15 Restaurant Week Reservations to Make Now

Save big on meals at some of the city's hottest eateries
July 13, 2015
by Sara Ventiera

With the heat rising and humidity swelling, many New Yorkers are plotting escapes from the city. Don't be so quick to book that getaway — there's a good reason to stick around. From July 20 to August 14, NYC Restaurant Week is offering three-course meals for $25 at lunch and $38 for dinner. Saturdays are excluded and Sundays are optional, so make sure to call ahead before organizing an outing. Here are 15 places to check out while the deal is in town.


Serving: Weekday Lunch and Dinner

Why You Should Go: Introduced to the NYC scene earlier this year, this glam Midtown restaurant is one of London’s hottest exports. The striking space offers an array of Japanese izakaya-themed fare including sushi and rotating robata selections (think king crab with ponzu lime butter). It’s just as expensive as it sounds — one would be wise to visit while the special is around.

The details: 261 Madison Ave.; 212-544-9862

The Gorbals 

Serving: Weekday Dinner

Why You Should Go: Perched atop Williamsburg’s Space 98, Urban Outfitters' concept store, Top Chef winner Ilan Hall brought his popular Downtown Los Angeles eatery to the ever-hip Brooklyn neighborhood last summer. The menu features a mix of eclectic favorites like the banh mi poutine dishes as well as new items served in a creative space: the interior is an industrial blend of wood-beam floors, a colorfully tiled bar and original warehouse-style windows. The roof deck is an ideal place to dine on balmy evenings.

The details: 98 N. Sixth St., Brooklyn; 718-387-0195

The Palm Court 

Serving: Dinner

Why You Should Go: Inside the iconic Plaza Hotel, this luxurious room has been reinvented with a modern aesthetic and a new menu from a celebrity chef. Chopped judge Geoffrey Zakarian has developed a list of high-end classic American items for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The palatial room features an ornate glass ceiling, arched windows, oval trellised bar, bespoke furniture and, obviously, plenty of palm trees.

The details: 768 Fifth Ave.; 212-546-5300

Le Philosophe 

Serving: Dinner, Sunday Brunch

Why You Should Go: Scoring a seat at this NoHo bistro run by a Jean-Georges/Boulud alum may not be the easiest task, but the old-world French fare is worth the headache. The menu looks like it’s been plucked straight out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking: lobster Thermidor, duck à l’orange, coq au vin. And the dishes are as expertly executed as though they were made by Julia Child herself.

The details: 55 Bond St.; 212-388-0038

Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria 

Serving: Lunch, Sunday Brunch

Why You Should Go: The casual sibling to nearby Il Buco, this NoHo restaurant and market is a new addition to the Restaurant Week lineup. Come ready to forgo any gluten or meat hangups; it serves phenomenal pastas and impressive house-cured charcuterie. Following the slow-food philosophy, everything is sustainably sourced and much is prepared on the premises, and checks can quickly rise, so Restaurant Week is the perfect time to savor a taste of the Italian-inspired menu.

The details: 53 Great Jones St.; 212-837-2622


Serving: Dinner, Sunday Brunch

Why You Should Go: Just down the street, the cost of the new Nordic tasting menu here usually goes for $70 a pop. Options range from grilled salmon with fermented cucumbers to duck in a jar, duck confit, foie gras and pickled vegetables. For anyone looking to get a taste of vegetable wizard Mads Refslund’s food, it’s time to book now. 

The details: 9 Great Jones St.; 212-203-2121


Serving: Dinner, Sunday Brunch

Why You Should Go: Chris Jaeckle's Japanese-influenced Venetian cuisine has been hailed by critics and locals since bursting onto the scene last year. The spot just launched a new summer menu featuring dishes like eggplant parmigiana in addition to their signatures like bucatini with smoked uni and spicy bread crumbs. The stylish second-floor dining room is a great fit for special occasions and dates, and the restaurant boasts an impressive (and affordable) Italian wine list, which you can also sample downstairs at the casual bar while enjoying full meal or a quick snack.

