We were scoping out the Open Table lunch reservations to take advantage of next week's Restaurant Week deals, and unsurprisingly, the usual suspects didn't have availability for 2 at 12PM: Think Cafe Boulud or the River Cafe or Union Square Cafe. Even though the lunch prices have risen 20%, from $20.12 last year to this year's $24.07 (NYC & Company explains this number will remind people that NYC is 24/7 - yo!), Gothamist thinks it's still a great deal to try out some fancier places - even though some of the offerings tend to be boring chicken and salmon entrees - because $3.95 is about the price of a speciality coffee drink at Starbucks or a celebrity tabloid magazine you don't want to admit you buy but you know you do. Where the restaurants hope you spend your money is the wine (or coffee), so if you're watching your wallet, beware of the upsell. However, one area we do recommend you splurge a little on - if you can - is the tipping; even an extra dollar is a nice gesture, especially if the service was great.
The NY Times looked at the economics of Restaurant Week for restaurants. And did you make any Restaurant Week reservations?