Looking for a place to eat in New York City? New York is home to more than 30,000 different eating establishments. This number includes delis, cafes, fast food places, and similar spots, but the fact remains that there is an option for literally everyone in the five boroughs. It’s simply impossible to try them all (it’s estimated that it would take more than 22 years to eat at every spot), so what can you do to experience the best eateries in New York?
Twice a year (summer and winter), NYC Restaurant Week welcomes diners to some of the city’s top food spots. Restaurant Week actually spans three full weeks, and diners can have lunch or dinner at new restaurants, fine-dining establishments, and popular spots featuring top chefs. Whether you like Latin, Italian, or a mix of the two, there’s a spot open for you. The beauty of Restaurant Week is that these restaurants offer special price fixe menus, where you can enjoy a three-course meal for way less than you would typically pay. If you’re like me, and you really hate spending a ton of money on a meal (if a dish is more than $20, it better be fantastic to be worth it), then this promotion is made for you.
Of course, with so many options, it’s really difficult to pick a spot. This is a major reason why it took me so long to take advantage of Restaurant Week. My food cravings change on a dime, so I had to make sure I chose a restaurant that I would still be in the mood for after waiting a few weeks for my reservation. I scanned the price fixe menus (all available on nycgo) and went with Charlie Palmer Steak, based on the reviews and food offerings. I can always eat French Onion Soup, steak, and chocolate, so this place seemed perfect.
Here’s the thing about Restaurant Week (and dining in general) – you want to make sure you get your money’s worth. If you aren’t big on ordering dessert, or if a restaurant’s entrees are normally less than the price fixe menu ($29 for lunch, $42 for dinner), it may not be worth it to eat at that particular restaurant. Doing your research is key, and I suggest taking a peak at the eatery’s regular menu to see if you’re getting a deal. Charlie Palmer usually has expensive steaks and a price fixe menu that doesn’t include what I ordered, so I think I made a good choice in that regard.
Open Table makes it really easy to make a reservation, and then the wait was on. I took a few vacation hours from work so that I could treat myself to a special lunch without worrying about rushing through my meal.
Charlie Palmer Steak is located in the lobby of the Archer Hotel. I got there right in time for my reservation, took a seat…and realized it was pretty empty. Still, I recommend making a reservation to wherever you want to go for Restaurant Week. Some places fill up really quickly, and it’s just easier to plan ahead.
I proceeded to take a bunch of pictures of my food. Writing this post is kind of difficult now that I’m getting distracted by food pictures…
So, how was everything?
I’m not a food critic, but it was all really delicious. My only real complaint is that the French Onion Soup needed more broth, since there was so much bread that soaked everything up.
The steak was cooked perfectly, which I was happy to see since, you know, I was at a steak restaurant.
And of course, the brownie. I actually never order dessert when I’m out to eat, because I can make my own at home. I had to indulge here, and it was absolutely worth it.
Completely stuffed and in a full-on food coma, I paid the bill and made my way to the gym to work off everything I had just eaten. I don’t think I was hungry again until the next day, so it was $29 well spent.
NYC Restaurant Week is a cool little way to try out some of the city’s big names in food. I had fun treating myself to a special meal, but I think my bank account is grateful that I don’t do this more frequently. If you’re looking for a break from your regular NYC lunch or dinner, Restaurant Week is for you.