Being a foodie in New York City can be both a blessing and a curse. There are so many restaurants to try and new ones popping up daily -- but one can only stretch time and a budget so far.
That’s why New York City Restaurant Week, which kicked off its 20th year on Jan. 16, is one of my favorite events of the year. Hundreds of participating restaurants offer fixed-price lunches for $24.07 per person and dinners for $35 per person (excluding tax and tip). It’s a great way to try some of the city’s culinary hot spots at a fraction of the price.
The fixed-price menus typically include a choice of appetizer, main course and dessert -- often a "greatest hits" list from the restaurants’ current menu. This saves time and menu-anxiety, as I often spend as much time researching my menu choices as I do eating them in the restaurant.
Reservations are limited -- especially on weekend nights -- but there are many still available between now and the end of the event on Feb. 10. Peruse the list of participating restaurants and book yourself a table. Then add a Broadway deal (two-for-one tickets are available during the concurrent Broadway week) and one of these hotel deals for a fun night out in the city. Make sure to grab lunch the next day at a new spot, as you begin your culinary adventures anew in New York.
The new city-wide Starwood Hotels & Resorts sale includes hotels which just so happen to be walking distance or a subway ride away from some tasty spots:
Thursday-Sunday, hang out at the W New York in Midtown for $189-$199 per night through March 11. Head to Shun Lee Palace which is a five-minute walk from the hotel and dine on what New York Magazine calls "…some of the best Chinese food in Manhattan". Restaurant Week menu items include Sizzling Rice Cake Soup and Braised Chilean Sea Bass.
Aloft Harlem has slashed rates to $99-$109 per night through April and is a quick subway ride from Telepan, an Upper West Side gem that serves up American Nouveau cuisine. There is a seasonal element to not only their food, but their wine list, so ask your server to recommend a glass that will perfectly complement your meal.
After filling up on Braised Pork Osso Bucco at BLT Bar & Grill, stroll home to the W New York-Downtown located in the Financial District. Rates at the hotel are $169 per night through February.
Spend an afternoon perusing some of New York’s best boutiques and galleries in the trendy neighborhood of SoHo. Grab lunch at Barolo, known for its interesting pasta creations like ravioli stuffed with granny smith apples and lamb ragout. Head back to the Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Soho Village and relax for $139 per night Thursdays-Sundays through February.
The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel is in the heart of New York’s action. For $159 -- including breakfast for two and free Wi-Fi -- spend a night at the hotel after trying one of our favorite nearby spots, Aureole which features Progressive American cuisine by Chef Charlie Palmer. Have a seat at the bar and enjoy the farm-fresh branzino with fennel, dandelion and red onion.
A short walk from the Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Chelsea is Hill Country, a mouthwatering BBQ restaurant serving up tender brisket, smoky chicken and succulent pulled pork. Rates at the hotel are $139 per night Thursday-Sunday through March.
Discounts are also available at other Starwood hotels throughout the Big Apple like Four Points Midtown, Sheraton Brooklyn, The Westin New York at Times Square and Sheraton Times Square.