly though we have only been back for their amazing desserts, multiple times.

                              1. re: hungryinmanhattan
                                sinjawns Jul 17, 2011 07:04 PM

                                If you are looking for quality and quantity, I would say go for the duck confit. Very satisfying. The RW steak dish, while rich and tasty, was a tiny portion-- maybe 3oz.

                                1. re: hungryinmanhattan
                                  kathryn Jul 17, 2011 08:02 PM

                                  If you're worried about portion size, start with the tarte flambee or the liverwurst. Possibly the steak tartare.

                                  The duck breast entree is one of the best things on the menu but isn't huge.

                                  You best bet might be to ask the server if your selections are enough food.

                                2. re: uwsister
                                  InfoMofo Jul 18, 2011 08:04 AM

                                  We went to Riverpark last night and we similarly had a great experience. I had never been to Riverpark before and I didn't really know what to expect but I was thoroughly impressed by the food and service and I do intend to return.

                                  We had the lamb cavatelli and sweetbreads for appetizers. Both portions were very generous, but the cavatelli portion in particular would have been an entree size at any other RW menu restaurant. The cavatelli was served with shredded lamb and peas and some kind of mint and was definitely a highlight. We had the lamb shoulder and the chitarra for main courses, and again, I didn't feel at all like they had skimped on quality or quantity and the preparations were incredibly well done. It is important to note that for the meal they were actually only doing the restaurant week menu, which is actually really nice, because there are definitely venues that make you feel like a second class citizen for using the RW menus. For dessert we got the cheese plate and the beignets. The cheese plate was well composed and nicely done. I was all ready to be dismissive of the beignets because they were quite long and looked more like churros than the beignets i gorged myself on in New Orleans, but after eating one, I grudgingly had to admit that they got the texture of the middle really perfect, and I really had to claw back my criticism of the initial presentation.

                                  I hadn't been to Riverpark before and a few pros and cons jumped out at me:
                                  - When we were initially seated, based on uwsister's recommendation I asked the hostess to seat us in the terrace. She walked us out to some outdoor benches with very casual place settings and plastic cups and gave us a menu with finger foods and left us there. I was very confused as I had been expecting the restaurant week menu, and these wooden benches were not what I was expecting in terms of a fine dining meal. After a few minutes of confusion I walked back to the hostess and clarified that we still wanted the restaurant week menu, but wanted to be outside. She said "OHHH, you mean the PATIO." like I'm supposed to know that these refer to different things in their lexicon... and then she walked us to the formal outside dining are which had proper place settings and the restaurant week menu. It was a small thing, but throughout the night we watched and many other diners made the same mistake.
                                  + When I couldn't decide on a wine for my entree, the waiter very helpfully brought out two generous tastings of the two pinot noirs to compare. I don't know if this is their normal wine menu or if it is special for restaurant week, but their wine by the glass selection is fairly extensive and reasonably priced- there weren't any selections on the menu that felt at all out of a reasonable price range, and they offer both full glass and tasting sizes, which is really nice. The beer selection is also very nice.
                                  - The restroom is actually outside the restaurant, in the lobby of the work building that encloses the restaurant. Again, a minor quibble, but it did seem rather strange to me for what was otherwise a very upscale experience.
                                  + The atmosphere sitting on the east highway was unique for sure- on a sunday night with the cars whizzing by, but not obnoxiously so, was very fun and unlike any other outdoor restaurant seating I've experienced. The weather was very cooperative so we really had a great time. I imagine that sitting there on a weekday around 6pm if the traffic is stuck and people are honking horns might be less ideal.
                                  - Like i mentioned, I got the cheese plate, which had no description on the menu at all, and when it was set in front of me, the waiter just walked away with no descriptions of the different cheeses. I like cheese but I'm not some kind of cheese guru, and I do appreciate having them tell me what I'm eating. I had to flag down another waiter to explain which was which. There was a cow's milk, sheep's milk, and goat milk cheese in there. They were all fantastic, so Im not complaining about the food, but I do feel like it's one of those things that should be explained when it is presented.

                                  Despite minor complaints, I really had a great experience there and having skipped the last few restaurant week cycles entirely, I was really impressed by this restaurant's commitment to delivering a really solid meal and experience. I will definitely be back- even though i griped about being seated at the terrace incorrectly at first, I did look at the menu and it looked like very interesting casual bar food- i will want to try that some time as well.

