A beginner’s guide to New York City Restaurant Week

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By Dan Sears

Restaurant Week is back in New York City.

More than 600 restaurants will participate in the event lasting from Tuesday, Jan. 16, through Sunday, Feb. 4, offering prix fixe, two-course lunches or three-course dinners. Prices vary from $30, $45, or $60 per meal, not including drinks, depending on the venue.

Restaurant Week, which is really closer to a month long, can be a buffer against what is typically the slowest time of year for many restaurants, said Rick Camac, director of Industry Relations at the Institute of Culinary Education.

“If you don’t do it, you’re gonna make almost no money because almost no one goes out to dinner or lunch during these periods for anything but Restaurant Week,” he said.

Camac said the week is the “lesser of two evils” for businesses – because participating means they might break even financially.

“You’re kind of screwed if you do and screwed if you don’t,” he said, noting that most customers don’t return to places they visit during Restaurant Week.

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Camac said while he’ll avoid Restaurant Week, diners can still try new spots or get a “great deal.”

“You might as well go to the restaurants that you couldn’t get into or wouldn’t want to spend the money on if there wasn’t a Restaurant Week,” he said.

Reservations are available from Monday through Friday and some Sundays at most restaurants, but diners are advised to call ahead to ensure deals are offered on a particular day.

Below are some places to consider during Restaurant Week’s run. A full list of participating restaurants can be found here.

Kokomo (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

This Caribbean-inspired restaurant known for its food, stylish vibes and fun energy is offering a $60 dinner option that includes options such as stuffed plantains, red pepper jerk chicken, and rum raisin bread pudding. If you go, note that Kokomo has a dress code: no Crocs, sweatpants, beachwear or tank tops. You can learn more about Kokomo’s Restaurant Week offerings here.

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Hoja Santa (Astoria, Queens)

The Mexican restaurant is offering $45 dinner and $30 Sunday lunch. Its Restaurant Week menu includes choices such as enchiladas, a stuffed sea bass with black bean puree and fried plantains, and chilaquiles. For an extra $14, you can order one of their margaritas, which fans rave about. More information can be found here.

Absolutto Cuisine & Bar (Morris Park, the Bronx)

For restaurant week, this family-owned, Latin-American and Italian fusion spot is offering $60 dinners, and $45 Sunday lunch and brunches. Absolutto’s menu includes options such as marinated oxtail, chicken marsala, and ribeye. You can learn more about its menu here.

The Richmond (Stapleton Heights, Staten Island)

Fans praise the cocktails, the oysters, the short rib mac and cheese and more at this American eatery in Stapleton Heights. It’s offering a $60 dinner option with entrées that include a seafood pasta, a pan-roasted pork chop with mashed potatoes, and a chicken parm pizza. For more information visit here.

ABC Kitchen (Flatiron, Manhattan)

From acclaimed French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, ABC Kitchen was once called the “power lunch spot.” This year you can have a three-course, $60 lunch. Start with the Long Island fluke tartare, and enjoy options such as parmesan crusted chicken or butternut squash pizza for your main course. You can finish the meal with ABC’s famous caramel popcorn sundae or a slice of apple pie.

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Restaurant Week begins on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024 and runs through Feb. 4, 2024. For more information, click here.

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