20 Restaurant Week Reservations to Make Now

The reservation lines are open: here are 20 places you'll want to call for a table ASAP
February 10, 2014
by Billy Lyons

As of 10 AM today, the reservation lines for NYC Restaurant Week are open. To help make life easier, we've taken a sneak peek at the list of participating restaurants and highlighted our top choices in the slideshow below. The promotion, which offers three-course meals for $25 at lunch and $38 at dinner, will run from February 17 until March 7. Since Saturdays are excluded and Sundays are optional, it's best to confirm with the restaurant of choice before making plans. For additional information about Restaurant Week and the complete list of restaurants, click here.

Aureole New York

Serving: Dinner, Sunday Dinner (bar area only)

Why You Should Go: Since some of us will use Restaurant Week as an excuse to combine dinner with a show, Charlie Palmer's upscale bar dining room makes the perfect pre-theater destination. The bar menu showcases delectable dishes like Wagyu beef carpaccio and oysters on the half shell, so guests can expect a similar slice of New American plates when opting for the prix fixe. Though the restaurant may not echo its fellow Times Square brethren in bright lights and far-out dishes, it focuses on a commitment to cuisine and impeccable service - a winning strategy that's rewarded Aureole year after year with high scores in our Zagat Survey.

The Details: 135 W. 42nd St.; 212-319-1660

Daniel Boulud's Dining Rooms: Bar Boulud, Boulud SudCafé Bouluddb Bistro Moderne, DBGB

Serving: Bar Boulud - Lunch/Dinner; Boulud Sud - Lunch; Café Boulud - Lunch; db Bistro Moderne, Lunch/Dinner/Sunday Dinner; DBGB - Lunch/Dinner/Sunday Dinner

Why You Should Go: While each restaurant has its own unique atmosphere, star chef Daniel Boulud's restaurants offer great service and creative, French-inspired food, no matter which location you choose. For charcuterie fanatics, Bar Boulud is a must, while fans of the East Village will appreciate the lively DBGB for the chef's take on bar food - which includes gnocchi, the Frenchie burger, and a beer-battered cod sandwich as courses available during the promotion. For a more formal affair, db Bistro Modern showcases a mix of classic French and fresh market cuisine, so guests can expect to see entrees like coq au vin and seared diver scallops.

The details: A complete list of contact information for Boulud's restaurants can be found here.

Empellón Cocina/Empellón Taqueria

Serving: Empellón Cocina - Dinner; Empellón Taqueria - Lunch

Why You Should Go: Alex Stupak's downtown kitchens are constantly dishing out twists on Mexican staples in the form of pistachio guacamole and pork-tongue tacos, so we think taking advantage of both locations is the perfect day and night doubleheader. The West Village location is a taco specialist, with interesting tweaks like the short-rib pastrami taco. Over in the East Village, Cocina features more plated and composed main courses, like his famous roasted carrots with mole sauce and Mexican-style noodles with clams and chorizo (tacos are available as well). Whichever dining room we choose, we'll know a sense of humor is appreciated - the restaurant notes the use of cell phones are frowned upon, unless you are posting food porn online.

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

Il Mulino

Serving: Lunch

Why You Should Go: For a taste of Little Italy without having to deal with Mulberry Street's aggressive doormen, there is a solution. This Greenwich Village hot spot once again received high praise in our 2014 Zagat Survey for its generous portions and amazing homemade pastas, and while scoring a table for dinner may be near impossible, a relaxing lunch is within reach.

The Details: 86 W. Third St.; 212-673-3783

Le Cirque

Serving: Lunch, Dinner (cafe area only)

Why You Should Go: We'd be hard-pressed to find better service during Restaurant Week than Sirio Maccione's lauded Beacon Court dining room. For Restaurant Week, Maccione's kitchen is offering items such as a confit of salmon and braised pork belly with farfalle. Desserts include crème brûlée (reportedly invented at the restaurant) and chocolate mousse. To note, the restaurant's cafe area will offer a dinner prix fixe in addition to lunch should we be unable to snag a midday spot in the main dining room.

The Details: 151 E. 58th St.; 212-644-0202


Serving: Lunch

Why You Should Go: Danny Meyer's Gramercy Italian is a mainstay for New Yorkers who want delicious Italian food in a charming setting, without too much fuss or pretense. It's especially a favorite for breakfast and lunch, so if you've never been, Restaurant Week is a perfect time to try chef Nick Anderer's Roman-inspired menu. Bonus tip: Meyer's restaurants are known to be notoriously generous during RW, so you'll get a good bang for your buck here.

