Throwback Thursday New York City Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week has returned to New York City! But…it’s for takeout and delivery only so it’s now named

NYC RESTAURANT WEEK TO GO

NYC Restaurant Week is back and it started three days ago on 01/25/2021. This annual event started almost 30 years ago can you believe it?! NYC restaurant week started with 95 participating restaurants in 1992 to approximately over 500 restaurants in 2021.  This time around, all five boroughs are joining in on this opportunity to promote budget friendly meals to boost their businesses during this ongoing, unprecedented times.  All restaurant week dishes are being sold for only $20.21. In addition, another awesome perk is the premier sponsor for this year’s restaurant week is Mastercard. If you have a Mastercard, you can register your credit card to get $10 credit back into your statement for purchases over $20.21 and you can purchase up to meals; so in essence you’ll really paying $10.21 for an order, which is unheard of.

The website was updated very late on 01/24/2021 and after briskly reviewing over 500 menus or restaurant week to go offer(s) from each participating restaurant, there were definitely hits and misses from many restaurants that continued to participate in the past. What I discovered overall that the best offers were items related to omakases and steak dishes. Given the promotion ends on Sunday 01/31/2021 for most restaurants, some restaurants may extend their promotion until next Sunday 02/07/2021. With the short time I’ve had, I have only eaten at one restaurant to date, which is Adrienne’s Pizza Bar. For $22 that includes tax, I got a huge arugula salad and a 1/2 square of the old fashioned pie. I posted a picture of this huge lunch meal on my Instagram @tablespoonsandteaspoons.

During my review of over 500 menus I have come up with a very short wish list of places that is worth trying based on cost on a regular day of dining.

Angelo Pizza: Grilled Salmon with vegetables and fried calamari with garlic and oil.

Barbounia: Short Rib & Hummus or Branzino & Hummus

Bistrot Leo: Steak Frites with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

BLT Prime or BLT Steak: 14oz Strip steak with Fries

Khe-Yo – Crispy Chili Bell & Evans Chicken over Jasmine Rice with side of crispy brussels sprouts.

Tsuro Ton Tan (Union Square) – Omakase set—a full-size order of udon (choice of beef, chicken or spicy tan tan), and eight pieces of nigiri with a chef’s choice roll

With 4 days left, here’s a list of places I definitely would love to check out. Stay tuned and follow me on Instagram: @tablespoonsandteaspoons.

Flashback Friday – Calle Dao

Happy 2021! It’s been an interesting and unprecedented 2020 with the pandemic that turned the planet upside down. We are very grateful to be alive, healthy and employed *knock on wood*. One of major changes that took place in 2020 was the shutdown of business especially restaurant and food industries. Many famous restaurants, mom and pop restaurants and even landmark restaurants closed down permanently because their businesses suffered tremendous loss due to the restrictions that were set in place in order to keep people safe.

Prior to the pandemic and shutdown, my friend recommended an emerging restaurant chain somewhat that specializes in Cuban Chinese Cuisine. The restaurant is called Calle Dao. There are two locations one in Chelsea and the other in Bryant Park. They have a sister restaurant called Favela Cubana. They had happy hour until 7pm for discounted drinks and food. My friend and I have only been to the Bryant Park location because it was convenient especially during this pandemic. We came on a Monday evening during the summer and early this week for outdoor dining. The first time the outdoor dining setup in the summer was an open space. Recently, the restaurant revamped their outdoor dining space by building adding walls all round and heaters above every table. The new setup was very cozy, warm and toasty. We had the same server, his name was Marvin. Marvin was very nice, friendly, accommodating and generous. More importantly due to increased expenses incurred during the restaurant’s 10 day closure to set up outdoor dining for the winter, an 8% COVID surcharge was now added to the check. The COVID surcharge was implemented by NYC around October to help restaurants sustain themselves. Anyways, let’s get to the food and drink:

Tostones – great deal for a solo meal and definitely meant for sharing.

Shiitake Spring Rolls – pricey for the portion, but a great option for vegetarians.

Crispy Wings – another great deal but it is definitely sticky and messy.

Sangria – a must have here and highly recommended; they also have the option for a white sangria. FYI red wine is more health benefits than white.

Prosecco – a great alternative if you want to go light on the alcohol

In addition to happy hour bites and drinks, we also ordered additional food, which appeared to be pricey, but deceivingly large that we ate half and took the other half home. Both dishes tasted amazing and it’s low carb.

We will definitely return to explore our happy hour deals at all three locations and definitely try their brunch menu. This restaurant is worth trying especially if you want to experience Cuban Chinese cuisine.

Cheers to 2021!!

Meatless Monday – David Burke Tavern

Last week I decided to make solo trip to David Burke Tavern in the Upper East Side in Manhattan. The former Fishtail location will be one of the participating restaurants for the upcoming NYC restaurant week starting tomorrow.

One of the entrees that will be offered during restaurant week is the celery root ravioli. The dish consists of grapes, pickled celery and winter black truffles. This homemade dish is well balanced especially when all the elements are combined.

Celery Root Ravioli

Stay tuned for the Restaurant Week Game Plan.