Tag Archives: Restaurant Week

RW Lunch: i Trulli

i Trulli is a lovely and charming Italian restaurant with a gorgeous outdoor garden in the back, where a friend and I enjoyed our Restaurant Week lunch meal.

i trulli_meFirst we were given water and our glass was always full. Then the waiter brought out a small basket of bread: There were 2 different types. One was foccaccia like with sun-dried tomato, fennel, rosemary and other seasoning. The other was rustic brown bread. It came with nice fluffy and creamy butter.

i trulli_breadI had the baby calzones for my appetizer. One had cheese and tomato filling, while the other was sausage and broccoli rabe. I think I liked the cheesy one better. There wasn’t enough of the filling in the other calzone.

i trulli_appsFor my main course, I chose the “straw and hay” pasta dish, Paglia e Fieno, which came with peas, pancetta (lots of it, to my delight) and cream sauce. It was truly delicious! The pasta itself were long strips of golden yellow and green colors and cooked to perfection. The peas were fresh and wonderful, the pancetta was incredibly flavorful with just the right amount of salt, slightly crispy with tons of great seasoning. It tasted amazing. The dish also came with lots of Parmesan cheese. It was very rich and filling.

i trulli_pastaMy friend had the Pork Scaloppini which was pork medallions with bread salad of tomatoes, onion and cucumber. The presentation was really nice and I loved that it was so colorful, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the pork. It didn’t taste all that flavorful to me and was a bit too chewy. The salad was pretty tasty though.

i trulli_porkchopDessert was Torta di Cioccolato, chocolate cake with a scoop of coconut sorbetti. When we were first served dessert, my friend and I felt that the portion size was quite small, but it still satisfied us. The cake, however, was more like a mini brownie with chocolate drizzled on top. The ice cream was in a perfect small ball and there was toffee peanut brittle underneath it. I enjoyed the cake which was chocolate-y, moist and slightly sweet, while the coconut sorbetti was refreshing and light.

i trulli_dessertI really enjoyed the meal, atmosphere and attentive service at i Trulli.

i trulli

i Trulli
124 E 27 St
New York, NY

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RW Lunch at Fig & Olive

I had been yearning to try Mediterranean restaurant, Fig & Olive for quite some time now so I jumped at the chance to dine at Fig & Olive for lunch during Restaurant Week. My friend and I ate at the Uptown location, which was beautiful, sleek, elegant and cozy with comfortable seating, which had an intimate feel.

figolive interior

After we settled in, we were served a plate of rosemary focaccia bread pieces and three different types of olive oil: Two from Spain and one from Italy. The bread was mediocre, a little bit dry but the olive oil was rich and tasty.

figolive bread

For my appetizer, I chose the truffle mushroom croquettes, which were delicious fried balls of cremini mushroom parmesan and béchamel, served with truffle oil aioli. They were incredibly flavorful, fresh and wonderful!

figolive appetizer

The main course was Rosemary Lamb, which consisted of grilled lamb and red bell pepper on skewers with rosemary ends, a fig and cous cous with red onion, scallions and tomatoes, and sauce made out of Greek yogurt base. The lamb was amazing… Perfectly cooked, tender, well-seasoned and incredibly appetizing. The cous cous was also quite good, and I normally don’t like cous cous that much. I enjoyed both the lamb and cous cous with the sauce, giving the dish more depth.

figolive me

There were only two options for dessert, so my friend and I ordered one of each so that we could try both. The “Dessert Crostini” was Amarena cherry and mascarpone on top of pistachio shortbread with basil. There were two of these so it was perfect and I liked the taste of mascarpone on the shortbread but I thought the cherries were way too sweet.

figolive dessert

The chocolate pot de crème, which came with a crunchy praline financier (basically a fancy Kit Kat bar) and vanilla cream on top, was out of this world delectable. It was incredibly chocolate-y and had a lovely smooth consistency with just the right amount of sweetness.

figolive chocolate

I really enjoyed my meal at Fig & Olive. The service was also high quality. I would highly recommend trying out this restaurant!


Fig & Olive
808 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY

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Lunch at Lavo

lavoI recently had the opportunity to dine at the fancy Lavo (Nightclub and Restaurant ) for Restaurant Week lunch. Inside, it’s beautiful, elegant and spacious.