                                  450 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016

                                  1. re: InfoMofo
                                    Cheeryvisage Jul 18, 2011 08:21 AM

                                    Thank you for the bit about the patio seating. I'm going this coming Sunday and should I decide to dine outside, you just saved me from a most confusing situation.

                                    1. re: InfoMofo
                                      uwsister Jul 21, 2011 07:43 AM

                                      I'm sorry about misleading you about terrace vs. patio! I actually don't even remember what the hostess said to sit us - she may have said "outdoors" for all I know. I don't know where I picked up "terrace" from. Didn't mean to confuse anyone!

                                      I do remember that the waiter couldn't tell us much about the cheese plate when my husband asked. He decided against it anyway.

                                      1. re: uwsister
                                        InfoMofo Jul 21, 2011 09:39 PM

                                        No I don't fault you at all - it's a completely normal term, and it's more just ludicrous that the hostess didn't ask me for clarification at the front before walking me to a table. All in all it was just a minor gaffe, and I'm incredibly thankful for your review!

                                    2. re: uwsister
                                      Cheeryvisage Jul 24, 2011 08:40 PM

                                      Here's my experience of Restaurant Week dinner at Riverpark. Might be too late for this year if Riverpark doesn't do the extension, but should be helpful for future RW's.

                                      Riverpark is seriously out of the way. It's about a 10-15 minute walk from the nearest subway stop (6 train), but this turned out to be a good thing later since I got super massively stuffed from all the food. I needed the exercise to help me digest.

                                      I think the restaurant might have made most, if not all of their items from their regular dinner menu available. There were so many choices for each course! And, they did away with the regular dinner menu altogether during Restaurant week. So, there were no two menus that you had to choose between, and thus, you avoid the awkwardness of asking to dine off the cheap option.

                                      1. Bread service - mini baguette
                                      The bread was piping hot it actually burned my fingers! Fresh bread = good, enough said.

                                      2. Cavatelli - braised lamb, sweet peas, mint, horseradish
                                      Delicious! The braised lamb came in shred form and was tender and lamb-y. It tasted delightfully gamey, without being musky. The dish was earthy and hearty, and the portion felt quite large for an appetizer. Though, I couldn't taste much of the mint or horseradish.

                                      3. Berkshire Pork Chop - collard greens, peaches, cippolini onions
                                      When this entree was brought in front of me, my eyes widened in shock at the sight of the gigantic hunk of pork chop. This was HUUUGE. This glistening, beautifully seared monster was literally twice the size of my fist. It made heads turn for sure. The diners at the table next to me all stared in awe. The pork chop came on the bone and was absolutely scrumptious. This had to be the best pork chop I've ever had in my life. The meat was supremely succulent and flavorful. There was also a nice amount of fat interspersed throughout. I felt like a caveman chowing down and annihilating the humongous slab of meat from my plate. One word describes this dish well: epic. This pork chop was EPIC.

                                      4. Black Forest Sundae - devil's food cake, vanilla ice cream, brandied cherries, pistachios
                                      I think I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to dessert. While there's nothing especially unique about the Black Forest Sundae, I enjoyed it. The portion, once again, was large. Ice cream and cake, you just can't go wrong.

                                      Service was professional and efficient. In the context of Restaurant Week, I have to rank Riverpark as number one out of all of the restaurants I've been to. Great ambiance, great service, great food, and great portion size. Seriously, Riverpark is the best deal of them all.

                                      I got a table that was right by the window and had a nice view of the East River. I was thankful for the natural light. My photos finally look good without my post-processing the hell out of them. :)

                                      450 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016

                                      1. re: Cheeryvisage
                                        City Kid Jul 25, 2011 06:32 AM

                                        I wholeheartedly agree about Riverpark. I was there on Friday evening and it was, in a word, great!

                                    3. e
                                      eskruger Jul 18, 2011 02:03 PM

                                      Any way to obtain a list of restaurants that will be extending restaurant week for this summer. I know a few have the extended dates listing on their menu posting. As for Restaurants I have been to during RW for dinner here is my rating:

                                      1) The Bar Room at the Modern
                                      2) Petrossian
                                      3) Nobu Next Door
                                      4) The Water Club

                                      182 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

                                      The Water Club
                                      500 E 30th Street, New York, NY 10016

                                      Nobu Next Door
                                      105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

                                      1. Cheeryvisage Jul 20, 2011 07:39 AM

                                        Just been to Nougatine and The Modern Bar Room. A brief summary here:

                                        Nougatine -

                                        Because I was starving at the time, I wished the server would have acknowledged us and given us the menu a bit faster once we were seated. However, we were happy once the food started arriving.

