|Gotham Bar & Grill|
Justin Hartung – Bar Boulud
One reason Daniel Boulud runs one of the most respected restaurant empires in NYC? Quality control. When dining at one of his establishments during Restaurant Week, you don’t have to worry about menus designed to clean out the pantry. The lunch on offer at his wine and charcuterie–focused Upper Westsider should be a reliable bet.
James Mulcahy – Locanda Verde
I would live at Andrew Carmellini’s TriBeCa Italian if I could (can’t they throw a cot in the private room?). The Restaurant Week lunch menu is my favorite deal in town because of an important modification: instead of two courses and a dessert, the fixed-price menu contains three savory courses. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and would gladly take a plate of Carmellini’s rustic pasta over a piece of cake any day.
Jacqueline Wasilczyk – Kin Shop
If you haven’t made it to Harold Dieterle’s West Village Thai yet, consider Restaurant Week a prime opportunity to try it out. Menus available for both lunch and dinner make it an easy, flexible option, and you won’t find the RW staples like roast chicken or hanger steak here. Instead, brace yourself for some of the fiery regular dishes on the menu, such as the braised skate and calamari with pickled green peppercorns.
Kelly Dobkin – Dovetail
Embarrassingly, I still haven’t made it uptown to check out the amazing food at Dovetail by chef John Fraser. While the RW menu is only available for lunch, items like sautéed foie gras graham crackers to start, salmon croustillant for the main and parsnip cake to end sound like a culinary adventure too good to pass up – especially for only $25.
Anna Hyclak – Empellón Taqueria
Everything about this place is awesome, from the laid-back vibe and funky graffiti on the walls to the spicy margaritas and tacos you’ll dream about later. Go for the $25 lunch deal and order the lobster tacos, which are usually $39 – you'll have to add $10 to the deal, but that’s still just $35, and you’ll get an appetizer and dessert too. Believe me, those tacos are worth it!
Emily Rothschild – Telepan
For me, Restaurant Week is all about trying out a spendy place that I wouldn’t otherwise choose on a regular old night. One of my favorite picks is Telepan on the UWS, which is high-end without being at all snooty. Its townhouse setting is comfortable and relaxed, and the seasonal-focused cooking is always interesting and flavorful. Plus, the Restaurant Week menu offers loads of choices, and they’re classy enough not to look down at your prix fixe–only orderings.
Amanda Spurlock – Gotham Bar & Grill
My first Restaurant Week experience was at Gotham Bar & Grill, and I try to re-create it every year since (minus the returning to work with a slight buzz, as they only offer lunch). Service is spot-on and friendly, the dish options are great and the open environment of the space makes you feel like you’ve spent your whole life at fine-dining restaurants, even if you haven’t. Also, I have yet to forget their chocolate cake.
View New York City Restaurant Week 2013 Restaurants in a larger map