For the uninitiated, Restaurant Week is a summer promotion in several cities where restaurants offer three course prix fixe menus. In NYC, the price is $35 for dinner and $24.07 for lunch. (There must be a story on the bizarro lunch price, but I couldn't tell you what it is.) I'd been through this a few times in Charlotte, so I knew the importance of checking out the menus online to see who's offering what, as there's quite a bit of variation.
On Wednesday night, my friend Chris was in town on business, so I made us a reservation at Fig & Olive in Midtown. He is getting married next spring, so it was fun to hear about those plans.
The special Restaurant Week menu had a choice of six appetizers. I had the Mediterranean Chicken Samosa with cilantro, Greek yogurt, bell peppers, scallion and Harissa olive oil. Chris had the tuna tartare with sesame oil and cucumber.
For the main course, we ordered halibut with broccollini and seafood paella. We traded plates halfway through. We both agreed the paella was better, though I thought the portions were a bit skimpy -- but then again, for $35, sometimes you get smaller plates. I wish I could tell you more about what was served with the halibut (I think that's orecchiette?), but I forgot to keep the menu, and it's not included in the sample menu online.)
On Thursday, I asked Neil if he wanted to come and meet me for lunch at Uncle Gussie's Food Truck in front of St. Bart's in Midtown. I'd read about it in a lunch edition of Time Out, and I went there with some colleagues last week. We loved it, so I was once again craving their Greek salad with chicken breast.
It reminded me of a similarly fabulous RW meal I enjoyed at Aria in Charlotte last summer. They handed us the regular dinner menu, and the Restaurant Week options were identified with an icon. (A very odd icon, I'd like to mention...I think it was a rabbit standing up behind a kitchen chair. We actually asked the waiter about it because we were so puzzled.) Anyhoo, the choices were outstanding, especially when it came to the main courses; five of the eight mains (or anything under $30) were available.
The starters were a little more restricted, so we couldn't partake of the intriguing Ants On a Log (bone marrow, snails, parsley and garlic) or the Bison Tartare (egg salad, smoked tomato, fingerling crisps) or the Pretzel Crab Cake (tomato orange and green peppercorn). A return visit may be required!
We both had the asparagus and burrata starter, which came with prosciutto, honeydew and basil. (I didn't want to use the flash, so these pics are a little dark, but hopefully you can still get the idea.)
My dessert was one of the coolest things I've had in a while. Ginger thought it was a bit too much, so it might not appeal to everyone. It was cassis panna cotta with macerated berries and lemon anglaise. The panna cotta and berries were presented in a small Mason jar, with the lemon anglaise on the side. The waiter poured the sauce into the jar and then sprinkled the top with a skewer of chocolate-covered Cheerios. (I swear! They were not on the menu, but I conferred with my neighbor, who also had the same thing, and she agreed that's what they were.) I should have taken a photo of the deconstructed version, but here's what it looked like assembled.
Ginger and I both felt like we'd walked away with a steal! (And walk away we did...we headed home on foot up Sixth Avenue, which was a great way to end the night.) I just did the math and figured we each got about $53 worth of food for $35. Not bad!
Now I'm off to the gym to work off my phattastic week. Toodles!