The details: 22 E. 13th St.; 212-231-2236

The Cecil

Serving: Dinner

Why You Should Go: Chef-owner Alexander Smalls and chef de cuisine JJ Johnson (a Zagat 30 Under 30) have been making waves with this Harlem favorite for its globally diverse menu. The menu's influences span the globe, blending flavors and ingredients from Africa, Asia and the southern U.S. Dishes like mussels and roti (yuzu, Chinese duck sausage, heirloom tomatoes) and oxtail dumplings are served in a chic, lively atmosphere.

The details: 210 W. 118th St.; 212-866-1262

Fung Tu 

Serving: Weekday Dinner

Why You Should Go: Fresh off a rave New York Times review in May, this LES Chinese-American restaurant is still offering guests a chance to sample its inventive cuisine for a steal. Dim sum expert Wilson Tang and Per Se vet Jonathan Wu teamed up for modern interpretation of classic dishes such as roasted duck with stir-fried quinoa, sweet potatoes and goji gastrique. The regular six-course tasting goes for $60, so it’s worth sampling as much as possible for nearly half the price.

The details: 22 Orchard St.; 212-219-8785

Little Park

Serving: Weekday Lunch    

Why You Should Go: The most recent addition to chef Andrew Carmellini’s highly regarded kingdom (Locanda Verde, The Dutch, Bar Primi), Little Park features an on-trend selection of vegetable-centric seasonal dishes. Small and large plates range from beetroot tartare with horseradish, rye and smoked trout roe to farro tagliatelle with peekytoe crab, asparagus and bottarga. Mimicking the menu, the atmosphere is warm with an organic feel. It’s tucked inside the TriBeCa’s Smyth Hotel.

The details: 85 W. Broadway; 212-220-4110

Empellón Cocina and Empellón Taqueria 

​Serving: Empellón Cocina - Weekday Dinner; Empellón Taqueria - Weekday Lunch and Dinner

From desserts at WD~50 to high-brow Mexican, chef Alex Stupak’s food and career trajectory are both known for being both bold and wholly original. The first West Village taco joint offers inventive tacos with fillings like short-rib pastrami, lobster and Brussels sprouts. His upscale East Village location (Cocina) serves refined small plates (think squid with black mole and mango with peekytoe crab) and recently renovated and relaunched with a new $38 prix fixe menu.

The details: Empellón Cocina - 105 First Ave., 212-780-0999; Empellón Taqueria - 230 W. Fourth St., 212-367-0999

The Lambs Club Bar 

Serving: Weekday Lunch and Dinner

Why You Should Go: A nice dinner and a Broadway show usually don’t come cheap, especially if the Lambs Club is a stop along the way. For Restaurant Week, saddle up at the second-floor bar for a taste of Geoffrey Zakarian’s sophisticated American cuisine.

The details: 132 W. 44th St.; 212-997-5262


Serving: Weekday Dinner

Why You Should Go: Chef David Waltuck has been beloved by New Yorkers for the past three decades for his now-closed TriBeCa eatery, Chanterelle. But you can still enjoy a taste of Waltuck's cooking at élan, which melds his classic French technique with contemporary influences to create items like the General Tso’s sweetbreads and his famed seafood sausage.

The details: 43 E. 20th St.; 646-682-7105

Asia de Cuba 

Serving: Weekday Lunch and Dinner

Why You Should Go: Back in the Sex and the City days, this celeb magnet was known as the place to see and be seen. It wasn’t just about the people-watching, though — critics praised the food as well. Now, it’s back with its original owners and a new Asian-Latin fusion menu (lechon fried rice, shrimp churros) from chef Louis Pous, as well as one killer mojito made with freshly pressed sugarcane.

The details: 415 Lafayette St.;  212-726-7755

DB Bistro Moderne 

Serving: Weekday Lunch; Dinner

Why You Should Go: The name Boulud is synonymous with great food and impeccable service. His cool Midtown bistro has been a perpetual favorite for food lovers and theater geeks for its refined updates on classics like spiced duck confit. It's all featured in a cool cosmopolitan setting with a recently added sit-down bar.

The details: 55 W. 44th St.; 212-391-2400

nyc restaurant week