It’s that time of year again. It’s restaurant week in New York City. Restaurant week is an event that lets you eat at top-of-the-line restaurants without emptying your wallet. Despite its name, this event is much longer than a week, running from July 25 to August 19th. Restaurant Week allows foodies to try three course $29 lunches and $42 dinners at over 380 restaurants throughout the Big Apple. That’s a lot of restaurants, and it can be hard to know which one to choose. Here are four restaurants you have to try this Restaurant Week:
1. Empellón Taqueria
In a time when “faux-Mex” restaurants are all too often replacing authentic Mexican cuisine, Empellón Taqueria is the real deal. This restaurant recently opened up, marking the solo debut of Alex Stupak, a former pastry chef who is best known for his unique sweets at wd~50 in Brooklyn and Alinea in Chicago. Empellón will be serving brunch, lunch and dinner menus during NYC Restaurant Week. The lunch will have incredible dishes such as a baby octopus appetizers, a number of one-of-a-kind tacos, and exquisite desserts such as milk chocolate flan.
2. American Cut
This delicious American eatery is a spin-off of Iron Chef Marc Forgione’s original in Atlantic City. Meat-lovers are sure to enjoy American Cut’s simple and delicious meals. Both the Midtown and Tribeca locations of this restaurant will be partaking in restaurant week. The Midtown location will be serving both lunch and dinner while the Tribeca location will only be serving dinner. With everything from oysters to steak to salmon, and incredible desserts such as blueberry bread pudding, this restaurant is a must-try.
Andrew Carmellini has no trouble executing culinary masterpieces, having worked for Gray Kunz at Lespinasse and for Daniel Boulud, one of the savviest CEO chefs in the city. Carmellini has taken all of his experience and created a one-of-a-kind culinary experience with Lafayette. From the softly backlit bar to the blue-famed rotisseries, Lafayette is full of features that literally glow. The NYC Restaurant Week menu is cooked by Craft executive chef Damon Wise, and offers everything from macaroni ratatouille to roasted chicken. And the Earl Grey ice cream for dessert is truly exquisite. Serving both lunch and dinner, Lafayette is one place you can’t miss.
If you’re a fan of Hawaiian food, or you’ve never had it and want to give it a try, Noreetuh is bound to satisfy your appetite. Honolulu-raised chef Chung Chow brings guests an eclectic dining experience with a sleek wine bar that adds a high-brow feel to the restaurant. Noreetuh’s Restaurant Week menu involves a three-course prix fixe along with a wine pairing to top it off.
First-course options include a charcuterie plate and silken tofu, main courses include cold buckwheat noodles and mochi-crusted bass, and the desserts include strawberry and adzuki beans or bruleed Hawaiian pineapple. And those are just a few of the exemplary dishes you can try at Noreetuh during Restaurant Week.
New York City is filled with so many incredible culinary experiences that it’s hard to know where to start. If you visit one of these four restaurants, you’ll be happy you did.