For my appetizer, I chose the Tomato Bufala Mozzarella Salad. It consisted of yellow and red tomato slices with mozzarella in between, topped with Parmesan-crusted crostini and onion on the side. Even though it was a simple dish, the presentation was lovely and I really liked the pop of colors. It tasted quite wonderful as well– Fresh, flavorful, and delightful.


For my main course, I had the sliced strip steak with green peppercorn sauce. The steak, already cut was absolutely delicious– Juicy, tender with a mouthwatering sauce. The only complaint I had was that the meat had quite a bit of fat on it still and I prefer lean cuts of meat. The french fries had sprinkle of Parmesan and were skinny (just the way I like them), warm, perfectly crispy and incredibly good.


My chosen dessert was the Oreo Zeppole with a Vanilla Malt Shake, while my friend had the Gianduja Budino, a chocolate pudding. The pudding was rich and extremely chocolatey but I preferred the zeppole. The oreo zeppole were delectable warm little morsels that melted in your mouth. The zeppole had an oreo filling with fried dough around it… They tasted sweet and perfect. The vanilla shake came in an adorable little cup with an oreo inside. The shake combined well with the zeppole, but each were delightful on its own.

I truly enjoyed my meal at Lavo! The service was pretty good, though it took awhile to get mayonnaise (for my fries) and I had to ask more than once. Otherwise, a lovely dining and culinary experience.



39 E 58th St
New York, NY

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RW: Sofrito | Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse | Bar Eolo

Summer Restaurant Week (July 21-August 15) is in full swing and so far, I have had the opportunity to have dinner at Sofrito (Pan-Latin), lunch at Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse and dinner at Bar Eolo (Sicilian Kitchen).


Dinner at Sofrito

Appetizer: Empanadas… I chose beef filling for one of them and shrimp filling for the other. They were both quite tasty, but I enjoyed the beef one better. I also got to try my friend’s yucca crusted chicken which was wonderfully crunchy and came with sweet and delicious passion fruit dip.

Entree: Carved roast pork with Spanish rice and peas, as well as sweet plaintains. This meal was huge! I was only able to finish maybe half of it. The pork was tender like butter and the skin was incredibly crispy with great flavor. It would’ve been even better if there was more sauce. The rice was pretty good and went well with the pork, but the plaintains were just okay.

Dessert: Tres leches cake with whipped cream and strawberries. This was delectable: Intensely sweet, especially soaked in the wonderful cream and the fruit was a perfect companion.

Atmosphere: The dining area was chic and roomy, but we were not expecting the obnoxiously loud club music playing in the front. This made it extremely difficult to to hold a conversation and dampened the overall experience.

Service: Quite good… The waitress was attentive and nice.

Lunch at Nick + Stef's Steakhouse

Lunch at Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse

Appetizer: Chilled pea and lemongrass soup with peekytoe crab and garlic croutons. I was not a huge fan of the soup, but I did like the crab and croutons on top.

Entree: Steak Frites. (What else would you get at a Steakhouse?) The skirt steak came already cut up for our convenience, and was herb marinated with pesto sauce. The steak was delicious and full of savory flavor. The fries were thin and crispy, just the way I like them.

Dessert: Chocolate Mousse Cake. Rich, chocolate layered cake that melted in my mouth was sweet, soft, delicate and delightful.

Atmosphere: Classy, white and elegant

Service: Wonderful!

Dinner at Bar Eolo

Dinner at Bar Eolo

Appetizer: I was looking forward to trying the calamari but it was no longer on their Restaurant Week menu, so I had to settle for the saffron risotto ball. I was disappointed because there was only one risotto ball. Also, I couldn’t taste the saffron at all, but did like the cheesiness of it and enjoyed the beef and pea ragu in the center.

Entree: Seared halibut with roasted potatoes, tomato, mushrooms, capers with olive oil and sauce. The halibut was cooked to perfection, with a bit of crispy skin that tasted so good. I also really enjoyed the potatoes, sauce and everything combined together nicely.

