NYC Restaurant Week is a semi-annual celebration of “fine dining at an affordable price”, which takes place inÂ New York City every winter and summer. Not every fine dining establishment participates but enough do, leaving foodies with plenty to feast on at a discounted rate.
Currently, NYC is in the midst of its Winter Restaurant week, which began January 22 and will continue until February 9.
Participating restaurants offer pre-fixe menus providing three courses, priced at $29 for lunch and $42 for dinner, respectively. The Official Guide NYC confirms that “Restaurants offer a minimum of three choices for appetizers, three choices for entrĂ©es and at least two desserts. Several restaurants may also offer drink specials, supplemental items, and other Ă la carte options for an additional price.” Very few restaurants offer their Restaurant Week pre-fixe menu on Saturdays.
If youâ€™re looking to try many of the cityâ€™s top Indian restaurants, this is the time to do it! We found 5 must-try places worth visiting during this seasonâ€™s restaurant week.
Amma has consistently stayed on “where to eat in NYC” lists since opening its doors in 2002, which is no small feat considering the turnover rate of restaurants in the Big Apple. Itâ€™s received 2 stars from The New York Times and anointed as one of Padma Lakshmiâ€™s favorite NYC eats.
Out of all the restaurants on our list, Amma is perhaps the most traditional in terms of its menu offerings but make no mistake, traditional doesnâ€™t mean tired or predictable in taste and presentation. Dining is refined here, though youâ€™ll find staples such as Delhi chaat, chicken tikka, and gajarÂ halwa.
Lunch and dinner menus provide a varied choice of everything from seafood delights such as chiliÂ fish, mustard-spiced crab cakes, and shrimpÂ malai curry. For more carnivorous diners, thereâ€™s a bevy of lamb and chicken courses. And vegetarians, rest assured, there are plenty of course offerings as well, though fair warning, most are variations ofÂ aloo and paneer.
All courses come with Manchurian cauliflower, naan, raita, and peas pulao with add-ons such as Kathal Biriyani and dal makhaniÂ available for an additional $10.
Click here to make your reservations.
If Amma takes pleasure in serving up traditional Indian fare then Babu Ji takes equal pleasure in serving the opposite in, what theyâ€™ve pegged,”unauthentic Indian food.”
Both restaurant week lunch and dinner options include choices of Colonel Tsoâ€™s Cauliflower, paneer tikka kebab, or cucumberÂ salad for your first course. Second-course offerings are more alluring, particularly for dinner, with options such as tandoori chicken with bean sprout salad, spiced lamb seekh kabob, chana masala, short rib korma or, “unauthentic butter chicken.” You can view the full lunch and dinner menu here.
Babu ji really shines with its inauthenticity with its usual menu offerings of rifts on naan, such asÂ naan pizza, nutella-stuffed naan, and aloo naan benedict. Unfortunately, these cleverly delicious dishes arenâ€™t on the restaurant week menu. Is it even worth a visit during restaurant week? Yes, but with the understanding that youâ€™ll still get to eat well-crafted dishes created with high quality, seasonal ingredients, but not necessarily their most innovative dishes.
Make reservations and try it for yourself.
3Junoon Main Dining Room
Junoon is one class act, with its reputable use of organic, sustainably raised ingredients to its impeccable wine list, to its classical method of cast iron, open-fire, and even stone searing cooking. This is the real deal and a real treat for high-quality dining at a lower rate during these coveted weeks.
Many restaurants donâ€™t necessarily offer their most exquisite dishes for the restaurant week pre-fixe menu because though the patron saves, the restaurants stand to lose. However, Junoon is the exception and doesnâ€™t skimp on its offerings.
Choices include delicately made paneer, which is house-made and punctuated by fig chutney, charred peach, and confit peppers. Junoon isnâ€™t playing around, Yâ€™all. Other perfectly executed and delicately balanced options include chicken dishes, along with monkfish, buttery shrimp, and a kulfi tasting that displays four seasonal flavors. Get the full menu here.
Celebrity chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Floyd Cardozâ€™s Paowalla is participating in Restaurant Week for both, lunch and dinner, Monday to Friday.Â You could go for both mealtimes in one day, and still be left with unique dishes to choose from.
Dinner entrees include seafood, lamb, paneer, and duck. Lunch has as much to offer with skate, chicken, duck dosa, and our favorite, the upma polenta with wild mushrooms which warrants multiple visits during restaurant week and beyond.
Both menus offer a wide array of chutneys that pair with the housemade pao.Â Curiously, the restaurant week lunch and dinner menu do not include Poawallaâ€™s most delicious pao/stuffed breads:Â the cheddar cheese kulcha, bacon-cheddar kulcha, and aloo-gobi paratha.
Itâ€™s a shame these stuffed breads are not included as part of the special offerings as they truly showcase Chef Cardozâ€™s mastery over pao, whereas the breads actually offered during restaurant week are tasty, but nothing exceptional.
If you do go in for Restaurant week lunch or dinner, we say forgo the pao and focus on the shishito pakoras, dal burrata (dinner only), and the upmaÂ to be treated to Indian food re-imagined. Make reservations here.
Tamarindâ€™s restaurant week menu is for lunch only but does not disappoint. You get your choice of one tasty appetizer and you really canâ€™t go wrong with any of the options consisting of chaat, lamb skewers, or a ricotta-tropical fruits salad.
You get to choose two entrees from a diverse menu, ranging from chicken, lamb, and halibut to paneer and tandoori broccoli, all served with tomato rice, kalonji naan, and a vegetable. As if thatâ€™s not plenty, thereâ€™s still dessert with the choice of cheesecake and halwa.
Tamarind course offerings and inventive favor profiles are not compromised during restaurant week. As this place is one of NYCâ€™s beloved Indian restaurants, youâ€™ll want to make reservations soon. Do so by clicking here.