Sam Returns to Restaurant Week
It’s that time of year again: NYC Restaurant Week. Twice a year hundreds of restaurants debut special prix-fixe menus in participation of the event, inviting residents and visitors to explore new dining options at an appealing price point. With some of the city’s most exclusive restaurants offering 2-course lunch menus for $26, and 3-course dinner menus for $42, it’s easy to see why Restaurant Week has become a fan-favorite. Sam, our in-house foodie and Restaurant Week expert, reviews the list of participating restaurants and dishes on the menus he’s most excited to try out.
Farmer & The Fish
James Beard award winner Farmer & The Fish is known as a farm-to-table fish house. The Gramercy location (located a fourteen-minute subway ride downtown from WestHouse) is the city counterpart to Purdy’s Farmer & The Fish in North Salem, and receives over three quarters of its produce directly from their greenhouse and farm. The raw bar features fresh seafood from New York’s Downeast Seafood, so you can be sure that nearly everything on the plate has been sourced locally. While this may sound like the backdrop of a Portlandia episode, the result is exceedingly fresh and delicious fare. With both lunch and dinner menus on offer for Restaurant Week, I’m most excited to try the soft shell crab with watermelon, yellow tomato, basil and smoked olive oil - which sounds like summer on a plate.
Highly acclaimed Chinese chef DaDong opened his first restaurant on American soil just two years ago. Known worldwide for his rendition of the classic Beijing dish, Roast Peking Duck, Western fans have been flocking to his U.S. restaurant ever since. The restaurant, located just east of Times Square and a quick ten-minute cab ride from WestHouse, boasts a full menu of refined Chinese fare and a stunning outdoor terrace. The lunch and dinner menus for Restaurant Week list enticing dishes like slow-cooked lobster with saffron rice and sweet and sour pork ribs, but be warned - to taste the chef’s famous roast duck you’ll have to shell out an extra $48-$88. Whether you splurge for the duck or not, be sure to request a table on the outdoor terrace to take advantage of the picturesque setting.
Serra by Birreria
Why not take advantage of the sunshine while we’ve still got it? Eataly’s seasonal rooftop restaurant Serra will transport you to the sunny pastures of Italy with its gorgeously decorated greenhouse. Lean into the Italian vibes with special Restaurant Week menu items of romano beans with cured lemon and ricotta salata, roasted eggplant with tomatoes and red peppers and panna cotta with mixed fruit gelée and fresh fruit.
The menu at Upper East Side’s Café Boulud would make anyone’s mouth water. But with higher price points during the regular year, this Michelin-starred, elegant French outpost is not as accessible to the everyday diner. Enter Restaurant Week’s prix fixe menus: with course offerings at $26 and $32 for lunch and dinner, anyone can enjoy beloved delicacies like their chicken liver mousse, roasted pork loin or trout meuniére.
The Flatiron Room
For the first time in Restaurant Week history, whiskey house and live music spot The Flatiron Room will be offering a special prix fixe dinner menu. While their collection of more than 400 varieties of whiskey will not be included as part of the prix-fixe, diners can enjoy hearty favorites like their panko crusted portobello fries and chimichurri skirt steak while listening to a live jazz band. Plus, if the mood strikes, you can always order off the prix-fixe for a glass of their expertly crafted cocktails or world-renowned whiskey.