Prix Fixe Yourself

By: Samvida Patel

It’s that time of the year again! What originally was a 4-day affair organized by Tim Zagat and the late Joe Baum for the reporters attending the Democratic Convention of 1992, transformed into a month-long event by the unrelenting demands of the public.  Who doesn’t love seemingly affordable splurging?  And we say seemingly because of course, when you know you’re getting a huge price cut, you may feel inclined to spend on extras, like fine wine.  So in the end, what you had hoped would be a 25-dollar lunch or a 38-dollar dinner turned into much, much more.

But…we still love it.  When else would you be able to experience fine dining, if you are one of the working middle-class majority?  Here is an eclectic mix of restaurants we have pooled together for you to consider.

La Masseria- Italian is always a safe option to go with if you don’t traverse the boundary separating conventional and novel foods, but it can become boring if you don’t frequent the right places.  La Masseria, happens to be an exception.  While they keep their dishes simple, the finesse that goes into producing balanced, flavorful food with perfectly al-dente texture is unmistakable.  The Gnocchetti di Patate alla Sorrentina embodies just that—as someone who prides herself in being an eater of all almost all non-vegetarian dishes, I would say this simple, delicate pasta is the best on the menu.

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Hangawi- Sure it’s tucked away among the karaoke bars, casual eateries, and hotels that make up “K-Town,” but its name has much acclaim for its authentic, vegetarian food and traditional atmosphere.  More than the actual food, practices of the Eastern culture such as removing shoes and sitting close together on low-to-the-ground tables, offers customers an intriguing dining experience. Image

ImageAll dishes complement ambiance with their wholesome, pure quality, but the Spicy Todok Bibimbap and stone bowl stir fries particularly stand out.

Ilili- A prime member of New York City’s upmarket venues, this restaurant takes Lebanese foods to another level entirely.  To put into perspective, chefs behind these creations have been able to slash the unfortunate, most-hated-vegetable reputation that brussel sprouts carry.

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The roasted sprouts are tossed with slivered grapes, walnuts, and pureed fig, all of which are brought together with mint yogurt sauce.

Unfortunately, the dish is not on the prix-fixe menu, but it is an absolute must-try.  You can’t go wrong with any choice on either the set or a la carte menus.  Especially not the Phoenician Fries and Braised Lamb Shank!

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These of course, are only 3 of 293 restaurants participating in “restaurant month.”  Book your table in advance because places get packed super fast!  Can’t find a reservation?  Thankfully, featured restaurants including Amma, Darbar Fine Indian Cuisine, Darbar Grill, Yuva Frontier Indian Grill, and Fig & Olive 5th Avenue catering are all on Foodtoeat.com! You can have the same scrumptious food delivered to you and have restaurant week your way.

Happy Dining!

Article Reference:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2010/08/how-restaurant-week-became-restaurant-month/61215/

Photo References:

http://www.yelp.com

http://www.foodspotting.com

http://www.notjustvegetarian.com

http://www.gorgeouslywed.com

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

It’s the Real Deal 24/7.

By: Samvida Patel

Foodtoeat.com

Living in your time and evolving with it if not ahead of it is crucial.  Or you’ll turn into a dinosaur.

In view of that, we at Foodtoeat will always advocate saving time and ordering online from hundreds of wonderful restaurants and food trucks through our site.  Why waste 40 minutes waiting in line at a Food Truck when you could have pre-ordered and been back at work in 10 minutes?

Yet, while we will always be staunch supporters being efficient and savvy with advances like Foodtoeat, we will remain practical and cater our blog to a variety of circumstances.

Like, when it is 3 a.m. and you have just left a club, quite out of it and starving.  What is the likelihood that you will order food for delivery? Let’s be real now.

But will you get a fresh slice or two from Two Bros Pizza on your way back home?  Definitely, if you are sloshed.  Maybe, if you are only at a “good drunk” level.  Because in a somewhat working state of mind, you might question how gross you will feel after ingesting all that oil and cheese.  Or you might just want “real” food since your taste is refined in everything and you just have to keep it classy at all times.  All times.

If you are that person, here is news for you.  There are two ethnic eateries open all day, all night.  The first is a Ukrainian restaurant, “Veselka,” conveniently located near pubs like the “Thirteenth Step” in the East Village on 9th street and 2nd avenue.  I would not go there without having tried their pierogis.  You can get a small plate of four or large plate of seven and mix and match the potato, cheese, meat, spinach and cheese, sauerkraut & mushroom, and arugula & goat cheese fillings.  They’re served with sautéed onions, applesauce, and sour cream, all of which make for excellent dipping sauces.

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If you’re not adventurous, regardless of your intoxication level, breakfast is served at all hours of the day.  And even if you are sober, you might want to stop by for brunch on the weekend.  Signature American dishes like the Eggs Benedict are served with an authentic spin on it.  How about Salmon Latkes Eggs Benedict?

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Even more surprising than a Ukrainian restaurant being open for twenty-four hours?  A French Restaurant.  You would think sophisticated bistros closed early to add to their air of exclusivity, but not L’Express.  Located close to hotels and lounges near Union Square and Gramercy on 20th Street and Park, L’Express delivers provides fine dining at reasonable pricing.

When was the last time you had a savory onion tart, forest mushroom ravioli, and apricot crème brulée at 4 a.m.?  Thought so.  The overnight menu, while not nearly as extensive as that of Veselka, has plenty of plates to choose from and a wide variety.  So say you decided for whatever reason, in your drunken state, that you want Escargots, you can very well order them.  But I would stick to any of the above three items as well as to the roasted half chicken, the Croque Monsieur L’Express, and any dessert really.  Especially the apricot crème brulée.

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DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

A Restaurant Owner’s Perspective of Restaurant week

New York City’s Restaurant Week kicked off this Monday, July 16th, and scores of the city’s top restaurants have created their prix-fixed menus to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this event. This is the first year that Restaurant Week will actually last a full month, all the way until August 10th. Those looking to dine at any participating restaurants can expect three courses for $24.07 for lunch and $35 for dinner.

While restaurant week can be a great experience for those without huge budgets to sample cuisine from New York’s finest restaurants at a moderate price, it puts restaurants in a sort of frenzy to please customers at lightning speed and still somehow turn a profit with the low prix-fixed meals they are serving. However one restaurant owner has a unique perspective towards restaurant week, viewing it more as a service from the restaurant community at large.

Alex Guarnaschelli is the chef and owner of Butter, and despite the difficulties Butter faces every year when this week comes around, she views it as a priority for her restaurant to make great food affordable to more people. Because of this philosophy, Butter has had Restaurant Week menus for the past eight years.

“Part of my commitment to Restaurant Week is because I don’t think it’s fair, for financial reasons, to end up excluding people from having a fun dining experience. I really don’t. I feel passionately about that. I mean, we’ve done Restaurant Week for eight years with Butter, and I would never not do it. It’s torture for the staff, it’s such work and it’s so hard. It’s like bailing water out of a boat 24/7. But it gives us a chance to remind us about hospitality, and the idea that people come to a restaurant to eat. Like, that basic idea that’s so easy to get away from is important to me. Restaurant Week is a nice kick-in-the-ass reminder of that; to me…I think it’s great for students, too. It’s a good student budget thing. You pick two or three or whatever, and you have a number of weeks to go, and one of those every week or two is something you can manage.”

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com