Dessert: Warm flour-less chocolate cake with strawberries, pistachio cous cous and pistachio ice cream was well worth the $4 additional fee. The chocolate cake was truly delectable: Melt in your mouth, finger licking delicious. It was rich, velvety and tasted of pure chocolate. The pistachio cous cous was underneath the ice cream and tasted light, subtly sweet, luscious.

Atmosphere: Lovely, cute restaurant in Chelsea with outdoor seating.

Service: The hostess and waitress seemed to be a bit confused throughout the meal, but they meant well.

400 E. 57 St
New York, NY

Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse
9 Penn Plaza
New York, NY

Bar Eolo
190 7th Ave
New York, NY

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Restaurant Week Lunch at David Burke Kitchen


I recently had a chance to dine at the lovely David Burke Kitchen for Restaurant Week. The restaurant “blends the cool, industrial simplicity of SoHo’s airy lofts with the rustic warmth of a country abode.”


The seating was a little tight, but I loved the atmosphere and the imaginative, playful American cuisine offered on the menu. On the the table was a cute little bucket filled with purple grapes and David Burke’s famous pretzel bread sticks that are wonderfully seasoned and flavorful.


For my appetizer, I chose the lobster soup, which consisted of lobster dumplings, white bean and a brown broth that is poured over the dumplings. The lobster dumplings were delicious little bites with a lot of lobster flavor, but I wasn’t a big fan of the s0up broth.


My friend ordered the pretzel crusted crab cake which he graciously shared with me. This was absolutely wonderful – The pretzel complemented the crab cake part and it was cooked to crispy perfection and full of robust flavor that wasn’t seafood-y at all.


It was tough to pick the main course, but the waitress sold me on one of the brunch specials: Fried chicken with eggs, sausage polenta, and biscuit. This was a huge portion and I had to take home half of it, so I was quite satisfied. The fried chicken was crispy delicious and I really enjoyed the red sauce that it came with- Slightly sweet and very good. The eggs with the sausage were tasty- Fresh and flavorful. The biscuit was warm, buttery, delightful.


For dessert, I had Rocky Mountain Road Sundae. which was delectable. When the waiter brought it to the table, he poured the special chocolate sauce that hardens, over the brown butter ice cream. The sundae also came with whipped cream, bananas, brownie bites and peanut brittle. The brown butter ice cream just by itself was delicious. It had a sweet, light flavor and everything combined together (especially the peanut brittle) was a  concoction of delight.

I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at David Burke Kitchen and the service was a dream.


David Burke Kitchen
23 Grand Street
New York, NY

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Restaurant Week at Smoke Jazz Club

I recently dined at Smoke Jazz Club for Restaurant Week and even got to see an awesome live jazz show with no additional charge. The interior of Smoke Jazz Club is a little small, but cozy and comfortable. I had two lamb sliders with French fries for my appetizer, which were delicious. The lamb was perfectly cooked, moist, juicy and flavorful. The fries were also very tasty.


I was torn between ribs or fried chicken for my main course, but finally decided on fried chicken. It came with collared greens with bacon and corn bread, all in a cute basket. The fried chicken was wonderful – Crispy, fresh, full of flavor, and plenty of it – I ended up taking half of it home. The corn bread was pretty good- crumbly, warm and smooth. The collared greens amazing – Just the right amount of salt, and the loved the taste of bacon.

smokejazz_fried chicken

For dessert, there was only one choice: S’mores Brownie. I would have appreciated other options, but the brownie was pretty darn good. The brownie came with sweet marshmallow fluff and sauce on top. The brownie was incredibly chocolaty (it even had chocolate chips), rich and the marshmallow complemented it perfectly.

While we were eating our meal, we had the privilege of seeing Baylor Project perform, featuring Jean Baylor, Marcus Baylor, Allyn John-piano, Marvin Sewell-guitar, and Richie Goods-bass. At first it was just instrumental which was nice, but I’ve never been a huge fan of jazz so didn’t do much for me. Then, singer Jean Baylor came up to perform with the band. She was fun, welcoming, friendly and had great stage presence. She sang in a variety of genres: R&B, Gospel and Jazz. “Her sweet sultry voice is poignant, smooth and intoxicatingly ear friendly like a young modern day Nancy Wilson.”


So even though Smoke Jazz Club is a bit far, located up on 105 St, my friend and I both had a marvelous time and really enjoyed the delicious meal.


