BLT Fish

BLT Fish NYC

Photo by BLT Fish

Address: 21 W. 17th St. (5th & 6th Ave.)

Link: http://www.e2hospitality.com/blt-fish-new-york/

Review: Located just steps from Union Square park in the Flatiron area sits another gem in this burgeoning neighborhood.  After a couple of happy hour drinks we looked around for some light and tasty dinner options.  Seafood sounded like a good choice and BLT Fish has a great selection.  We sat on the top floor in a cozy booth and began our feast under the skylight.  The only issue we had with the menu was that it was too big and everything looked too good!  We finally settled on some raw bar items and a bunch of smaller plates.  Oysters, crab legs, you name it…the boyfriend was feeling good after some post work cocktails and got a bit out of hand, ordering nearly everything he liked on the menu, and I didn’t object.  Each dish was a complete delight to the palate; though not the wallet.  You pay up for the beautiful and comfortable setting and the seemingly ocean to table freshness; but it’s definitely worth the price.

I Trulli

I Trulli NYC

Photo by Howard L.

Address: 122 E. 27th St. (Park & Lexington)

Link: http://www.itrulli.com/

Review: Just off of Park Ave. in Murray Hill sits an Italian gem complete with a fire place and back garden. It’s a nice respite from the cheap Bud Lights to the east and post work watering holes on Park.  I Trulli is a great spot for some tasty Italian with an extensive wine list of Italian wines.  We went here for Restaurant Week and were not disappointed in the least.  I had the 3 course option while the BF opted for 4 (we split the pasta dish).  The dishes were hearty with out feeling too rich – tasty crispy calzones and fresh lite salad followed by pasta in a rabbit ragù.  We each had some meat for the final course: healthy servings of pork milanese and short rib – both fantastic.  The desserts were both sweet and just what we needed to top off the meal.  The friendly service, warm decor and delicious cuisine make this a great spot to take a date for a nice night out.

il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

Photo by il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

Address: 53 Great Jones St. (Lafayette St. & Bowery)

Link: http://www.ilbucovineria.com/

Review: il Buco Alimentari & Vineria is the slightly more casual spin off on the nearby il Buco, but by no means is there a step down in flavor.  Seated at the bar in the back room we had a view into the open kitchen and were able to watch the bartenders do their thing while getting input and help on how to best pair their impressive wine list with what we ordered.  We had some house made ricotta that was melt in your mouth good and some meats from their market as well, but the focus of the meal was definitely the short rib, a piece of meat to be remembered – it was fall of the bone delicious.  The portion size was more than enough for two after some starters.  Though the service was a bit spotty and slow for some courses and the price tag isn’t too wallet friendly, it’s the amazing food that will have you coming back for more.

Mas (la grillade)

Mas (la grillade)

Photo by NYMag

Address: 28 7th Ave. S. (Leroy St. & Bedford St.)

Link: http://www.maslagrillade.com/home/

Review: Snuggled into the West Village, Mas (la grillade) is one of the true jewels of New York, a culinary gem with the service to match.  There are a limited amount of tables as it is a smaller place, but this allows diners to be doted on by many staffers moving about.  We went here for a romantic holiday dinner and were delighted with everything.  Ordering the 6 course chef’s tasting menu, we put our palettes in the hands of the culinary specialists in the kitchen.  From the amuse-bouche to the petifores, we were delighted with everything that was put in front of us.  Razor clams, salmon, mackerel, duck, steak and two kinds of desserts – it was like the chef new exactly what we wanted.  With a solid wine list for the discerning eye and hearty cocktails to warm you up – Mas lived up to expectations; but so did the bill.  If you are prepared to drop a bundle of cash, but have an off the charts experience, this is the place.

Gramercy Tavern

Photo by Gramercy Tavern

Address: 42 E. 20th St. (Broadway & Park Ave. S.)

Link: http://www.gramercytavern.com/

Review: Gramercy Tavern is an NYC classic. With the beautiful setting and perfectly executed dishes, it’s a must try for a special night out.  You have two options – sitting at the bar and eating a la carte off of the Tavern menu, or dining on the chef’s tasting menu.  We were able to walk right in and sit at the bar within 5 minutes.  The Tavern menu has great options – we had the oysters, duck liver mousse, pork and fennel sausage and the chicken.  For dessert we tried the strawberry pie with mint ice cream. Every dish was outstanding, so don’t think by sitting at the bar you are getting shafted in the least.  They also have great specialty cocktails and super friendly bartenders.  So if you’re looking to take your date out to some place really special, and are willing to shell out some extra cash, Gramercy Tavern should be at the top of your list.