                                        My boyfriend enjoyed the Tuna Tartare very much, though I thought the marinade was a tad salty. Loved the radish component, gave the dish a nice sweet crunch. Wasn't a fan of the Watermelon Salad because I don't like goat cheese. Both the Slowly Cooked Cod and the Roasted Organic Chicken were wonderful. Perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned. The sauce in the cod was cilantro-y (love cilantro) and the black beans were addictive. The chicken had a lovely and gentle soy sauce-y aroma and was very generously portioned. Finally, the signature Warm Choclate Cake was of course fantastic. The Almond Layer Cake was good, though I thought the glazed apricot pieces that accompanied it were too sweet.

                                        The Modern Bar Room -

                                        I couldn't get an Open Table reservation. However, since my work place was a few blocks from the restaurant, I just walked in after work. It was still somewhat early for dinner, so I was able to get a table easily.

                                        First, bread arrived. The mini baguettes were very enjoyable -- still warm from the oven and just delicious with the butter. I requested for another helping. The Slowly Poached Farm Egg was decent. Apparently, the RW version of this dish did not have any lobster, so I wasn't sure what the regular version was supposed to taste like. The RW version was just all right. Next was the Roasted Duck Breast. Absolutely amazing. Smear the dipping sauce all over a piece of the duck and a piece of the fried apple, then spear the apple with the duck on the bottom so the duck lands on your tongue first, you're in duck-y heaven. Dessert was Coffee Caramel Dome. The cake itself was rich and decadent and very good with the vanilla ice cream. Very satisfying.

                                        Overall, enjoyed my Restaurant Week experience at both Nougatine and The Modern Bar Room. Since the Bar Room is so conveniently located for me, I'm contemplating going again before Restaurant Week's over if work isn't too busy.

                                        The Modern
                                        9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

                                        1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: Cheeryvisage
                                          hungryinmanhattan Jul 20, 2011 05:08 PM

                                          We dined at The Modern Bar Room tonight. We have enjoyed many Restaurant Week meals here in the past, and always return. Here is a brief review.

                                          We started with the Wild Mushroom soup, which was delicious as always. We also ordered the Tarte Flambee, which was the size of a small pizza-huge and quite tasty.

                                          The main dishes were the Homemade Alsatian Country Sausage, which fell flat. Sausage can be made to pack such a flavor punch, and these were not so great. Not terrible, just not great. At least, they were juicy and fresh-tasting.
                                          Not so with the duck. I had the duck breast. The breast had obviously been cooked way ahead of time and was bone dry with flabby skin. Not a crunch in sight. And it was almost cold to the touch. I should have sent it back, but I am not one to do that very often, so I kept it. But, honestly, it was absolutely terrible. The fried apples it is served with were delish, though.We saw some beautiful white fish-cod, I believe- being served (too late for us to order) and would definitely say that looked very good and moist. That would be my suggestion for the main dish. Maybe we just hit them on a bad night. I am just relating my experience tonight. But I am just telling you the duck is definitely not cooked to order (or even seared off at the time of service-maybe sitting in a warming oven all night?) and the skin is inedibly flabby and un-rendered this night, at least.
                                          The desserts, which are always great, did not disappoint. We had the chocolate tart which was not too sweet, which I appreciate. We also had the cheesecake with 2 sorbets-raspberry and a vanilla-like flavor. The whole dish was delicious, as always.
                                          The service was perfect and the server was warm and friendly. I honestly think their appetizers are consistently better than their main dishes! I still love this restaurant, but will do fish next time.

                                          1. re: hungryinmanhattan
                                            sinjawns Jul 21, 2011 03:41 AM

                                            That duck breast sounds truly horrid... eek. If you hadn't had the massive tarte you would have had to change your name to veryhungryinmanhattan.

                                            To clarify for others, there are two duck dishes on the RW menu; I had the duck confit, which was amazing, at least on the night I was there.

                                            1. re: hungryinmanhattan
                                              City Kid Jul 21, 2011 06:27 AM

                                              Interesting, because I was also at the Bar Room on July 20 and the duck breast was perfectly done and delicious! My husband had the pasta with lobster that I thought was even better. A completely delightful experience!

