Restaurant Week is back for its summer edition beginning July 22 through Aug. 16 and we couldn’t be more excited! With 380 restaurants offering $26 prix fixe menus for lunch (two courses) and $42 for dinner (three courses), there’s no better way to take a culinary trip around the world while visiting the Big Apple. Here are our top 11 restaurant picks that shouldn’t be missed this season. Click here to make a reservation!
BENOIT (Midtown Manhattan)
Midtown French bistro Benoit from famed French chef Alain Ducasse is back again for the summer edition of Restaurant Week. Powerhouse chef Laëtitia Rouabah brings her contemporary flair to the classic French menu, and she does not disappoint. Stop in for either lunch or dinner and enjoy the duck confit or hanger streak with fries in the airy, open space with comfortable red banquettes.
ROOT & BONE (East Village)
Root & Bone is a neighborhood restaurant from Top Chef alums Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth. The East Village joint serves classic Southern fare with modern technique. Root & Bone’s menu consists of soul-nurturing, conscientiously sourced, farm-fresh ingredients that are seasonal and local. So, stop in for the “Best New Fried Chicken in NYC” voted by Eater—the sweet tea-brined, lemon-dusted fried chicken with spiked Tabasco honey and buckwheat cheddar waffles with whiskey maple syrup is to die for. Root & Bone serves dinner and brunch during Restaurant Week.
BEAUTY & ESSEX (Lower East Side)
Hidden behind a functioning pawn shop, Beauty & Essex is a true gem and is widely regarded as one of New York’s most beautiful restaurants. Head inside and past the two-story crystal chandelier for celebrity chef Chris Santos’ signature menu of international small plates along with BBQ bourbon short ribs and raw bar offerings. Don’t forget to leave room for the restaurant’s equally decadent desserts. Dinner during Restaurant Week.
BENJAMIN STEAKHOUSE PRIME (Murray Hill)
Founded in 2006, the family-owned and operated Benjamin Restaurant Group has grown to comprise some of the New York metro area’s premier culinary destinations, including Benjamin Steakhouse and The Sea Fire Grill. Benjamin Steakhouse Prime melds classic steakhouse fare with fresh and vibrant seafood. Several Restaurant Week lunch menu items include lobster bisque and jumbo lump crab cakes. The USDA prime New York sirloin is not to be missed. Benjamin Steakhouse Prime does not offer a Restuarant Week dinner menu.
DOS CAMINOS (Multiple locations, including SoHo, the Meatpacking District, Midtown and Murray Hill)
The NYC mod-Mexican mini-empire boasts fresh guacamole—made tableside—and inventive cocktials, such as prickly pear cactus margaritas. Visit any of the five locations to enjoy the lunch or dinner Restaurant Week prix fixe menu that includes pork belly tacos and a just-spicy-enough jalapeño bacon burger. With more than 100 types of tequila and contemporary takes on traditional Mexican delicacies, including tequila-cured salmon ceviche and tamarind tacos, this is a culinary experience.
DANJI (Hell’s Kitchen)
Danji showcases authentic Korean flavors prepared with classic techniques. Small but shareable portions are served in multiple courses to allow diners to have a diverse dining experience. Danji strives to use organic and locally sourced products and is conscious not to use chemicals, such as MSG, to enhance flavors. Stop in during Restaurant Week for brunch, lunch or dinner and try the “kimchi bacon wet fried rice” or the popular spicy “k.f.c.” (Korean fire chicken) wings featuring organic chicken, peanuts, cilantro and pickled daikon.
RED ROOSTER (Harlem)
Paying homage to Harlem’s culturally rich and diverse neighborhood, celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson has created a restaurant that focuses on elevated American comfort food against a backdrop of warm colors, stimulating art and soulful sounds. The 3,400-square-foot space houses a restaurant, a breakfast café, a speakeasy, a horseshoe-shaped bar and a communal table. Stop by for the Hot Honey Yardbird with dirty gravy or the Not Yo Mama’s Cauliflower. Red Rooster serves lunch only during Restaurant Week.
LEUCA (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
On the lower level of the William Vale hotel is Leuca, a southern Italian restaurant with a split personality. On one side is a sunny, cosmopolitan café for lunch; on the other is a wood-paneled plush cocoon for dinner. Andrew Carmellini, of NoHo Hospitality Group (Locanda Verde, The Dutch, Little Park), has devised a menu with a wood-fire focus—thin-crust pizza, hand-cut pasta with puttanesca, and veal scallopini are among the house specialties. Participating in Restaurant Week this summer for lunch and dinner, Leuca offers a seafood-focused menu, including local bass with Swiss chard, tuna crudo, a warm porchetta sandwich, and lumache pasta with eggplant, summer squash and mint.
Legasea Seafood Brasserie offers top-tier seafood dishes that include customer favorites such as spicy crab beignets, flounder Française and a seafood marinara pasta. Located steps away from Madison Square Garden and bustling Times Square, this is a convenient stop after a Broadway matinee and before a concert or sports game. Lunch and dinner during Restaurant Week.
Blackbarn is an American restaurant serving local, artisanal cuisine in a relaxed modern barn setting. Overlooking Madison Square Park, the restaurant is a creation of Chef John Doherty, former executive chef of the Waldorf Astoria hotel. This is Blackbarn’s first year participating in Restaurant Week, so stop in for lunch only and try the swordfish tacos and house-made tagliolini.
BAGATELLE (Meatpacking District)
Meatpacking District staple Bagatelle offers its guests global restaurant Week lunch ($26) and dinner ($42) menus on its recently reopened terrace. Some menu highlights that should not be missed at lunch include green zucchini and mint soup, with goat cheese, olive oil and radishes; and home-made Parisian gnocchi with black truffle sauce. And at dinner: ravioli aux herbs et ricotta, with basil, tarragon, parsley, fresh tomato sauce and pine nuts; and hanger steak, with mixed salad and béarnaise sauce.