IMAGINE entering the elegant fine-dining experience, starring famous Top Chef Tom Colicchio and renowned Pastry Chef Stephen Collucci, for merely $25. For entrees alone, the Tap Room of the casually sophisticated Collichio & Sons offers lunches and dinners well over $90. As you are escorted through a maze of businessmen and swanky New Yorkers, you are seated among them with your own flawlessly shined silverware and dustless tablecloths. For your first course, you will have a roasted beet salad with endive, apple, spiced pecans and crumbled goat cheese, served in a porcelain dish accompanied by two slices of fresh bread. Then, the handmade ricotta cavatelli, complemented with tender short rib and roasted mushrooms. And finally, for dessert, a traditional milk chocolate praline custard, topped with hazelnut brittle and passion fruit sherbet. Such modish accommodations are supplied by the semiannual Restaurant Week, which offers the fine dining experience for those who live less lavish lifestyles.
Since 1992, classy eateries in New York City have opened their doors to an audience they have never reached before. Restaurant Week allows slow-paced, fine dining establishments to get a fresh breath of air. Thousands of people flock to restaurants around the city to enjoy the three-course meals for a large fraction of their normal prices. Restaurant Week acts as a golden hand that escorts willing New Yorkers to hundreds of new places, where they would normally feel a large pang of guilt in their wallet. Each menu is donned with vegetables from specific countries, entrees accompanied by unique purees of various squashes, and desserts offering both exquisite new and nostalgic tastes. Restaurant Week provides the option of eating new unique flavors at some of New York’s most famous restaurants for a fraction of the cost. Question is, will you take the deal?
Taking this opportunity to experience an alternative to my current college eating habits, I reserved a table in the famous five-star restaurant: The Porterhouse Steakhouse. Located on the top floor of the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle, I ascended to the fourth floor, fidgeting with a childish excitement. Taking a few steps into the steakhouse, I was overwhelmed. A shimmering wave of crystal glasses covered each table, contrasting with the dark carpeted floors surrounding each impeccably white table. Jubilant businessmen actively waved their hands as they all leaned back with a collective joyful banter. Waiters emerged from the kitchens from the far door on my left, one after the other, carrying the plates which served as canvases for the chef’s current masterpieces. As for the food, it was undeniably fantastic. The first course, a carrot-ginger soup, set the palette for the tender filet mignon entrée, which then contrasted with the sugary dark chocolate cake. Each dish complemented one another, while at the same time stood solitarily in its own unique flavors. Not until the check was presented did the dream prove to be reality. We left the Porterhouse Steakhouse, our palettes thoroughly satisfied and our minds swirled in a food coma, all thanks to Restaurant Week.
Tips For Restaurant Week:
- Try new foods you would normally not eat – the new flavors can be enlightening and delicious!
- To choose a restaurant, look at reviews and the Restaurant Week menus to make sure you’ll enjoy your experience there.
- Make Reservations in advance! Seats can fill up quick for famous restaurants!
- Savor and enjoy your food! That’s what it’s all about!
Restaurant week happens twice a year in early winter and mid-summer.