The Best of Summer Restaurant Week NYC 2016July 20, 2016 - by City Guide News Desk
Summer may be New York's quiet(er) season, but the city's restaurant scene will be going full-force for Summer Restaurant Week. Almost 400 spots participate, rolling out a very affordable red carpet with three-course specials for both lunch and dinner (the meals are mostly on the weekdays, with a few Sundays, and a few brunches, included in the mix). The cost is a fraction of what you might find other weeks—$29 for lunch and $42 for dinner, not including tax, tip, and drinks. We've got the best of New York's 2016 Summer Restaurant Week, but don't wait too long: the specials only run July 25th through August 19th.
Modern American restaurant Beautique is as luxurious and stylish as New York gets. The menu showcases market-fresh ingredients and classic French technique, alongside cocktails from James Beard-nominated mixologist Charlotte Voisey. Restaurant Week dinners bring appetizers like tuna tartare and whipped ricotta, mains like oven-roasted chicken breast with a spring onion jus (above) or the house burger, with applewood bacon, brandied onions, and gruyere. Molten chocolate cake tempts among the decadent dessert options. 8 W. 58th St. (btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.), 212-753-1200, beautiquedining.com
Ben & Jack’s serves generous portions of steakhouse favorites to a very satisfied clientele. For Restaurant Week, you'll find dinners starting off with salads or fried calamari, followed by sizzling Canadian bacon, followed by irresistible mains like filet mignon, Kobe burgers, and grilled wild salmon. Ben & Jack's makes accompaniment affordable, too, with a generous outlay of Francis Ford Coppola wines by the bottle. 255 Fifth Ave. (btw. 28th & 29th Sts.), 212-532-7600, benandjackssteakhouse.com
Established in 1969, Bobby Van’s now boasts eight locations throughout the Northeast, with five in Manhattan, including one in a central location near Times Square. They serve the finest USDA dry-aged prime beef and select seafood; sample their best at Restauant Week in a scene that's proudly old-time New York steakhouse, with white tablecloths, elegant wood, and 30-foot high windows. 120 W. 45th St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.), 212-575-5623, bobbyvans.com
For nearly 30 years, China Grill has thrived as a New York hotspot, serving Asian-inspired global cuisine in a soaring black-granite setting. Don't miss them at Restaurant Week, when they roll out special menus that include crackling calamari salad and chicken skewer appetizers, followed by barbecued wild salmon, beef (grilled Szechuan or wokked shaking filet with pear tomato and greens), and wild mushroom pasta with parmesan, butter, and sake, as seen above. Added bonus: they'll throw in a side dish for every two guests, and there are some tasty drink specials as well. 60 W. 53rd St. (Sixth Ave.), 212-333-7788, chinagrillrestaurant.com
Regionally sourced ingredients and imaginative reinterpretations of classic American cooking are on display at David Burke Kitchen in The James New York downtown. Restaurant Week is no exception, with seasonal appetizers like heirloom tomato and watermelon gazpacho and burrata with grilled artichoke paving the way for entrees like roasted branzino, chicken with a fennel broth, and salmon with grilled pea leaves. 23 Grand St. (Sixth Ave.), 212-201-9119, davidburkekitchen.com
Ed's Chowder House brings Montauk to Manhattan, serving up the best of East Coast seafood in an airy, casual space. Celebrate the best of summer at Restaurant Week with a dinner menu that offers a choice of three chowders (clam, crab, or corn), organic salmon tartare, entrees like seared skate wing and roast chicken with polenta, and desserts like lemon meringue pie. 44 W. 63rd St. (btw. Broadway and Columbus Ave.), 212-956-1288, edschowderhouse.nyc
In 1979, Fogo de Chão began sharing the gaucho way of preparing meat in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Today, its gaucho chefs still expertly grill each of its 16 cuts of meat and offer continuous tableside service. For Restaurant Week, Monday through Friday the special price includes traditional Brazilian sides (cheese bread!), a market table and feijoada (stew) bar, and, of course, a continuous selection of fire-roasted meats. 40 W. 53rd St. (btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.), 212-969-9980, fogodechao.com
“A farmhouse in the middle of Manhattan,” La Masseria offers classic Italian dishes from the Puglia region of Italy, utilizing the freshest natural ingredients. See for yourself at Restaurant Week, when you can choose from soup, salad, or stuffed mozzarella for antipasti, followed by homemade gnocchi, branzino, or chicken with braised leeks. Chocolate almond cake or lemon sorbet will be your dilemmas for dessert. 235 W. 48th St. (btw. Broadway & Eighth Ave.), 212-582-2111, lamasserianyc.com
With a culinary vision rooted in the traditions and heritage of the Greek islands, Molyvos delivers rustic country cooking, featuring regional ingredients from the villages and islands of Greece. During Restaurant Week, lunch or dinner look for roasted tomato soup or marinated baby beets, followed by seafood or pan-roasted free-range chicken, with vanilla yogurt cake or a Molyvos sundae (baklava ice cream, Samos caramel) for dessert. 871 Seventh Ave. (btw. 55th & 56th Sts.), 212-582-7500, molyvos.com
Famous for USDA prime-aged beef, fresh seafood, fine wine and elegant desserts, Morton’s The Steakhouse is the ideal place for a memorable dinner. Restaurant Week sees entrees like "dirty" double-cut prime pork chops and shrimp scampi, with French onion soup and Caesar salads on the appetizers. Save room for dessert: options include Key Lime pie, cheesecake, and double chocolate mousse. 551 Fifth Ave. (on 45th, btw. Fifth & Madison Aves.), 212-972-3315, mortons.com/newyork
Inspired by a renowned Istanbul neighborhood where cuisine, art, culture, nightlife, and the cosmopolitan converge, the sibling Pera restuarants in New York (Pera Mediterranean Brasserie in midtown and Pera SoHo downtown) are transportative experiences. Regional specialties shine for Restaurant Week, with the SoHo dinner menu seeing Portuguese fried calamari with smoked paprika aioli, Macedonian chicken with preserved lemon, seared Greek salmon, and the house version of steak frites—sirloin marinated for 48 hours and served with truffle-salted fries. In midtown, look for specials like chicken "Shashlik," marinated in Greek yogurt, paprika, pepper paste, and extra virgin olive oil. Midtown: 303 Madison Ave. (btw. 41st & 42nd Sts), 212-878-6301, peranyc.com; downtown: 54 Thompson St. (Broome St.), 212-878-6305, pera-soho.com
For the complete list of participating restaurants, visit nycgo.com.