It's a bit misleading to call something that lasts for nearly a month a "week," but that's how Restaurant Week has been branded and branding is for life. Beginning July 25th and running through August 19th, nearly 400 NYC restaurants are offering some kind of dining deal, either a $29 lunch, a $42 dinner, or both. It's a dizzying list even for someone who writes professionally about this kind of thing.
To whittle down the enormous options for cheap-ish prix-fixe meals, here's a selection of eateries making their Restaurant Week debut this season, all of which are NYC newcomers themselves.
THE CLOCKTOWER If British fare conjures up images of fish and chips and pints of lager (and nothing else), it's time to let chef Jason Atherton give you a reeducation. For lunch, marinated plums are paired with salty English stilton cheese with walnuts and a chardonnay vinaigrette and pan roasted dorade comes with mushroom duxelles, asparagus and crispy wakame. Newspaper-wrapped fried fish this food is not.
The Clocktower is located at 5 Madison Avenue, (212) 413-4300; website
TUOME It's difficult to decide what to order at Thomas Chen's pseudo-Chinese bistro, mostly because everything on the tightly curated menu sounds absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, you're still faced with some choices if you visit for the dinnertime special. I don't want to put ideas in your head or force food into your mouth, but you'd be an idiot not to order the Pig Out (for two). You'll be rewarded with squares of succulent, sticky and perfectly fatty Bekshire pork, crying out for a quirt of sambal or ginger-scallion sauce. You won't need the accompanying spicy peanut noodles on the side—but you'll eat them all the same.
Tuome is located at 536 East 5th Street between Avenues A and B, (646) 833-7811; website
VAUCLUSE Restaurant Week is all about trying out super fancy (read: expensive) restaurants at a fraction of a regular meal there. Michael White's luxe UES newcomer ordinarily commands around $30 or more for a single entree, but at their lunch deal, it's three courses for $29. Go super French with Pate de Campagne to start, the Cassoulet d'Ete to follow and a Gateau au Chocolate to finish.
Vaucluse is located at 100 East 63rd Street, 646-869-2300; website
VIRGINIA'S A Per Se vet and a Loconda Verde alum are making a walk to the farther reaches of Alphabet City a very desirable dinnertime activity. In a neighborhood that's a draw for its dive bars and casual bistros, Virginia's is a beacon of unfussy fine dining at a price point that's cognizant of its surroundings. Dinner during Restaurant Week means a taste of their seasonal fare like Ricotta Toast with heirloom tomatoes and lovage and a Roast Chicken with summer squash, basil and pine nuts. Campfire favorites S'mores for dessert bolster the seasonal theme.
Virginia's is located at 647 East 11th Street, (212) 658-0182; website
SABBIA Eataly's seasonal rooftop spots has a very beachy menu to entice on a sweltering summer afternoon or evening. A classic Caprese salad comes with house-made mozzarella and Grilled Atlantic Swordfish gets kicked up with traditional Mediterranean flavors like fennel, capers, orange and Castelvetrano olives. Cocktails may not be included in the price of the meal, but order an Aperol Spritz to fully complete your immersion therapy.
Sabbia located located at Rooftop, 200 5th Avenue, (212) 937-8910; website