The semi-annual Restaurant Week is upon us again, a month-long celebration of the city’s dining establishments sponsored by our municipal tourism authority. It starts today and runs until Sunday, February 12, with Saturdays excluded and Sundays optional. Some restaurants do lunch and dinner and participate for the duration, while others do only dinner, and only for only a week or two. Lunches (two courses) and dinners (three courses) are sold at tiered prices of $30, $45, and $60, and it’s up to the restaurants to offer meals with good value to cultivate repeat customers.
It is bewildering that over 500 restaurants are participating. Many book quickly, so it pays to examine your options and make reservations soon. Call the restaurants, check the websites or their reservation platforms for a description of deals, because they can be complicated, with blackout dates and limited menus. Here’s my choice of selections, in alphabetical order.
Boqueria — This restaurant was in at the start of the tapas and small dish craze when it opened in 2006, and the sleek original Flatiron location with its cheese-and-charcuterie counter evokes modern Barcelona with a lengthy selection of tapas and larger raciones. 53 West 19th Street, between 5th and 6th avenues, Flatiron
Boulud Sud — This Daniel Boulud restaurant explores the cooking of the Mediterranean Rim, including the cuisines of coastal France, Spain, Italy, North Africa, and Turkey via chef Christina D’Angelo. Hidden on a side street, the elegant restaurant is a stone’s throw from Lincoln Center. 20 West 64th Street, between Central Park West and Broadway, Upper West Side
Indian Table — Helmed by Goan-born Eric McCarthy, this romantic restaurant decorated like a ship explores the cuisines of southern India, beginning at the beaches of Goa and its Portuguese flourishes and extending to Hyderabad, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. 234 Court Street, between Baltic and Kane streets, Cobble Hill
Ixta — The recently opened Ixta right on the Bowery is one of today’s modern clubstaurants, meaning the decor is glitzy and the music played at ample volume. That said, the Mexican food is terrific, with an emphasis on Oaxaca. 299 Bowery, between Houston and East 1st Street, East Village
Lafayette — This Greenwich Village restaurant under chef Andrew Carmellini is one of the city’s French mainstays, with crisp and comfortable decor featuring good sight lines. The menu is typically Parisian, and the attached bakery provides the bread-and-pastry oomph! such a restaurant requires. 380 Lafayette Street, between East 3rd and East 4th streets, Greenwich Village
Morandi — Morandi is a West Village favorite, a laid-back Italian restaurant by Keith McNally with views of a charming neighborhood and a menu that concentrates on savory small dishes and pastas amply sauced. The wine list is an added plus. 211 Waverly Place, at Seventh Avenue, West Village
Perry Street — This sleeper project of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his son Cedric is located on a windy promontory overlooking the Hudson River, and the glowing white room is filled with tables hidden around corners and in nooks — perfect for dating couples or throuples. The food is French with creative Italian and Korean twists. 176 Perry Street, at West Street, West Village
Sylvia’s — Founded by Sylvia Woods in 1962, her eponymous restaurant gives a glimpse of Harlem in the old days. In the dining rooms, a jazz combo often softly plays and the fried chicken, mac and cheese, and collards are unimpeachable. 328 Malcolm X Boulevard, between 126th and 127th streets, Harlem
Tanoreen — Nazareth-born Rawia Bishara started Tanoreen as a small storefront deli, but it eventually grew into the grand Bay Ridge restaurant it is today. The menu features earthy and elegant Middle Eastern cuisine, with a few surprises. 7523 3rd Avenue, at 76th Street, Bay Ridge
Victor’s — It was founded by Victor Del Corral and Eloina Ruiz de Ugarrio in 1963 on the Upper West Side, but moved to its current location with bright tropical decor and a Creole feel a few years back. There’s no better place in town to experience the splendor of pre-revolutionary Cuba cuisine. 236 West 52nd Street, between 7th and 8th avenues, Midtown