Smoke Jazz Club
2751 Broadway
New York,NY

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Restaurant Week Dinner at Brasserie


Brasserie is a gorgeously set up French restaurant, in an oval shape with modern decor and a an elegant, classy feel. I was seated promptly and a baguette was placed on the table with Echire, butter from France. The bread was quite hard and didn’t have much flavor.

For the appetizer, I had the brandade de homard, which is a lobster mash and salt cod mixed into a purée with olive oil and milk. The dish came with half of the empty lobster shell as decoration. It was delicious- Just the right amount of saltiness and strong flavor of lobster. The dish also came with roasted garlic baguette, which was a tasty touch.


As for the entree, I chose Cassoulet Toulousain, which is a classic French dish of rich, slow-cooked casserole.  This came in a soup of navy beans, with duck confit, braised pork belly and garlic sausage on top. Normally I don’t really enjoy beans, but the beans in the cassoulet were decent- There was a sweet orange colored sauce with the beans so that helped. The duck confit was tender and wonderful. The pork belly was crispy and reminiscent of bacon. And the garlic sausage was cooked to perfection!


The dessert was Financier aux Figues, which consisted of almond cake, black mission figs and honeyed yogurt “faisselle.” I truly enjoyed the almond cake- It had a chewy consistency and a delicate, sweet taste. Both the figs and yogurt were slightly bland, but worked well with the richly sweet almond cake.


I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and deliciousness of dining at Brasserie.

Location: 100 E 53 St

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Lunch at Mercer Kitchen


I have been wanting to try Mercer Kitchen for awhile now, so decided to check it out with a good friend, for lunch at Restaurant Week. It’s a trendy restaurant smack dab in the middle of Soho at the Mercer Hotel, with the dining area downstairs, underneath the street where we could see people walking above us through the latticework on the ceiling. Exposed brick walls, long banquettes, and candlelit sconces give the place a timelessly stylish, chic and sophisticated ambiance.

The meal itself was also wonderful. I started off with black truffle and fontina cheese pizza. Usually I like my pizza to have tons of different toppings, but this one didn’t need it. It was amazing on its own, and quite a nicely sized personal pizza — I ended up taking half of it home. If you like truffle oil or truffle in general, you need to order this pizza! It had the perfect balance of cheesy goodness and hints of black truffle in each bite. However, was a little bit on the oily side.


For the main course, I ordered (The Mercer) Burger which consisted of pepperjack cheese (which I replaced with cheddar), crunchy red onions, Russian dressing and french fries. The burger was on the small side, but don’t be fooled… It will still fill you up and is well made. The meat was juicy and flavorful. I especially enjoyed the taste of the crispy fried onions with cheese and dressing. The lettuce and tomato were both fresh and added to the overall deliciousness. I also liked the skinny fries- They were quite crispfully tasty.


My friend, however had chosen the Veal Milanese which was according to her, tasteless and inedible. To the waiter’s credit, he took it back without any attitude and brought out her next choice of Steam Skate with Tarragon, Sesame Seed, and Baby Bak Choy, almost right away.

Dessert was warm Valrhona chocolate cake with crisp Orange Tuile and Vanilla Bean gelato. This molten chocolate cake was heavenly- Rich and oozing with sweet chocolateness. I loved the warm chocolate filling, but to be honest didn’t really taste the orange bit. And the vanilla bean gelato was a disappointment. It was a little bland, as it lacked vanilla bean flavor.


My friend’s banana cake with salted caramel gelato was a true delight and that gelato was superb- Very sweet, strong caramel flavor. Yum!

Overall, a lovely meal with lovely company and attentive, friendly and professional service.


Location: 99 Prince Street.

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Restaurant Week Dinner at PO


Po is a delightful little Italian restaurant tucked away on Cornelia Street in the West Village.  The vision for Po is simple: “A restaurant that serves fresh, simply prepared seasonal fare in a cozy and inviting neighborhood setting.” And this they have done.

After we were seated, we were served a nice chunk of bread with a side of olive oil, as well as complimentary white bean bruschetta– Sliced bread with white beans and more olive oil. Even though I’m not a huge fan of beans, this tasted quite good: Full of flavor, though very oily. I also loved the crispiness of the bread.


