A Wonderful Time of the Year

Ahhhh…the middle of February in the suburbs of New York City.  It is brutally cold (tonight’s low is 4 with a wind-chill of -10 to -20 (that’s Fahrenheit)) and miserable.  Days are getting longer but still short enough that your commute home from work is in the dark.  Streets are lined with dirty black snow that shows the pollution in the air.  There are no holiday lights spreading cheer as Christmas was two months ago.  The love and romance of Valentine’s Day ended with the alarm clock for work Monday morning.

So why is this a “Wonderful TIme of the Year”?

It’s Winter Restaurant Week (RW) in New York City!  For three weeks every winter (and 4 weeks every summer), select restaurants in NYC offer lunch and dinner prix fixe menus showcasing their scrumptious seasonal dishes.  I can now eat at restaurants that are typically beyond my budget.  $38 for a three-course dinner (appetizer, entree, and dessert) and $25 for the same thing for lunch?  Sign me up!  And don’t forget to register your AmEx for a $5 statement credit for each RW meal.

As RW nears, I obsessively check NYC GO for the dates.  This year, RW is February 16 through March 6.  As soon as the dates are announced, I e-mail my various groups of friends to set our dates.  When restaurants are announced, I browse through nearly every menu that is posted and provide a short list of chosen restaurants to each group of friends based on each friend’s dietary requirements (no meat, only steak, no shellfish, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, etc.).  My friends then go through the list and pick the restaurants they like the best.  The restaurant that is mutually agreed upon is the restaurant we go to.  Next, I log-in to OpenTable to make reservations and my 100 points.

My reservations this year are for Southgate (they have a functioning fireplace), Riverpark (Tom Colicchio’s restaurant on the East River), The View (at the Marriott in Times Square), and The National Bar & Dining Rooms (Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurant).  I have been to Riverpark and The National before.  Boyfriend D and I had our first dinner date as a couple at Riverpark this time last year so we are celebrating our one-year anniversary there.  We ate at The National last summer and are repeating it this winter because it was delicious and the menu has plenty of gluten-free options for my gluten-free friends.

Other restaurants I would suggest:

  • A Voce Columbus – in the Time Warner Center – the best part is the bowl of ricotta that is served with the bread
  • China Grill – mango martinis and crispy spinach, that is all
  • Colicchio & Sons Taproom and Craftbar – Tom Colicchio restaurants (I may have a bit of a crush)
  • db bistro moderne – Any food at a Daniel Boulud restaurant is gold and worth every penny
  • Dovetail – been here a few times and it gets better each time
  • Perilla – Harold Dieterle’s (first winner of Top Chef) first restaurant; duck meatballs with cavatelli
  • The Writing Room – You may recall when I ate hear with A & J

Can you tell I’m a foodie?

Tell me, dear Fitters, now that we’re back to our regularly scheduled posting, have you eaten at any of these?  What restaurants did I miss?  And if you missed it, I put up a surprise post on Friday about my new Microsoft Surface.

(Post was started on Thursday 2/19 and completed Sunday 2/22 during the Oscars.)

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