The Details: 2 Lexington Ave.; 212-777-2410

Lupa Osteria Romana

Serving: Lunch

Why You Should Go: Using Restaurant Week to explore the world of Mario Batali is a solid plan. Though Molto's empire has many worthy contenders, spending a winter's day dining on classic pastas like cacio e pepi or spaghetti carbonara in the village blows everything else away. With a deal on lunch, we may even be tempted to crack open a bottle of wine: the restaurant features more than 400 bottles covering every area of Italy, with nearly half the list priced under $50.

The Details: 170 Thompson St.; 212-982-5089


Serving: Lunch

Why You Should Go: The glamorous Chelsea spot underneath the Highline is as picturesque a dining room as you'll find participating in Restaurant Week, with exceptional sushi and seafood to match - think classic maki rolls and nigiri sushi, along with Iron Chef Morimoto's more creative dishes, like seaweed-cured crispy chicken and foie gras, eel and avocado rice bowls. One of the pricier restaurants in Manhattan, Morimoto is sure to be a sought-after reservation.

The Details: 88 10th Ave.; 212-989-8883

Nobu/Nobu Next Door

Serving: Nobu - Lunch; Nobu Next Door - Dinner, Sunday Lunch and Dinner

Why You Should Go: Even with the city stepping up its sushi game with Sushi Nakazawa, it's easy to overlook the fact that Nobu Matsuhisa has been crushing it in TriBeCa for 20 years. The duo received a 27 food score this year, with decor and service not far behind. For some of the city's best sushi, sashimi and Japanese omakase, the neighboring spots exemplify classic NYC "seen-and-be-seen dining", though with most sushi lunch specials weighing in at around $30, its easy to see why Restaurant Week brings in so many first timers.

The Details: Nobu - 105 Hudson St.; 212-219-0500/ Nobu Next Door - 105 Hudson St.; 212-334-4445

Perry St.

Serving: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Dinner

Why You Should Go: Any member of the Jean George Vongerichten family is a safe bet for a top-notch dining experience, but we're inclined to visit this West Village retreat for the serene setting near the Hudson - and watch JGV's son Cedric bring his family legacy to a new generation of diners. Expect the typical refined, super-flavorful, but not-too-rich take on French-American cuisine that Vongerichten is known for.

The Details: 176 Perry St.; 212-352-1900


Serving: Dinner

Why You Should Go: We love the intersection of culture and food, especially when Saul Bolton is directing traffic. For an all-in-one museum dining experience, we can think of no better place than the Brooklyn Museum, where Bolton will be dishing out the likes of turnip soup and roasted chicken with spaetzle. But act quickly, as the restaurant is closed Monday and Tuesday.

The Details: 200 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn; 718-935-9842

Tamarind Tribeca

Serving: Lunch, Sunday Lunch

Why You Should Go: We love trying out exotic dishes for less, especially when it means taking a trip to the cobblestone streets of TriBeCa. Consistently ranking among the city's top Indian restaurants in our latest survey, we love Tamarind's variety of regional dishes and extravagant presentation. The restaurant even features a room dedicated to India's national flower, the lotus, where chefs use it as an ingredient for every dish served. 

The Details: 99 Hudson St.; 212-775-9000

The Cecil

Serving: Dinner, Sunday Dinner

Why You Should Go: A global menu with a focus on African and Asian cuisine, Richard Parsons' Harlem eatery is a new option for well-traveled Restaurant Weekers seeking something fresh. The standard menu has something for everyone, with standout dishes like cinnamon-scented fried guinea hen and duck fried noodles available for the adventurous diner. Afterwards, we suggest heading over next door to the restored jazz club Minton's to start dancing off all those courses consumed.

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

Villard Michel Richard

Serving: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Dinner

Why You Should Go: Michel Richard's luxurious dining room at the New York Palace Hotel offers classic French fare for deal seekers looking for the ultimate fine-dining find. The first-time participant has been making waves with his charcuterie towers, a deep wine list, a lobster burger and a fancy take on fried chicken.

The Details: 455 Madison Ave.; 212-891-8100

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