Guide

20 Restaurant Week Reservations to Make Right Now

By Patty Lee  |  February 2, 2015
Credit: Paul Wagtouicz

It's that time of the year again. The reservation lines for NYC Restaurant are opening today, and we've got your sneak peek at some of the top tables to book. From February 16-March 6, diners can score three-course meals for $25 at lunch and $38 at dinner. Note that Saturdays are excluded and Sundays are optional, so it's best to confirm with your restaurant of choice before making plans. For more information and a complete list of restaurants, click here.

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  • All'onda

    Serving: Weekday lunch and dinner, Sunday dinner

    Why You Should Go: Chef Chris Jaeckle made a splash with the opening of his Japanese-Venetian restaurant last year thanks to smart "fusion" dishes like a smoked uni bucatini and his latest mash-up, a lunch-only Parmesan-dashi ramen. The stylish bi-level space works for both special-occasion meals and a casual drop-in — there's a spacious bar downstairs and cozy booth seating on the second floor.

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

  • Daniel Boulud's Dining Rooms: Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud, db Bistro Moderne and DBGB Kitchen and Bar

    Serving: Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud, db Bistro Moderne - weekday lunch and dinner, Sunday dinner; DBGB - weekday and Sunday lunch/brunch and dinner

    Why You Should Go: Booking a table at any of chef Daniel Boulud's restaurants guarantees an afternoon or evening of fine food and top-notch service. The East Village's lively, meat-centric DBGB is perfect for a casual outing, while Boulud Sud — with its elegant dining room and refined Mediterranean cooking — offers a more formal experience.

    The Details: Find a complete list of Boulud's restaurants here.

  • Little Park

    Serving: Weekday lunch

    Why You Should Go: The newest addition to Andrew Carmellini's growing empire (The Dutch, Bar Primi) features a vegetable-heavy menu with Italian accents — think beetroot risotto and black kale ravioli. Tucked inside TriBeCa's hip Smyth Hotel, the sleek dining room is packed with group-friendly banquettes and also sits next to a separate lobby bar with a cocktail program overseen by PDT alum Anne Robinson.

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

  • Acme

    Serving: Weekday dinner

    Why You Should Go: Sample the inventive Nordic cuisine of this Downtown hot spot at a fraction of the usual tasting menu price tag ($70). Seasonal specialties have included the likes of crispy salmon skin with cucumbers, oysters with celery broth and johnny cakes with braised pork.

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

  • Credit: Michael Harlan Turkell

    Narcissa

    Serving: Weekday lunch

    Why You Should Go: Housed inside Standard East Village Hotel, John Fraser's Dovetail follow-up continues to push the boundaries of vegetable-forward cooking with dishes like rotisserie beets and his signature carrots Wellington. Ask for seats near the open kitchen, where you can watch all of the action take place.

    The Details: 25 Cooper Sq.; 212-228-3344

  • Credit: Michael Tulipan

    Fung Tu

    ​Serving: Weekday dinner

    Why You Should Go: Dim sum guru Wilson Tang (Nom Wah Tea Parlor) teamed up with Per Se alum Jonathan Wu to open this LES eatery, where they turn from classics to modern interpretations of Chinese-American cooking (masa scallion pancake, Chinese spaetzle). The restaurant was designed by Wu's wife and highlights rich wood tones and subtle nods to Chinese decor, like light fixtures inspired by traditional lattice patterns. 

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

  • Empellón Cocina and Empellón Taqueria

    ​Serving: Empellón Cocina - weekday dinner; Empellón Taqueria - weekday lunch and dinner

    Why You Should Go: Make it a day and night doubleheader with Alex Stupak's Downtown kitchens. Start off with lunch at his West Village taqueria, offering tacos with a twist (short rib pastrami, fish tempura), then cross over to the East Village for more refined Mexican fare such as squid with black mole and chorizo-stuffed poussin.

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

  • Blue Smoke

    Serving: Weekday and Sunday lunch and dinner, Sunday brunch

    Why You Should Go: Danny Meyer has installed a new chef at his popular BBQ joint. Now, in addition to barbecue favorites like brisket and ribs, you'll also find the contemporary Southern cooking of Louisiana-born chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois. The restaurant is also gearing up for its first-ever brunch, featuring dishes such as shrimp and grits, a seafood gumbo and biscuit breakfast sandwich.   

    The Details: 116 E. 27th St., 212-447-7733; 255 Vesey St., 212-889-2363

  • Credit: Francesco Tonelli

    Perry St.

    Serving: Weekday lunch and dinner, Sunday dinner 

    Why You Should Go: This Jean-Georges gem offers the best of both his other spots: the top-notch cooking of his upscale Nougatine and the more relaxed atmosphere of his buzzy Downtown Mercer Kitchen. JVG's son Cedric mans the kitchen here and does the family legacy proud with dishes that fuse French, American and Asian flavors (rice cracker-crusted tuna and butter-poached lobster in a lemongrass and kaffir lime broth).

