It's Restaurant Week...Again

Restaurant week can be a crazy time of year. Some people love going around and finding great three course deals; other people hate it and think it’s a waste of time.   I have had both great and not so great RW experiences so I thought I would bring out the old tip sheet for getting the most out of this event. Unfortunately this year my favorite place Cafe Boulud isn't participating so I instead I'm hoping to grab lunch at these three newcomers:

Little Park- this is the perfect excuse to check out Andrew Carmellini's hot new restaurant at a much lower price point.

Park Avenue Winter- this place always churned out amazing RW meals with a ton of choices.  Now it's back in a brand new location on Park Avenue South and doing better than ever.

All'onda- the entree choices include Smoked Uni Bucatini and Porchetta Ramen.  Is there really anything else you need to know- BOOK NOW!

Restaurant Week Tip Sheet

1. Research the menus BEFORE booking. Just because you’ve always wanted to go to a certain restaurant doesn't mean RW is the time to do it. One of my first RW experiences I showed up at a place I had been dying to try out and there were only two entrée choices- Salmon and Mushroom Risotto. I’m allergic to salmon and at the time I was in a serious risotto funk. Obviously I did not enjoy my meal very much. The menus are there for a reason- check them out before booking.

2. Lunch is the best way to go. Most RW places have the same menu for both lunch and dinner or simply add a different appetizer choice at night with a higher price point. Paying $24 for three courses anywhere is a pretty good deal in my book. However when the cost rises to $35 I start to scrutinize if it’s truly worth it or not. I better not get a measly salad, pasta and sorbet when I could have a delicious Fontina Meatball and spectacular Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake from Gramercy Tavern at a lesser cost.

3. Bring a friend. I tend to do a lot of solo lunches but during RW it’s much better with a companion. Each person can order a different option so more of the menu can be explored and many restaurants offer $24 bottles of wine as part of the deal too. This makes it a huge bargain! I’ve been solo and thought about getting a bottle myself since it's such a deal.  But that would make me a restaurant week lush not a restaurant week lady.

4. Treat it like a regular fancy meal- tip well and dress well. If your going to a four star restaurant don’t show up in tattered jeans and a baseball hat. The guests in a restaurant become part of the atmosphere- don’t ruin that for others. The same goes for service. If you have four star service don’t skimp on the tip. These waiters and waitresses are giving the same service they usually do for a lot less. Make sure they know you appreciate that.

So those are my tips. As I said every year is different so try some new places out. As for this years list I can tell you I’ve had fantastic experiences in the past at many of the places. You can see my entire list of past hits or misses by clicking on the link below. Hope your Restaurant Week experience is a great one!

Restaurant Week Meals


Anonymous said…
i love reading your blog but i think i've already told you that. i love rw for lunches, not so much for dinners. i'm out of town for a full week so i will only be able to go once and i'm going to craftbar. did you check out their menu, awesome!
Roze said…
Agreed RW is only a deal for lunch not dinner. The Craftbar menu looks AMAZING! I would have an incredibly hard time choosing between the Pecorino Fonduta and the Risooto Balls...they are both delicious. Let me know what you end up getting!!!