New York Restaurant Week is coming round again next month (January 24–25 and January 28–February 1), and today the reservation lines open up. We’ve always loved the whole concept, even though at some restaurants you get a simplified menu that may not do the place justice. But what’s great about the deal ($24.07 for lunch, $35 for dinner) is the chance it gives you to try places you might not otherwise get to if you had to pay full fare. Who rolls the dice when they know they’re looking at dropping two bills at the end of the meal? But at these prices, you can afford to see where you stand on places you may only have read about. Think of it as an introductory trial offer. We would recommend the following:
Anthos: Michael Psilakis has earned a lot of attention for his very intellectual, very refined take on Greek food. Most of us have no point of reference for a project like that; hence this chance to experience it on the cheap.
Chanterelle: David Waltuck’s Tribeca classic continues to cook at exactly the same level as it has for many years and is never more beautiful than at lunch, with the light streaming in. If you haven’t been in a while, this would be a good time.
I Trulli: One of the city’s only restaurants dedicated to the rustic glories of Puglian cooking, it’s not the kind of place that comes to mind when you feel like Italian. Go for that reason alone.
Peacock Alley: Cedric Tovar’s brilliant work at this place inside the Waldorf-Astoria is almost criminally neglected. If Restaurant Week gets you in here, it’s been worthwhile.
River Café: We always thought the place was underrated; far more than a supremely romantic interior, its beauty disguises one of the city’s very best restaurants – and it’s not as if that view is blocked off just because you’re eating a prix-fixe meal.
San Domenico: Staid and stuffy, but there is no better expression of classic, traditional Italian high cooking. Whether the famous egg raviolo is on the menu or not, don’t miss a chance to eat there for bargain prices.
New York Restaurant Week [Official Site]