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

  • Nobu New York and Nobu Next Door

    Serving: Nobu New York - weekday lunch; Nobu Next Door - weekday and Sunday dinner, Sunday lunch/brunch

    Why You Should Go: New York's sushi game is stronger than ever before, but it was chef Nobu Matsuhisa who led the charge nearly 20 years back. His two TriBeCa spots are still as good as ever, but definitely on the pricey side, so RW is an ideal time to get an affordable taste of Nobu specialties such as the black cod miso and spicy rock shrimp.

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

  • The Cecil

    Serving: Weekday dinner

    Why You Should Go: Chef JJ Johnson's innovative cooking earned him a spot on our 2014 30 Under 30 list and continues to impress diners looking for something a little different. Created with restaurant vet Alexander Smalls, the menu crisscrosses the globe, mixing together African, Southern American and Asian cuisines to form standout dishes like sake-braised lamb ribs and citrus jerk wild bass. After dinner, work off those calories next door at the restored jazz club Minton's.

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

  • Tavern on the Green

    Serving: Weekday lunch and dinner, Sunday dinner

    Why You Should Go: There's a new chef in the kitchen at this Central Park icon, which reopened a year ago after a massive revamp, and he brings quite a legacy. Considered one of the early innovators of California cuisine, Jeremiah Tower came out of retirement to help revive Tavern on the Green and just launched a new dinner menu with items like monkfish "osso buco," grilled double pork chop and carbonara pasta gratin.

    The Details: 67th St. and Central Park West; 212-877-8684

  • Credit: Clay Williams

    American Cut

    Serving: Weekday and Sunday dinner

    Why You Should Go: Meat lovers will love the first-rate chops at Marc Forgione's TriBeCa steakhouse, while style-conscious diners will appreciate the modern setting. Expect all the steakhouse fare to be done up with a twist — a bone-in rib-eye dusted in pastrami spices or chile lobster served with Texas toast, for example. 

    The Details: 363 Greenwich St.; 212-226-4736

  • Gotham Bar & Grill

    Serving: Weekday lunch

    Why You Should Go: There's a reason this West Village standby has consistently placed near the top of our annual New York City survey. The restaurant has delivered unforgettable meals for more than 30 years, and chef Alfred Portale continues to stun with his beautiful presentation and use of fresh produce from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket.

    The Details: 12 E. 12th St.; 212-620-4020

  • El Vez

    Serving: Weekday and Sunday lunch and dinner, Sunday brunch

    Why You Should Go: This Philly favorite, another restaurant from hitmaker Stephen Starr (Morimoto, Buddakan), landed in Battery Park City last spring, bringing with it upscale takes on classic Mexican (tacos, enchiladas, ceviches) and a few regional specials. Designed by the Rockwell Group, the 200-seat space is broken up into several areas: a wooden bar resembling a 1900s saloon, a main dining room with colorful booths and a "garage" with cement floors and art by painter James Comey.

    The Details: 259 Vesey St.; 212-233-2500

  • Credit: Clay Williams

    The Lambs Club Bar

    Serving: Weekday lunch and dinner

    Why You Should Go: It's the perfect time to take in a dinner and a show without breaking your budget. Cozy up to the bar at Geoffrey Zakarian's sophisticated Theater District eatery, where they'll be offering a discounted prix fixe featuring the chef's classic American eats.

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

  • Riverpark

    Serving: Weekday lunch, weekday and Sunday dinner

    Why You Should Go: Just the views alone are worth booking a table at this romantic Kips Bay destination, where Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio dishes up simple and seasonal New American fare that's just as impressive as the picture-perfect East River vista.

    The Details: 450 E. 29th St., 212-729-9790

  • Credit: Bill Milne

    The Gander

    Serving: Weekday lunch

    Why You Should Go: Recette chef Jesse Schenker gets a bit more playful at his second restaurant, where snacks include "Buffalo" sweetbreads and brisket tater tots. He brings the same level of creative refinement to housemade charcuterie and larger plates of pasta and seafood. The space is less of a tight squeeze than Recette, with an expansive banquette-lined back room and large bar area.

    The Details: 15 W. 18th St.; 212-229-9500

  • Gaonnuri

    Serving: Weekday and Sunday lunch and dinner, Sunday brunch

    Why You Should Go: With platters that run as high as $45, Restaurant Week at this luxe Korean barbecue restaurant is a downright steal. Along with stellar BBQ staples, expect to dine with a view. Set on the 39th floor of a Herald Square office building, this stylish eatery boasts panoramic Midtown vistas that can't be beat.

    The Details: 1250 Broadway; 212-971-9045

  • Le Cirque

    Serving: Weekday lunch and dinner

    Why You Should Go: The spectacular service at Sirio Macioni's East Midtown classic can't be beat. For Restaurant Week, the kitchen will continue to turn out fine French fare, with offerings that range from confit foie gras and red snapper crudo to prawns cassolette and its famed crème brûlée.

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