New York Restaurant Week only happens twice a year. In fact, it is happening right at this moment! With some of the best, and finest restaurants in the city offering menus at a fraction of their usual prices, you only have a few days left to take advantage of this city-wide event. To save you the hassle of choosing a restaurant from the hundreds participating this summer, The Guild Team has sifted through the list of restaurants we have visited this year and chosen our top 3 picks for you. Even if you do not have the time to visit during New York Restaurant Week, these are restaurants you have to try.
If you have become disinterested in the many dull and expensive restaurants of New York City that in the end have nothing to offer behind their exorbitant prices, we strongly recommend a visit to Bagatelle. Duly labeled as a Meat Packing District staple, and headed by Executive Chef Andrew Riccatelli, Bagatelle offers a lunch and dinner experience like no other in this glitzy New York City neighborhood. Though Bagatelle is recognized for its famous weekend brunch where Champagne endlessly flows, celebrities will rub shoulders with you while dancing the afternoon away on top of chairs, and where seafood-towers like you probably have never seen before are served on each table, the restaurant also offers an equally dazzling experience for dinner.
The French – Mediterranean menu offers delectable dishes such as the Poulet Roti À la Truffe (farm raised truffled chicken with country potatoes and caramelized cipollini); the Saumon d’Ecosse (Scottish salmon with charred market greens, and warm tomato vinaigrette), and the Gnocchi Truffés à la Parisienne (homemade pâte à choux gnocchi with black truffle pesto filling, and truffle sauce). To end your meal on a sweet note, we recommend their La Meringue: a mixture of fresh mango, mascarpone cream, mango jam, and crispy meringue.
Lafayette Grand Cafe and Bakery is located in Noho, Manhattan, at the corner of Lafayette Street and Great Jones Street in a historic building originally designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh. This everyday grand cafe is headed by Chef Andrew Carmellini and Chef de Cuisine Brian Nasworthy. They are joined by Pâtissièr Tyler Atwell, and Boulanger James Belisle to bring you menus full of signature dishes, influenced by classic French cuisine. The traditional French brassiere style of the location (and one of our favorite aspects of this place) was designed by firm Roman and Williams. Besides the many delicious pastries offered on the menu, the restaurant provides options not to be missed. For starter, we recommend the Chilled Tomato Soup with tarragon and olive oil ice cream. As an entree, the Sullivan County Farms Chicken Schnitzel, with pole beans, and grain mustard will more than fulfill your appetite. For dessert, the champion out of the three choices offered for their New York Restaurant Week dinner menu is the delicious Black Forest Profiterole Maison with chocolate-cherry ice cream, kirsch chantilly, and chocolate sauce.
THE MERCER KITCHEN
The Mercer Kitchen, located at the Mercer Hotel, is one of chef and restaurateur Jean-Georges’ many restaurants throughout the country. When it first opened in Soho in 1998, Mercer Kitchen brought both a chic and sophisticated vibe to the neighborhood. The restaurant was designed by Christian Liaigre, and was one one of the first restaurants in New York City to have a communal table within its industrial, but classic ambiance. The kitchen has been designed with an open concept in mind, and diners can watch the chef and cooks in action from their tables.
Mercer offers the perfect menu to experience during a summer in New York City. For a filling and satisfying lunch meal, we recommend diving into their Tomato Gazpacho with berries, cucumber, olive oil, and basil, and to finish off with their Black Pepper Shrimp, buttery glazed noodles, and roasted cherry tomatoes. For dessert, we really enjoyed the delicious Almond Cake with glazed apricots and Apricot Sorbet. It is one of the many reasons why we would continue to come back to this place.
Images courtesy of Bagatelle Restaurant, Lafayette, and The Mercer Kitchen.
Article Contributors: Jose Morales