Don’t miss the lobster Bolognese at Telepan
New York Restaurant Week has been underway for two days. It will extend this year all the way to February 8, so you have plenty of time to dig for the choicest reservations. The guaranteed price on the core deal — not including tax, tip, or beverages — is $25 for lunch and $38 for dinner. We’ve found lunch is usually the best deal, and it’s often served in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Sustainable sardines at Esca
There will be 317 Manhattan restaurants participating this year. In making your choice, pick a place that is out of your regular price range, maybe one you’ve yearned to eat at. The place should be relatively expensive – there are establishments on the city’s list where the discounted price is actually more than a meal normally would cost there. Let the diner beware!
But most places want to encourage your future patronage by offering generous servings and signature dishes. Below are 10 restaurants that are among our favorites, where even a discounted meal is likely to leave you full and happy.
1. A Voce – Missy Robbins helms the kitchen at this attractive Italian just off of Madison Square, and the olive oil flows freely. The Restaurant Week menu features lamb sausage, sea bream, and, for dessert, zuppa inglese.41 Madison Avenue, 212-545-8555
2. Bar Boulud – Homemade charcuterie galore at this Daniel Boulud stunner near Lincoln Center, and it runs from a wonderful pastrami sandwich with a French twist to coarse-grained pates, then on to heavier entities like duck breast, roast chicken, and expertly cooked fish. 1900 Broadway, 212-595-0303
3. Brasserie Ruhlmann – There is an undefinable excitement that still lingers around Rockefeller Center, and this place has it in abundance, and distinguished architecture, too with a menu featuring rich Parisian fare with an American flair. 45 Rockefeller Plaza, 212-974-3711
4. EN Japanese Brasserie – A profusion of small dishes are offered in a haunted landscape of trees and polished stones. Don’t miss the garlic rice, truffle chawan mushi, or Japanese-style fried chicken, and bone up on your sake skills before you go. 435 Hudson Street, 212-647-9196
5. Esca – Chef David Pasternack comes from a Long Island fishing family, and it shows in the reverent commingling of seafood and Italian culinary traditions. Don’t miss the raw fish crudo, which the chef popularized when the place first opened. 402 West 43rd Street, 212-564-7272
6. Hospoda – This restaurant represents Czech food’s coming of age, a merging of Eastern European elements with Greenmarket sensibilities via Prague ham, hearty lentil soup, and such unexpected pairings as scallops and pork shank. 321 East 73rd Street, 212-861-1038
7. Kin Shop – Harold Dieterle won the first season of Top Chef, but that was no indication of how good his restaurants would be. Lucky for us, he’s established a small empire of places in the West Village, each with contrasting menus, and the one here skews reverently Thai, with some surprising innovations. 469 Sixth Avenue, 212-675-4295
8. MarkJoseph Steakhouse – This place founded by former Luger employees is as good as steak gets on this side of the river, and the secluded Seaport location is an added plus. 261 Water Street, 212-277-0020
9. Rosa Mexicano at Union Square – Things have been much more exciting at Rosa Mexicano ever since Jonathan Waxman revamped the menu with all sorts of arcane regional dishes. 9 East 18th Street, 212-533-3350
10. Telepan – Bill Telepan was one of the city’s earliest advocates of local and sustainable sourcing, and his bright, muraled Upper West Side restaurant still hoists the banner high, as a recent revisit demonstrated. 72 West 69th Street, 212-580-4300
Jonathan Waxman’s enchiladas at Rosa Mexicano
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 17, 2013