Twice a year, some of New York’s finest restaurants participate in an amazing diner-friendly program: New York Restaurant Week. It usually happens in January or February and then again in June or July. And here’s how it works: These fabulous dining establishments offer a three-course lunch for $24.07. Plus, some offer dinner for $35.
It’s all about getting Manhattan’s best for less.
A few ground rules: Reserve early, because the most fab places go like hotcakes. Tip well, because even though you’re paying less-than-usual prices, the wait staff shouldn’t feel the strain just because you’re getting a stellar deal. And realize that the price doesn’t include alcohol (or any beverages for that matter, let alone tax).
So where should you head? The list changes season to season. But some recent hot spots include Café Boulud. Mega-chef Daniel Boulud opened this popular Upper East Side dining spot with a nod to his Parissienne roots. It’s elegant without being fussy, with just a little French countryside thrown in for good measure. You might find yourself feasting on foie gras (from the Hudson Valley, of all places) or even octopus.
A longtime downtown favorite is the southwest mecca Mesa Grill. This is a Bobby Flay original (yes, that Bobby Flay, long before he was an international sensation). You’ll feast on yummy dishes like shrimp with roasted garlic tamale or spiced rubbed pork tenderloin. And be sure to save room for the Grill’s signature cocktails. Tequila, anyone?
Heading back up to midtown, there’s Remi. With its wide-open spaces and coolly elegant décor, this is Northern Italian dining at its best. You’ll find pastas, risottos and the finest of meats seasoned to perfection, along with some Venetian delights that will surprise both you and your taste buds.
If you’re in the mood for impeccable American cuisine (also in midtown), check out the 21 Club. This award-winning restaurant offers impeccable service, incredible dining and an inimitable space you won’t soon forget.
So where do you go once you’ve feasted on the big city’s finest?
Start over on the West Side Highway at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. You can explore several decks of a world-class aircraft carrier, tour the interior of the famed Concorde, and more. It’s an amazing adventure, and it’s worth a few hours of your time, to say the least.
Feel like a show? Then after you’ve experienced the high life of New York Restaurant Week, why not check out Catch Me If You Can? Adapted from the hit movie starring Tom Hanks, this ultra-stylish musical is all about fancy living (and yes, getting it for a fraction of its cost).
You’ll fit right in.