Restaurant Week, the nearly monthlong period when foodies across New York City rejoice, comes but twice a year, and let’s face it: most of us are far too cold in January and February to properly celebrate. From July 22 to August 16, though, seasoned gourmands and culinary rookies alike flock to the participating restaurants, where lunch runs just $26 and dinner goes for $42 (Saturdays are excluded). But with more than 380 spots taking part in this season’s festivities, it can be difficult to decipher which places are worth it and which ones can wait until the regular menu returns.
That’s why we’ve chosen these seven restaurants, where a meal would typically cost you well over the Restaurant Week price tags, to help guide you through the next few weeks of dining.
You’ve likely passed this far-west-side Jean-Georges spot dozens of times without even knowing it. Tucked into the ground floor of the all-glass Richard Meier building on 10th Avenue in the West Village, Perry St is Chef Vongerichten’s eighth restaurant, known for its simple European fare and delicious seafood dishes.
The dining room feels slightly like a temple of some sort, subdued and coated in neutral white and tan hues, but this simply allows the menu to be the star of the show. For Restaurant Week, Perry St is offering a choice of three appetizers: summer peaches with sweet Gorgonzola and sunflower seeds, Kombu-cured salmon with lemon, and watermelon gazpacho served with market vegetables and basil. For the main course, guests are given three options from the menu: steamed black sea bass with sweet corn, cherry tomatoes and basil, roasted duck with summer squash and cherry mole, and tagliatelle with pistachio pesto and asparagus. Included in the $42 dollar and available for an $8 supplement at lunch is also a selection from two desserts: molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and buttermilk panna cotta served with strawberry and fresh litchi.
A meal like this would usually run diners over $70, so Restaurant Week makes this spot an excellent deal.
(176 Perry St., 212-352-1900, perrystrestaurant.com)
To call this former speakeasy just another midtown restaurant would be like calling Frank Sinatra just another singer.
‘21’ Club, in business since 1930, is a true New York icon. The restaurant sits on 52nd Street behind a storied iron gate and a famous facade of ornamental jockeys, but the real excitement lies inside, under the Bar Room’s thousands of toys hanging from the ceiling, inside the wine cellar that’s played host to presidential collections, and atop the classic red-and-white tablecloths. ‘21’ Club is one of only a few restaurants in New York City that still enforces a dress code (men must wear jackets), and a trip through its doors will earn you a star sighting or two and an immersive and unforgettable lesson in the city’s past.
With its rich history and reputation for celebrity clientele, though, comes what can be somewhat prohibitive prices. A dinner or even lunch at the Broadway-adjacent spot can put a real dent in your wallet, costing as much as $100 a person before booze, so Restaurant Week’s $26 and $42 options are a serious steal.
On the menu is a choice of appetizers — the soup of the day, the acclaimed ‘21’ Caesar salad, or the housemade smoked salmon — and three entree options from the main menu — Faroe Island salmon with a lemon-horseradish crust served with smashed fingerling potatoes, coq au vin with carrot fondant, bacon lardon and mushrooms, and lamb Bolognese topped with Parmesan cheese and focaccia croutons. Like at Perry St, dessert here is included in the $42 dinner and available for an $8 supplement at lunch. Guests can choose from the midnight chocolate cake, a strawberry sundae and the lemon meringue tart. ‘21’ Club, recognizing how beloved their sides are, has also made creamed spinach, olive oil whipped potatoes, and French fries available for an additional $8 versus the regular $12 and their usually $17 truffle macaroni and cheese and pommes soufflées for an additional $12.
The Restaurant Week menu is offered for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday and just dinner on Monday.
(21 W. 52nd St., 212-582-7200, 21club.com)
Unexpectedly situated on Williamsburg’s Berry Street, Antica Pesa is the New York outpost of the iconic, Michelin-starred eatery of the same name in Rome, and the Italian attitude and history is evident both in the restaurant’s food and ambience. Expect deep-seated booths, wine-adorned walls and your pasta to be spooned out on your plate by a well-dressed waiter with a thick accent.
Antica Pesa’s menu changes seasonally so that the best and brightest ingredients can be used year-round, and its summer Restaurant Week menu highlights this. Serving just the $42 dinner, the Brooklyn restaurant offers guests the choice of three antipasti: beef tartare topped with a fried egg; the insalata vignarola, which blends romaine lettuce with green peas, fava beans, onions and Roman artichokes; and the caprese croccante, an inventive take on the classic mozzarella and tomato salad. For the main course, the menu features three favorites: penne Pomodoro with mozzarella, an oldie but a goodie; trofie pesto topped with creamy burrata; and grilled striploin cooked in a balsamic vinegar reduction. Finally, for dessert, diners can choose from tiramisu and fresh lemon sorbet.
(115 Berry St., Brooklyn, 347-763-2635, anticapesa.com)
When DaDong, the acclaimed restaurant empire that’s welcomed success throughout China, opened its first New York location near Bryant Park at the beginning of last year, Peking duck and fried rice lovers across the city didn’t know what hit them.
