Restaurant Week in NYC
NYC Restaurant Week is a bi-annual event that happens once in the summer and once in the winter. This winter, it runs from January 17th to February 12th. During restaurant week, you can choose from pre-fixe menus at tons of restaurants throughout the five boroughs. I always have fun because I get to visit restaurants that I might not have come across otherwise, and try foods that I might not normally try. They usually have an option of two or three starters followed by two or three entrees, and a couple of desserts.
I have had the pleasure of visiting quite a few this year due to the millions of events that I’ve had for work lately. I'm thrilled that travel is completely back and that a ton of our suppliers and partners are visiting us in New York. I’m also happy that I’ve been able to have a couple of social dinners with friends that have nothing to do with work, which is always a breath of fresh air.
Serra by Birreria
This rooftop restaurant at the top of Eataly in the Flatiron district is featuring a pop-up called Serra Alpina by Birreria right now. The pop-up is inspired by a rare flower found in the Italian alps called the Stella Alpina. I have been to this restaurant multiple times because of the beautiful decorations that they change seasonally. In the winter, it is decorated with white lights hung on branches, and white furs on rustic furniture pieces. I went during lunchtime and ordered from the restaurant week menu. The first course of the pre-fixe menu was an absolutely delicious salad with jam, lettuce and herb vinaigrette. Perhaps I should have gotten chicken or fish, but because it is an Italian restaurant, I ordered the gnocchi. Unfortunately, the gnocchi was only decent - it was too plain. However, the ambience of the restaurant made it worth my while.
This Jean-Georges restaurant is tucked all the way on the west end in the West Village, as close to the water as you can get. We didn’t pick the best night to do this, because it was so insanely windy, and when we both got there we were flustered from the cold. But it is a beautiful, romantic, and dark dining space. I went here with a colleague of mine who has become a friend. The dinner started out a little strange because the waiter wouldn’t let me order from the restaurant week menu and my friend order from the à la carte menu because she wanted a different salmon dish, so it took us a little while to go back-and-forth with the waiter until he finally confirmed that we could do it. It was very strange, but we got to eat what we wanted in the end. My appetizer was super super delicious, they were flavor-packed little potstickers. I had salmon for dinner, which was a good, light, healthy salmon, but not the best that I’ve had in the world. Because I opted for the three course restaurant week dinner menu, I got the chocolate mousse for dessert and my friend and I shared it. It was divine.
This was a fun work lunch with a couple of my colleagues and the owner of a hotel rep firm. This restaurant is close to my office, so our office administrator picked it as he’s been many times. It was my first time and it did not disappoint! It is a Lebanese restaurant on 5th Avenue in the Flatiron district. When we got there, we filled up on hummus, baba ghannouj, and the usual Mediterranean platters. The Lebanese pita bread was super fluffy and delicious. I had to stop myself from eating more of it after I devoured a full piece. My colleagues spoke so highly about Ilili’s lamb burger, that none of us even got the pre-fixe restaurant week menu, and all ordered the lamb burger. It was very good and very messy. I look forward to going back here again now that I know about it to try more of their delicious food.
This place was packed when I arrived around 5:45 on a Thursday, so I am so glad that I made a reservation. I met up with a friend who owns an African collection of hotels, and the owner of one of the hotels that he represents, who I have become good friends with. The three of us were in Kenya on a FAM (a familiarization trip) in July 2021. I guess this place is so packed because it’s in the theater district. Everywhere in the theater district is packed because a lot of people are there to go see a Broadway show. Because I had that huge meal at Ilili earlier that day, I decided to skip the restaurant week menu again and just order à la carte. The three of us shared chips and guac, naturally, and then I ordered pulled pork tacos. I normally ask if a dish is spicy before ordering it, but I didn’t this time, which was a mistake because the tacos were so insanely spicy that I could only get in one bite. So, I sent it back and got shrimp tacos instead and those were absolutely delicious, with just the right amount of cheese. The margaritas were excellent as well. I would highly recommend this place if you’re going to see a show, or just want to have a good night with your friends and drink margaritas that aren’t too expensive. Toloache also has another location on the Upper East Side on 82nd Street.