NYC Restaurant Week 2014: Five Sizzling Choices to Beat the Winter Blahs

In New York, it seems like people do nothing but kvetch and kvell already, and the weather hasn’t been helping. No one wants to go out and traverse the slush lakes that seem to have formed this month at every single street corner of the city, but you must! Restaurant Week 2014 is already underway in New York City – rain, sleet, snow, or hail – so what are you waiting for?

From now through March 7, almost 300 restaurants in this dining metropolis of the world will be offering lunch and dinner at a deep discount. This means three-course lunches for just $25, and three-course dinners that are going for a mere $38. People! You can barely buy a bag of groceries for that at the corner supermarket in this town, so whatever you do, don’t “fuggedabout” this.

Okay, okay – here’s the hard part: the saying goes that you could eat at a different restaurant every day for the rest of your life in New York and never run out of new options. So how exactly does one choose? Well, here are five highly recommended picks to get you started:

Lure Fishbar (SoHo)

Mon.-Fri., Lunch & Dinner

Reservations are going faster than a New York minute at the hottest NYC dining spot, so grab yours now and throw on your waterproof insulated boots, stat! Lure Fishbar favorites will be featured, including the salmon tartare served with avocado, ponzu and aji amarillo. Swim if you have to. 142 Mercer St., 212-431-7676.

Il Mulino (Greenwich Village)

Mon.-Fri., Lunch

$25 at Il Mulino is an absolute steal, so take advantage of it while you can – and come for some of the most authentic Italian food you’ll find in New York. (It’s inspired by Italy’s Abruzzo region). The service is absolutely top rate, and Il Molino is famous for its capellini Il Mulino and the costoletta alla parmigiana, so we recommend working up a good appetite by climbing over those piles of snow alongside all the sidewalks first. 86 W. 3rd St., 212-673-3783.

David Burke Kitchen (SoHo)

Mon.-Fri. & Sun., Lunch & Dinner

The service, atmosphere, waitstaff, cuisine, and portion sizes? Absolutely everything at the super-cozy David Burke Kitchen is impeccable! This is not the kind of place one visits for a bargain (you come for a whole experience) – but during Restaurant Week, it’s also one heck of an amazing bargain, to boot – especially if you try the “ants on a log” and David Burke’s own smoked salmon. Can things get any better than that, you ask? Funny you should ask. Restaurant week at David Burke Kitchen also means your chance to try some brand new items that haven’t been available on the regular menu. (Also, you may luck out and find David Burke himself making an appearance). 23 Grand St., 212-201-9119.

Cafe Boulud (Upper East Side)

Mon.-Fri., Lunch

Several Daniel Boulud restaurants are participating in Restaurant Week, but if we had to choose just one, this particular Michelin-ranked spot is it. Come for not only the fantastic food but also the elegant décor and great service. Consider checking out the delicious duck terrine and rutabaga agnolotti. It’s even worth holding your breath to squeeze onto the 6 train to get there! (When is that 2nd Ave. subway line going to be finished again? Yeah, right.) 20 E. 76th St., 212-772-2600.

Lafayette (NoHo)

Mon.-Fri., Lunch

Okay, so we’ve already listed a place that serves up fine French cuisine…but Lafayette is just too good to exclude! In case you’ve been stuck under a glacier or something and haven’t given it a try, Restaurant Week is the perfect time to check out Lafayette’s exquisite classics (with a modern flair). And you may even spot a celebrity or two. 380 Lafayette St., 212-533-3000.

Josh Saunders