DaDong has been known for its duck since eponymous legendary chef Dong Zhenxiang began preparing them in Beijing in 1985, but its slew of other traditional and modern Chinese dishes makes this place a go-to even for those who aren’t fans of the delicacy.
During Restaurant Week, DaDong is offering two separate menus, one for lunch and the other for dinner. For the $26 midday meal, available Monday through Friday, guests can choose from squid ink soup with tofu and black truffle, spicy and sour cucumbers, and stir-fried duck treasures for a starter, and for a main, the offerings are steamed day-boat skate wings, DaDong kung pao chicken, beef noodle soup and stir-fry seasonal vegetables. Diners can also supplement specially priced roast duck for $88 for the whole or $48 for half, the Song Shu crispy whole fish for $48, and Wagyu beef fried rice for $18.
On the $42 dinner menu, available Monday through Saturday, first-course options include squid ink soup, sweet and sour pork ribs, cold avocado noodles, and pan-seared pork and shrimp steamed buns. For the entree, there’s prime chili diced short rib, crispy prawns in aioli and pineapple, pork two ways, and housemade egg tofu. For dessert, choose from iced glutinous rice with peanuts and summer fruits and chilled sweet soup with dates, tremella, and papaya. The same supplements are available for dinner.
The glittering dining room takes up two floors of an all-glass building on Sixth Avenue, and an expansive terrace allows for cushy outdoor dining.
(3 Bryant Park, 212-355-9600, dadongny.com)
10 Corso Como
The original 10 Corso Como, founded by fashion editor Carla Sozzani in 1991, is a destination even in Milan, so it only makes sense that its first American location, opened in the South Street Seaport District last fall, would be just as noteworthy.
With an art gallery and retail shop attached, the sprawling Manhattan restaurant occupies a block of the increasingly popular neighborhood, with an indoor dining area, a massive bar and a large outdoor patio. The uniquely decorated 10 Corso Como offers a truly authentic Italian dining experience, and its Restaurant Week menu is no different. Guests can enjoy classic appetizers like insalata di Pomodoro, a mix of fresh cherry tomatoes, mascarpone, and basil; insalata mista; tuna carpaccio served with artichokes; and beef meatballs. For entrees, the menu features the popular cacio e pepe pasta, a traditional spaghetti al Pomodoro, branzino and a roasted half chicken. For dessert, offered only at dinner, there’s a creamy tiramisu or a selection of gelato and sorbet.
(200 Front St., 212-265-9500, 10corsocomo.com)
Palm Court at the Plaza
For a little something different this Restaurant Week, there’s no better option than the specially priced afternoon tea at the Plaza Hotel’s Palm Court.
The beautiful, high-ceilinged parlor is known for its daily tea offerings, but even the simplest version will run you $79 per person. From July 22 to August 16, though, the Plaza is offering a special $42 Twilight Tea Tier from Monday through Friday beginning at 5 p.m. The selection includes savories like crudité with green goddess dressing, citrus-marinated olives, cheese gougéres, a mini burger, a lobster roll, foie gras mousse, a porcini mushroom quichette and peekeytoe crab. For dessert, there’s a black currant and violet éclair, chocolate gianduja and raspberry Mogador cake, and your choice of macaron. Guests can also supplement a Petrossian Duranki caviar blini for $28 and add one of four signature cocktails or a glass of Champagne for $20.
(768 5th Ave., 212-546-5300, theplazany.com)
Participating just in Restaurant Week’s lunch, Michelin-starred Ai Fiori at the Langham Hotel offers a $26 two-course menu or three courses for $32.
From renowned chef Michael White, the man behind Marea and Osteria Morini, the restaurant sits on the hotel’s second floor and boasts a wide-ranging menu of Italian favorites. The dining room is massive, and the service is so spot-on that you’d swear there were 10 waiters working just at your table, but Ai Fiori’s incredible offerings usually come with a high price tag.
For the next three and a half weeks, however, guests can enjoy the delicious dishes and stunning aesthetics at an extremely reasonable cost. The special menu lets diners select one of three appetizers: a classic insalata with summer greens, pickled vegetables and manchego cheese; chilled heirloom tomato gazpacho made with strawberries and lemon ricotta; and a slow poached egg atop spicy Pomodoro and grilled bread. For the main course, the menu features risotto with fennel sausage, taleggio and asparagus; sautéed shrimp with peperonato, olives and spice mollica; roasted strip loin steak with potatoes; and tagliatelle with black truffles for a $9 supplement. If you take the three-course route, you’ll find yourself facing the ultimate Sophie’s choice: deciding between olive oil cake topped with passion fruit curd and toasted coconut sorbet and a dark chocolate ganache with mascarpone cream and cherry sorbet.
Ai Fiori has also made a selection of its incredible wine list available at a discounted price, with prosecco, red and white options each prices at $12 a glass or $48 per bottle.
(400 5th Ave., 212-613-8660, aifiorinyc.com)