It is that time of year again folks! New York City Restaurant Week is about to commence and this year 317 restaurants will be serving up some of the finest food New York City has to offer, from January 14th until February 8th. Each and every year more restaurants jump on the proverbial chuck wagon and attempt to compete for your business during the most hectic two weeks in the New York City restaurant business and the hardest part is choosing which restaurant to visit. If you are as bad at making a decision as Notre Dame was at playing football this week, The Blue Collar Foodie has got you covered! I have reviewed, inspected, and studied the New York City eateries participating in restaurant week this year and handpicked a few of my favorites to make your decision making process go a wee bit easier.
Before I get to the restaurants that made this exclusive list I first want to explain how these establishments were selected. I evaluated each restaurant using the following criteria; the restaurant’s history, the building the restaurant is housed in, the menu offered, and of course the food they serve. I then used a complex algorithm, not really but this sounded way too awesome not to write, and selected restaurants that not only serve remarkable food but also provide an amazing eating experience for the customer.
Considering I only get to visit these prestigious restaurants twice a year during restaurant week, due to budget restraints, my restaurant selection has to be more than just about food. I want to visit famous buildings, have the chance to rub elbows with celebrities, dine where history actually happened, and do it all for 38 bucks plus tax and gratuity. If you are looking for the best food this immense list has to offer this is not the review for you, but if you are looking for a once in a lifetime New York City experience keep reading!
It should be noted that I have not visited all of the restaurants that are on my list, so most of my research was done using the interwebs. So if the restaurant that you choose is not as amazing as I say it is, please forward all your hate mail to dealwithit@Doyourowndamnresearch.com
To make your life even easier, I have broken down my selections to match the “by cuisine,” categories that are used on the NYC GO website, which lists all the restaurants that are participating. I have also decided to follow Twitter’s lead and only use 140 characters to capture the essence of each eatery, I call them TweeViews. If you like what you see in the Tweeview please visit the restaurant’s website to see more about the venue, by clicking the establishment’s name. Furthermore, these selections are in Alphabetic order by cuisine type then restaurant name. If you use this list to pick a restaurant out, I would love to hear about your experience in the comment section below, so please post. Remember an outing into the City is really what you make of it, so as Barney from How I Met Your Mother would say, “Suit Up, and have a Legend, wait for it, Dary evening!”
Butter: A unique interior design inspired by nature paired with an eclectic menu featuring uncommon dishes make Butter a force to be reckoned with.
Hospoda: Czech inspired fare paired with fresh pilsner instead of the normal wine creates a fresh take on fine dining at this upscale eatery.
The Lambs Club: A famous chef and a building on the National Register of Historic Places that was home to one of America’s oldest theatrical organizations.
Leyla: Boasting one of the finest menus on the restaurant week circuit, what it lacks in history it more than makes up for in culinary creativity.
Kutshers: A modern Jewish American bistro, with roots in the Catskills, which offers Grandma’s favorites with a contemporary twist.
Park Avenue Winter: A rustic American restaurant offering seasonal fare and a corresponding design that is only open until the end of winter begets spring.
Perilla: With only 18, it is hard to score a table at this neighborhood restaurant, turned foodie mecca that focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Sprig: Located in the Lipstick Building this posh eatery offers artistically prepared seasonal fare inspired by Northern California cuisine.
‘21’ Club: A former New York City speak easy, still frequented by many celebrities, expertly serving awarding winning food with high class flare.
The Darby: This former legendary Jazz and Blues Club turned chic eatery serves up creative cuisine with a side of swag in the form of live music.
Ajna Bar: Beautiful interior design, renowned DJ’s, and a collision between French and Asian cuisine make Ajna Bar an appealing spot for 2013.
Hill Country BBQ: New York’s own piece of Texas, serving up huge portions of fresh Barbecue for all of us with a city addresses but country souls.
Hakkasan: This ain’t your local Chinese takeout joint; this is refined Chinese fare which is combined with a sophisticated and stylish dining area.
The Russian Tea Room: A New York City Icon that was founded by members of the Russian Imperial Ballet and is frequented by the worlds’ most fastidious foodies.
L’ecole: The ground floor of Fine Dining, located in the Int. Culinary Center; students from everywhere collaborate to create awe inspiring dishes.
Kellari: A warm and inviting atmosphere that sets the tone for a Grecian inspired meal that the Chef lovingly prepares to celebrate his homeland.
Junoon: An extensive selection of interesting and delicious Indian dishes that offers the restaurant week veteran a wonderful escape from monotony.
Tamarind: This trendy eatery is one of the most popular Indian restaurants in NYC, and one look at the décor coupled with the menu should explain why.
Asellina: Sleek, posh, and chic describe this hip establishment where authentic Italian food collides with the modern day reality starlet scene.
Barbetta: Known as one of the most romantic restaurants in New York City, this is a great place for a couple to fall in love all over again.
Cipriani Dolci: Located inside the majestic landmark that is Grand Central Terminal, Cipriani offers something to the architecture lover that others cannot.
Pó: An intimate space and fresh ingredients delivered daily by foot or bike by the surrounding markets, serving Italian food as it should be.
The Leopard at des Artistes: First time diners come for the buildings historical significance and the impressive art collection, but they come back for the food.
Megu: This establishment transports you to the Far East like no other restaurant I have ever been to, from design to dish, Megu is a phenomenal.
Bann: A fantastic place to experience a variety of tantalizing Korean food while being surrounded by stunning authentic Korean décor.
Ilili: Ilili combines Lebanese cuisine with a Mediterranean flare, an epicurean delight perfect for the foodie looking to expand their palate.
Maya: Traditional Mexican cuisine meets modern culinary expertise at this contemporary eatery that promises warm Latin hospitality.
Raymi: Billed as the best Peruvian restaurant in New York City with a menu and dining area that appears to back up that claim.
Rayuela: A truly innovative and beautiful restaurant that created its own culinary genre known as estilo libre Latino or freestyle Latino.
FishTag: Mediterranean inspired seafood dishes expertly paired with wine from the imaginative culinary mind of world renowned chef Michael Psilakis.
Mesa Grill: Bobby Flay combines his passion for Southwestern cuisine and his love for grilling which leads to a marriage made in foodie heaven.
Andanada 141: A restaurant week menu truly built for adventurous foodies combined with a bull fighting theme makes this a great spot for thrill seekers.
The Capital Grille Chrysler Center: Located inside the Chrysler Center’s Trylon Towers, this highly rated chain steakhouse is an architecture aficionado’s dream.
Kittichai: An exquisite design that lends itself to a romantic dinner for two with a menu that offers an inventive take on traditional Thai dishes.
Le Colonial: This one of a kind eatery transports you to a forgotten world known as French Indochina and serves French inspired Vietnamese cuisine.