 

Five Points

Photo by Victoria K.

Address: 31 Great Jones St. (Lafayette St. & Bowery)

Link: http://www.fivepointsrestaurant.com/

Review: Five Points is a great spot for happy hour.  They have good deals on both their refreshing cocktails and yummy small plates.  Their oysters were great! Super fresh and shucked perfectly. The pork shoulder hash was the highlight of the meal, and the waygu beef burger was delicious.  With their fresh decor and nice bar area, Five Points is a good place to meet up for some tasty food and drinks in an inviting setting.

David Burke Kitchen

Photo by David Burke Kitchen

Address: 23 Grand St. (Thompson St. & Avenue of the Americas)

Link: http://www.davidburkekitchen.com

Review: We had a great meal and a great time at David Burke Kitchen.  Went for Restaurant Week and they really embraced it.  Basically everything on their regular menu was available for the Restaurant Week prix fixe and the portions were very large, not typical of RW dishes.  From the appetizers to the desserts, everything was delicious and perfectly executed – the pretzel crab cake, tuna tartare tacos, lamb chops, buttermilk fried chicken, chocolate brownie island and strawberry shortcake parfait.  DB Kitchen is a trendy spot, it’s loud and lively but in a good way and the service was super friendly.  We definitely recommend David Burke Kitchen for a fun date night out in SoHo.

 

Telepan

Photo by Telepan

Address: 72 W. 69th St. (Columbus Ave. & Central Park W)

Link:   http://www.telepan-ny.com/

Review: We ventured out to Telepan on the Upper West Side for our first stop for Restaurant Week and were not disappointed.  We were greeted by a very cordial host who sat us at a nice corner table.  We decided to go with the three-course menu with the wine pairings to get the full experience.  Our waiter and the sommelier were both super friendly and helpful.  We had a tough time deciding which dishes to order since most of them looked fantastic and our waiter definitely made the right recommendations for us.  Each dish was executed extremely well and the wine pairings were spot on.  The sommelier was brief and to the point with his descriptions of the wines in a way that even a non-wino could understand, not rambling on and on like some sommeliers tend to do.  The portions were generous for a $35 pre fix; the pork and chicken dishes having a couple of different types of preparations on one plate.  We finished our meal off with a delicious and refreshing seasonal dessert of strawberry parfait, cream and prosecco.  The tab was pricey, but with the good food and sharp, friendly service, it was a price definitely worth paying for the experience. Snatch up a reservation for Restaurant Week while you still can!

Del Frisco’s Grille

Photo by Del Frisco’s Grille

Address: 50 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite H (50th & 51st St.)

Link:   http://delfriscosgrille.com/

Review: Del Frisco’s Grille has one of the better steaks you can get in NYC.  They also have amazing truffle mac and cheese and ahi tacos, and a decent cocktail/wine list.  During the week it’s generally populated by expense account types due to the high price tag of the items on the menu.  It can get noisy with the after work crowd and the atmosphere isn’t the most romantic, but for the price tag you’ll want to save it for a special dinner, ie. a job promotion or a really nice surprise for the steak lover in your life.

The NoMad Restaurant

Photo by The NoMad Hotel

Address: 1170 Broadway (27th & 28th St.)

Link: http://www.thenomadhotel.com/#/dining

Review: The NoMad is from the creators of Eleven Madison Park so based off reputation alone it is worth the visit. This is the type of place you take your significant other on special occasions. It’s cringe worthy tabs are justified as the meals are an event. At the NoMad you enjoy your perfectly prepared dishes surrounded by comfortable, dark, lush décor. We had a tough time deciding whether or not we should do the tasting menu but went with a la carte instead. The beef tartare and foie gras were insanely good, the duck and suckling pig were perfectly executed and the milk and honey dessert was a really interesting and delicious twist on dessert. On top of all that they have an awesome cocktail list with over 30 really unique and inventive cocktails created by Jessica Gonzalez of Death & Co. (one of our favorite cocktail lounges). AND, if you are looking for a little bit cheaper date option but the some of the same great eats and drinks, check out their Library Bar where you can get some of the smaller bites from the menu and all of the same great cocktails. This is without a doubt one of out favorite restaurant in NYC at the moment.