It’s that chilly, wintery time of the year when every part of your body is calling out for comforting, delicious food as well as some wonderful drinks and camaraderie. Fortunately, for us, it’s also the time of New York City’s Winter Restaurant Week celebration. Now, continuing through February 8, you can sample some of th3e city’s most exciting restaurants at very affordable prices. Specifically, a two-course prix fixe lunch is priced only $26 and a three-course prix fixe dinner for $42, kind of the bargain of the year.
Reservations for the hottest restaurants go quickly, so have a few choices in mind when you go to book online or by phone. With 368 restaurants to choose from, in locations throughout the five boroughs, you shouldn’t have a problem. The only problem will be deciding where to go among the 33 individual cuisines represented – and you definitely should go to more than one.
Need a little help? The booking site is smartly organized with headings like NYC Classics, Fireside Feasts, Raise the Steaks, Best-Kept Secrets, Squad Goals, Dinner Is the Show, Expense It, and Sunday Brunch. Book online at New York Restaurant Week
Here are ten of my favorites:
Augustine – The pretty Parisian bistro from Keith McNally sits in the Beekman Hotel, serving right-from-the Right Bank steak tartare and chicken paillard, along with steaks, burgers and a selection of rotisserie-cooked meats. Seafood includes lobster ravioli and daily specials. You might remember the old Pastis or the current Balthazar; this is an almost identical sibling. Augustine website
CUT by Wolfgang Puck – A steakhouse that offers much more than steakhouse, CUT is tucked behind a curtain in a corner of the Four Season Hotel downtown. Tastings of wagyu, veal chop, tuna tartare and steak tartare are all highlights, along with an extensive wine list. CUT website
Le Coq Rico – If you’re mad about chicken, this is the restaurant for you. A mix of Alsatian artistry and top poultry, Le Coq Rico is all about warmth and satisfaction. You’ll enjoy the menu of chicken, squab, duck and guinea fowl sourced from the finest farms in the country. Add a glass of wine and the decadent île flottante for dessert to create the perfect meal. Le Coq Rico website
Legasea – It seems that just about all of my favorites are located in hotels. And here’s another. Legasea from the TAO group makes its home in the Moxy Hotel. A seafood shack done upscale from the TAO group, the restaurant is somewhat of a scene, a prelude to a night at the upstairs rooftop bar. Anything from Chef Jason Hall’s seafood menu is outstanding but you might have more fun with the box of fried chicken, spiced up with Mike’s hot honey, or the World’s Fair create-your-own sundae. Marriott Times Square website
Obao Hell’s Kitchen – This is the perfect after-work, happy hour, pre-theater go-to. It’s fun, with a varied cocktail menu and an extensive selection of Thai and Vietnamese street food. Try to book early for the best seats in the multi-level space. Obao Hell’s Kitchen websiteh
Ortzi – Another interesting restaurant set in a hotel (LUMA Hotel), Ortzi serves up Basque dishes as only Chef Jose Garces can. Ortzi offers a menu of warm Spanish tapas including cazuelas cooked in terra cotta pots, and cold preparations like crudos and conservas, dishes using canned and preserved ingredients. Ortzi website
Suzuki – Near the Theater District, Suzuki is a kaiseki temple helmed by Sushi Zen alum Takashi Yamamoto. The quiet, lavishly appointed room is perfect for enjoying this masterful meal, a mix of hot and cold dishes with interesting cocktail possibilities. Suzuki New York website
Temple Court – Tom Colicchio pays homage to the Victorian era and classic American dishes in this beautiful restaurant in the Beekman Hotel. Dishes have classic names but have been updated. You’ll see the likes of steak Diane, pork Wellington, and Baked Alaska here. Temple Court websiteh
The Writing Room — Fans of the beloved Elaine’s will find comfort in the Writing Room in the former Elaine’s space. The menu is American comfort all the way, now including many selections of the shuttered Parlor Steakhouse. You can also sit at the adjacent bar, an equally popular gathering place. The Writing Room websiteh
Vinateria – Wine lovers should book a table at Harlem’s Vinateria. You can put together a tasting menu with small plates of American specialties, paired with individual pours designed for experimentation. hVinateria website