What started off as a plan to entice New Yorkers to “test drive” some of the city’s 20,000-odd restaurants by offering budget prices has morphed over time into a block party that is immense even by New York standards. Close to 500 restaurants will be taking part in this year’s summer Restaurant Week, which is scheduled to run from July 24 to Aug. 20. As was the case with the winter edition, most participating restaurants will be featuring 2-course lunches and 3-course dinners from $30 to $60.
The name of this Upper West Side destination translates to “cutting edge” in Japanese, which is both a reference to the razor-sharp knife used in the preparation of sushi and the non-Japanese roots of its chef and co-owner Mark Garcia. His skill with the blade and dedication to sourcing, seasonality, and quality explain the loyal following he has cultivated at all four of the restaurants he now oversees. Kissaki, 286 Columbus Avenue (at 74th St.), (917) 905-8363.
The lower-casing of the restaurant’s name is a reflection of the playfulness AppleEats critic Howard Portnoy made reference to in his 2020 review. Diners will witness that property again in the just-launched selection of artisanal cocktails that feature unique twists on Hawaiian-inspired and re-imagined tiki cocktails. The restaurant will feature a $45 three-course prix fixe menu for restaurant week, with an optional two-course wine pairing for an additional $28. noreetuh, 128 First Avenue (bet. E. 7th St. and St. Marks Place), 646-892-3050, is open seven days for dinner.
About the only thing that has changed at this Coney Island institution since its founding in 1907 is the prices, though the cost of a meal is still something of a bargain. The food is strictly old school Italian, and its legion of loyal followers wouldn’t have it any other way. Besides which, how many New York Italian restaurants can you name that still serve mozzarella in carrozza, beef braciola, and spumoni? Or that challenge tables of 8 or less to play “La Tombola” at meal’s end? Gargiulo’s, 2911 W. 15th Street, Brooklyn, 718- 266-4891.
This Long Island City fixture is not your typical neighborhood Chinese restaurant, and not only because its name is the beginning of a joke. It is a healthy cut above the rank and file in the generally high quality of the offerings, which you can experience for yourself by ordering the pork bao buns on either the $30 lunch or $45 dinner menu during Restaurant Week. Don’t forget to knock on the table to show love and appreciation. Knock, Knock, 42-44 Crescent Street, Queens, 929-600-5568.
At Industry Kitchen, diners can feast on water views before turning their attention to the $45-per-person Restaurant Week dinner menu. Start with the wood fired blistered shishito peppers, followed perhaps by salmon napped by a saffron beurre blanc, accompanied by roasted tomatoes, oven-roasted potatoes, and asparagus. At dessert don’t miss the “tiramisu cones” — sugar cones into which tiramisu mousse has piped, the surfaces dappled with crunchy chocolate pearls. Industry Kitchen, 70 South Street (at Maiden Lane), 212-487-9600).
You would probably expect a place called Chocobar Cortés to specialize in desserts, but virtually everything that emerges from the kitchen of this full-service restaurant, which opened in late 2021, contains chocolate in some form. A grilled cheese on brioche, for example, is smeared with chocolate butter, and even a tossed salad — features chocolate as an ingredient. Chocobar Cortés, 141 Alexander Avenue, Bronx, 718-841-9310.
“Korean food can be fun too.” That’s the motto of 8282 on the Lower East Side, and it is reflected in such offerings as “Boneless K.F.C.” — crunchy and greaseless morsels of crispy bird coated in a sprightly soy-garlic sauce. Deeply caramelized sea scallops are arranged over a hillock of barley that fairly oozes umami thanks to infusions of black bean sauce and truffle paste. Be advised that the menu at 8282 changes seasonally. 8282, 84 Stanton Street (bet. Allen and Orchard Sts.), 929-837-0360.
Le Gratin is chef Daniel Boulud’s tribute to the dishes he experienced growing up in his hometown of Lyon, France. His quenelles de brochet au gratin — pike dumplings in a béchamel enriched with Gruyère cheese and mushrooms — and gratin dauphinois, the famous dish of potato slices baked in cream and served under a golden mantle of melted Gruyère are two excellent reasons to head to lower Manhattan for lunch or dinner. Le Gratin, 5 Beekman Street, 212-597-9020.
If you’re a wine lover and haven’t yet discovered this boutique winery in Williamsburg, you’re overdue. And if you are on the premises during Restaurant Week, plan to stop in at Rosette, the on-premises restaurant, which is featuring a delightful get-acquainted menu. First course options include black pepper coppa and short rib rillette. You might follow with the pork roulade paired with Sambuca-caramelized fennel. Brooklyn Winery, 61 Guernsey Street, Brooklyn, 347-763-1506.
To dismiss Ben & Jack’s as Peter Luger West, as so many steak lovers have done, is to sell the restaurant short. While it is true that that B & J was founded by two Luger disciples, its steaks are at least the peer and in many cases superior to those of any steakhouse in the city. Its Restaurant Week dinner menu, moreover, which includes an appetizer, a main course (among these a prime dry-aged New York sirloin), dessert, and coffee, is a steal at $60. Ben & Jack’s, 219 E 44th Street, 212-682-5678.