Showcase food, top chefs, and lower prices. What’s not to like about restaurant week?
New York’s “restaurant week” started on January 21 and the good news it is going to last almost three weeks, until February 8. The next few weeks offer up a time-limited opportunity to taste the finest food in New York for little money. Restaurants drop prices and offer “fixed price” menus, with New York’s average price range at $26 for lunch and $46 for dinner.
Over 350 restaurants in all five boroughs are taking part in the restaurant week this year.
A New York tradition held twice a year — Winter and Summer — that dates back to 1992 when New York held a democratic national convention that attracted a number of new guests and media.
Two progressive restaurateurs, Tim Zagat and Joe Baumtook, seized the advantage of a convention, suggesting a lunch-only promotional event to attract customers.
Its immediate success was so huge that organizers decided to extend “restaurant week” up to four weeks.
How it works
For the uninitiated, restaurants sell tickets with pre-fixed prices for lunch and dinner. Food that is included in a ticket can, on a regular visit, costs much more than what restaurant goers fork over (no pun intended) during “restaurant week.” At “restaurant week” businesses are benefiting from a quantity of sold tickets and the influx of new customers. Accordingly, be prepared for high volume environment as it gets at least 50 percent busier than usual. Though food prices are “prix fixe” (hey, some of the “restaurant week” venues are French), drinks and tips are not included in the price.
Now there are reams of “top restaurant” lists out there to peruse. But the math whizzes that we are at Grit Daily — we took a different approach. Here are seven venues that repeat the most among the “Top spots for Restaurant Week” lists:
12 East 12th St, New York, NY 10003
Gotham is a classic New York-style restaurant, the one that you would consider as fancy and pricey but nevertheless worth its price. Gotham does not have to be described since its awards can tell you much more. The exclusiveness of this place is not only proven by its Michelin star, Gotham is one of the few restaurants in the city that was awarded five times with a three-star review by the New York Times.
239 W Broadway, New York, NY, 10013
Batard is a Michelin-starred restaurant that combines classic style with a relaxed, downtown vibe and a decidedly European menu. Batard positions itself as simple but elegant, with classic, European menu flavors cultivated with new techniques. Chefs are willing to bring diversity by carefully focusing on the menu and each dish separately.
3. Bistrot Leo
60 Thompson St, New York, NY, 10012
Bistrot Leo is a combination of classic American and French styles. You might be pleased — as we were — with its rich selection of French wines. Bistrot attracts with its simplicity and a touch of traditional French spirit.
4. Ai Fiori
400 5th Ave #2, New York, NY 10018
Another Michelin-awarded hidden jem, this time located on the second floor of the Langham Hotel. Ai Fiori is inspired by traditional French and Italian cuisine. The chef’s handmade signature pasta is a must try.
5. ‘21’ club
21 W 52nd St, New York, NY, 10019
‘21’ ranked as one of the most traditional American restaurants in New York. Just a few steps from 5th Avenue this spot will amaze you with a superb selection of traditional cuisine. It is also typically one of the priciest ones so don’t miss the advantage of “restaurant week” and book a table for lunch ($26) or dinner ($42).
6. The Breslin
16 W 29th St, New York, NY, 10001
The Breslin is a busy, traditional British cuisine spot. The spirit of old-fashioned Britain is in the air from the first minutes that you walked through the door with this classic tavern-style restaurant. If the menu does not captivate you on its British cuisine mix there are also American choices to try.
146 Essex St, New York, NY, 10002
B&E is one of those restaurants that defines “hole in the wall.” Why is that? B&S is a hidden spot behind a pawn shop. That creates a vibe of a closed club/speakeasy bar — but this one is much better! B&S offers up a variety of cuisine; sushi, sashimi, signature Italian pasta, American burgers, and even a special vegan menu. Hurry up! This spot is in every recommendation list.
Did we miss your favorite restaurants? Let us know in the comments below.