                                              1. re: City Kid
                                                hungryinmanhattan Jul 21, 2011 07:24 AM

                                                Hi city kid. Yes, I ordered the breast because it was recommended by fellow hounds. But my experience was exactly as described above on the night we went, and I wanted people to be aware. I am a good cook and I know my duck. Nasty, flabby skin and dry as a bone. It was awful and almost cold and I am a bit mad at myself not having the nerve to send it back- politely, of course. I am glad yours was cooked perfectly. I just wanted people to know the breast is clearly "hit or miss". It was also my fault for not sending it back, I guess.
                                                I should have gotten the confit. That is cooked in fat so maybe it can't be dry!? You CH also recommended to get that. oh well. My bad luck.
                                                And, yes, had it not been for that huge pizza-tart thing, i WOULD have been "veryhungryinmnahattan" Very funny,sin!

                                                1. re: hungryinmanhattan
                                                  uwsister Jul 21, 2011 07:47 AM

                                                  What a shame - you should most definitely have sent it back! Actually yours is the first negative review of their duck breast entree - usually they put out a pretty good one. I'm sorry that yours wasn't though.

                                                  1. re: hungryinmanhattan
                                                    City Kid Jul 21, 2011 08:10 AM

                                                    Does sound awful, HIM...even the Bar Room can make mistakes! I also loved the not-too-sweet/slightly salty chocolate tart, although I almost cried when I saw that the hazelnut dacquoise was not on the menu!

                                            2. m
                                              mari mac Jul 20, 2011 06:54 PM

                                              I had a really great RW dinner last night at Graffit. I've been previously for dinner and I didn't feel at all like I was being shortchanged with the RW menu as tends to happen at many other places. The dishes were beautifully plated, interesting, and delicious. I tend to put all of my RW meals into two buckets - those that live up to or exceed my expectations and those that are just phoning it in. This may be my most memorable RW meal since Dovetail a few years back.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: mari mac
                                                Adrienne Jul 21, 2011 04:47 AM

                                                I also had dinner at Graffit last week -- I intended to do RW but my dining companion had accidentally gone to Graffiti so he got there 40 minutes late and by then I'd already had a cheese plate (really yummy -- Izabal I think? with homemade liquidy preserves that were a little too sweet) and two glasses of cabernet (perfect) and there was no chance I could eat 3 more courses, but they let him order RW and me order regular, which was nice. Then I received a playful amuse -- two little cups, one with a spanish omelette in it, and one called "bagel and cream cheese" which was a lox and cream cheese mousse with a sprinkling of bagel dust and seeds, it really did taste like a bagel with cream cheese, and then he received his appetizer, which I can't recall, but he enjoyed his restaurant week entree of steak with peppers; it was extremely pretty and the meat was cooked well, but he felt pepper played a little more of a role than it needed to but not in a spicy way - the plate was dabbed with liquified sweet peppers, maybe they went a little too far with that, and I enjoyed my regular-off-the-menu entree of Hake wrapped in zucchini ribbons with chopped olives -- very subtle, not knock-your-socks-off, but good and light, and the fish was cooked right.

                                                Then they brought out his restaurant week dessert -- and they brought me one too! I thought that was very nice, I think they were trying to make up for the fact that I sat there alone for almost an hour, even though it wasn't their fault. Or maybe they just wanted to make sure I left knowing how freaking amazing their dessert is -- this was by far the standout item, a beautiful little collage of fresh banana, frozen banana, banana cake, banana egg roll, banana crumbs, two banana puddings, and dulce de leche. I was completely full when it came, I am not really a desserts person, and I don't like bananas(!) and this was so good I wanted to lick the plate.

                                                1. re: Adrienne
                                                  mari mac Jul 21, 2011 04:52 AM

                                                  It was a fabulous dessert and you described it perfectly! Wish I had one for breakfast right now.

                                              2. r
                                                roze Jul 21, 2011 05:38 AM

                                                For my second restaurant week lunch I was very excited to land a reservation at Union Square Café. This was Danny Meyer’s first restaurant and a classic example of fine dining in New York City. The day I went there was even a rumor that Mr. Meyer himself would be working one of the tables! Unfortunately it wasn’t ours but I did see the back of his head on my way in.

                                                We had a reservation at 2:00 PM and got a table in the large room up front. The place was absolutely packed with people. I’ve never seen such a crowded restaurant with the bar completely full and tons of people waiting for a possible seat. They started us out with usual basket of baguette, bread and crackers. Which we enjoyed alongside some black olives and delicious rosemary dusted butter.

