Another NYC Restaurant Week (Restaurant Month, really) began yesterday and is slated to run through Feb. 12. For this iteration of the bi-annual event, participating restaurants are offering 2-course lunches and 3-course dinners for $30, $45, and $60. Here without further ado are our ten top recommendations.
Occupying the first two floors of the building that houses the Tribeca Film Center and having previously served as home to the Martinson Coffee Factory, the Tribeca Grill has been a downtown beacon for food lovers since 1990. Menu highlights include New England clam chowder; burrata and heirloom tomato salad; pan roasted Amish chicken with garlic whipped potatoes and sweet peas; and apple crumb pie with housemade vanilla ice cream. Three courses: $45. Tribeca Grill, 375 Greenwich Street (at Franklin St.), 212-941-3900.
The milk-globe lighting fixtures, French posters, and bare-topped tables could have been imported from any back street restaurant in Paris. So could the $30 lunch and $45 dinner options, which include French onion soup with Gruyère and croutons; pâté en croûte with cornichons, mustard, petite salad; moules frites; and black sesame crème brulée with Cantonese caramelized black sesame seeds. Petite Boucherie, 14 Christopher Street, 646- 756-4145.
A few blocks away at Empellón Taqueria, Chef Alex Stupak delivers the occasional surprise, such as pastrami tacos with sauerkraut and mustard-seed salsa. The $45 lunch and dinner during Restaurant Week suggest he is equally at home with more familiar items, including the tacos intimated in the name. Begin your meal with the seven salsas or crab empanada, move on to shrimp tacos with avocado and pumpkins, and end on a high note with the flor de cacao crema (a soft milk chocolate custard). Empellón Taqueria, 230 W 4th Street, 212-380-1089.
You won’t find cacciucco alla livornese — a fish stew in fresh tomato sauce topped with a crunchy slab of toast — in every Italian restaurant in town, but it is a highlight of the menu at this Forest Hills standby. Ribollita, the traditional gut-warming Tuscan kale and white bean soup, is featured among the starters. If you opt to stop in for the $45 dinner, a dessert of cannoli, chocolate mousse, or pannacotta is included. Tuscan Hills, 110-60 Queens Boulevard, Queens, 718-487 4500.
‘Cue fans are advised to head over to Prospect Heights, to Mogans, where they will find contentment in the St. Louis style ribs or the Brooklyn platter featuring sliced brisket, pulled pork, and potato salad. Strawberry cheesecake and the molten brownie with chocolate sauce and a scoop of vanilla end your $30 three-course meal on a high note. Mogans Brooklyn Barbecue, 229 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-622-2224.
Catch, in Chelsea, exudes a romance that is partly a function of the soft lighting, partly the Restaurant Week menu. Ease into your prix fixe meal with the Catch roll (crab, salmon, and miso honey). From there it might be on to seared Scottish salmon with golden raisin and pine nuts chutney or herb-roasted branzino with creamy vegetable basmati rice. A blood orange panna cotta is a highlight among the dessert possibilities. Catch NYC, 21 Ninth Avenue, 212-392-5978.
The restaurant, with branches on the Upper West Side and in Soho, has a prix fixe lunch for $45 on Sunday only or dinner for $60. The menus vary with the location. Dine at the downtown locale, and your main course options includes a seared 4-ounce duck breast with cranberry sauce, whereas uptown they include braised rabbit Dijonnaise ($5 surcharge). Both menus come together at dessert, offering banana brulée and profiteroles among other choices. La Sirene in Soho, 558 Broome Street, 212-925-3061. La Sirene Upper West Side, 416 Amsterdam Avenue, 917-261-5279.
Some restaurants taking part in Restaurant Week boast views as part of their dining package. One such restaurant is Industry Kitchen, which affords water views and glimpses of the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges. The $45-per-person dinner offers a first course of meatballs in roasted garlic tomato sauce accompanied by, goat polenta, shaved Parmesan, and toasted lavash. Among the main courses you will find a winter squash pizza that includes butternut squash, delicata squash, sweet potatoes, roasted onion, pomegranate seed molasses, and sage chips, in addition to three cheeses. For dessert look no further than a pumpkin crème brulée flavored with Tahitian vanilla, pumpkin spice, and toasted pepitas. Industry Kitchen, 70 South Street (at Maiden Lane), 212-487-9600).
Another room with a view is the one found 101 floors above Manhattan at One Dine. The two-course $60 lunch will commence at your say-so with octopus with new potatoes, yam purée, dehydrated olives, and andouille urfa chili crisp ($5 supplement). Moules frites with fennel, leeks, and crème fraîche is featured among the main courses, as is miso Chilean seabass with black beluga lentils and coconut saffron broth. One Dine, One World Trade Center, 285 Fulton Street, 101st fl., 212-602-4083.
Pan Asian united with Asian fusion is the order of the day at Harlem’s Bixi, where a $45 3-course menu is rife with such delights as gluten-free steamed shrimp summer rolls with basil, mint, cilantro, lime, and a peanut dipping sauce. A main course of tandoori chicken is accompanied by coconut rice, mango chutney, sautéed string beans, and cucumber salad. Coconut cheesecake sporting a ginger crust makes for a dessert worth noting. Bixi, 2164 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, 917-409-0570.