We ordered off the Restaurant Week Menu, which pretty much had the best dishes from the menu and even some that weren’t on the regular menu. I started off with the Sea Bass Ravioli, made with tomato sauce and scallion butter. I expected it to be a little more substantial, as the plate only came with 3 medium-sized ravioli pieces. It was also a little lacking in presentation. I thought it was decent. The sauce was light, and could definitely taste the sea bass which was the best part by far.

My entree was veal porcini ragu with fusili pasta, which was delicious. The veal was extremely tender, full of flavor and combined well with the porcini mushrooms. The fusili was cooked to perfection and there was just enough sauce to taste, but not overpower the distinct flavors of veal and porcini. Add to the dish some Parmesan and  a sprinkling of pepper to enhance the flavors, and voilà!


Next was dessert, which was dark chocolate terrine and drizzled with espresso caramel sauce. The terrine was delectable, with a strong flavor of amaretto and just melted in my mouth. I also loved the sweet smooth flavor of the caramel sauce to go with it. Overall, it was wonderfully rich and creamy. Almost too rich, with almost being the operative word. I still ate most of the chocolate terrine…


My friend was able to get the other dessert and luckily, shared some with me: Apple torta with vanilla gelato. Now, this dessert was amazing! I have always been a lover of chocolate, but this apple torta was even better than the dark chocolate terrine. The apple torta came to us warm, seemingly straight from the oven. The torta was  chewy, flaky, buttery and crisp all at once. The crust was caramelized and crisp, and had the distinct flavor of caramel. The vanilla gelato was the perfect companion: Creamy, smooth, and flavorful.


Despite my initial reservations, Restaurant Week Dinner at Po turned out to be a delightful experience with great food and pleasant service.

Address: 31 Cornelia Street.


Take advantage of NYC Restaurant Week: Winter 2013, which is from January 14 to February 8, 2013. This is when a ton of well known and usually quite expensive restaurants offer a special 3-course meal, which is $25 for lunch and $38 for dinner. Here’s a sampling of participating restaurants: 21 Club, Capital Grille, Le Cirque, Locanda Verde, Morimoto, Nobu, The Palm Court, Russian Tea Room, and Spice Market… And I’ve been to 5 of these (for past Restaurant Weeks.)

Stay tuned for upcoming Winter Restaurant Week reviews!

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Restaurant Week at Indochine

Indochine is a French-Vietnamese fusion restaurant nestled in the downtown NYU area, near Astor Place. While its exterior is quite simple, almost hidden, the interior is lovely, utilizing exotic-meets-tropical design elements such as Japanese box lights, palm trees painted onto the walls and a sleek tiled floor. It is dark, lit with candles and quite romantic.

The Restaurant Week menu was seriously appetizing, with plenty of choices for appetizers, a main dish, side and dessert. It was tough for me to choose which appetizer, but finally picked fried spring roll for myself. The spring rolls came with chicken, vegetables and glass vermicelli, with plenty of lettuce, carrots and pickled vegetable on the side. Spring rolls were very tasty, fried to perfection and full of flavor. I also got to try the steamed Vietnamese ravioli (looked more like a Vietnamese summer roll with the see-through wrap) which had chicken, shrimp, bean sprouts,  shiitake mushrooms, ricotta cheese which gave it an interesting flavor, but was still quite good.

As for the main dish, I choose the marinated hunger steak with daikon and taro shoestring fries, along with a side of sticky rice. I always get my steak well done, and will defy anyone who has a problem with that! The steak came already cut in bite-sized pieces, neatly atop the poached daikon with the taro fries sprinkled on top. The steak was delicious, little bursts of juicy tender flavor and the fries were crispy delights. The daikon underneath was fresh and light.

As for the side dish, I’ve always been a fan of sticky rice and this one was filled with yummy extras: Dried baby shrimp, shiitakes, and Vietnamese sausage. I would’ve enjoyed a little more sausage, but overall quite good.

There were only 2 choices for dessert, and none of them were chocolate so I wasn’t as excited about this course. I picked lemon tart, over  the pineapple and raspberry sorbet. It was decent, very lemony and tart with a side of what looked like creme fraiche.

It was a lovely meal, filled with fun conversation and much laughter.

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