                                                We were having trouble deciding what to order form the Restaurant Week menu so we started out with some oysters. These little guys were from Rhode Island and they were absolutely delicious. Sometime you get an oyster that has just the right amount of brine and acidity and it amazing! This was one of those times.

                                                For our first course I started with the Melon-Watercress Salad, Ricotta Salata, and Preserved Lemon which I have to say was somewhat lacking in its presentation. I was honestly a little disappointed at first since it didn’t taste much more than fruit and arugula with some cheese. Then I got a bite towards the bottom and hit the flavor. Big chunks of rock salt and a delicate olive oil laced the fruit and made that melon explode with flavor. Sometimes it amazes me how subtle ingredients can turn one dish from average to extraordinary.

                                                Sean’s first course however was even better- the Three Onion Risotto. Risotto always kind of enthralls me since I can’t even make regular rice at home without overcooking it. I have some sort of mental block when it comes to rice. This dish was so smooth and rich it could almost be described as decadent. With the addition of some sweet caramelized onions on top this round goes completely to Sean.

                                                For our entrees I ordered the Grilled Trout with Green Bean Salad, Crispy Salt Baked Potatoes and Seasoning Pepper Vinaigrette. Wow- this fish was awesome. Trout is always a tad on the oily side and the sharp lemon vinaigrette was exemplary in cutting though that oil. The salt potatoes were so crispy I think I enjoyed them better than most French fries and the Green Bean Salad was simply delightful.

                                                Sean ordered the Summer Fried Fish Basket with Remoulade, Pickled Vegetables, and Corn on the Cob. I have to say his presentation was kind of like my Melon Salad presentation- disappointing. The fish looked small and the whole thing just didn’t really go together. However the fish itself was wonderful. The batter was so light and the fish was truly a notch above what you would get anywhere else. However in the end it was all a bit pedestrian. Round two goes completely to me:)

                                                For desserts I ordered Lavender Crème Brulèe with Greenmarket Berries. This dish was certainly beautiful but I have to say I didn’t love it. What is this whole Lavender thing that’s going on lately? Lavender should only be used as a scent- not a spice. It just made me feel like I was eating perfume. Luckily the Brulee itself had a nice crackly top and a smooth vanilla middle. I probably would have enjoyed it more had it not been for the bite of Sean’s dessert I had.
                                                His Peach Tarte Tatin with Crème Fraîche Ice Cream was flawless. The tart was so light and airy even the French would be proud. The sour crème fraiche was the perfect cooling component for the sweet, juicy peaches. I was so jealous it was unbelievable. Round Three goes totally and completely to Sean.

                                                Overall it was an excellent Restaurant Week Lunch. Our service was up to the Danny Meyer standard. Water glasses were constantly refilled, crumbs constantly cleared away and while each course took a tad bit longer than usual to arrive, the wait staff did a fantastic job keeping calm, cool and collected in such a busy lunch rush. Two solid RW lunches so far.

                                                For pictures check: http://nyctastes.blogspot.com/2011/07...

                                                Union Square Cafe
                                                21 East 16th St., New York, NY 10003

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: roze
                                                  hungryinmanhattan Jul 21, 2011 07:45 AM

                                                  I didn't even know Union Square was participating! I love their tuna burger. Was it on the menu for RW?

                                                  1. re: hungryinmanhattan
                                                    roze Jul 21, 2011 04:08 PM

                                                    No it wasn't. I love that burger as well but it almost forced me to try something new which was nice.

                                                2. t
                                                  trav Jul 21, 2011 04:43 PM

                                                  Maialino's lunch menu was delicious and varied. Wines suggested were lovely and friendly service made me want to return to this restaurant again. On the other hand lunch at Bar Boulud was inflexible and service amateurish. Why participate in restaurant week if you make patrons feel you are doing them a favor!

                                                  Bar Boulud
                                                  1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                                                  2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: trav
                                                    gargupie Jul 25, 2011 11:02 AM

                                                    Has anyone been to Osteria Morini for RW lunch? What was your experience?

                                                    Osteria Morini
                                                    218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

                                                  2. r
                                                    rkaene Jul 21, 2011 07:48 PM

                                                    Telepan was fabulous. The BLT slad was amazing, , pasta dishes great, fish wonderful and cookies delightful. Service was outstanding as well.

                                                    72 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

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