“Life in New-York is too expensive” and “Americans don’t eat healthy at all” are maybe the two prejudices that we have the most heard before arriving in New York. As we are fond of good food, we were quite afraid to have to spend a lot of money to discover American culinary practices and to eat other things than fast food. That is why we have decided to find plans to eat better and cheaper. After an extensive research, Restaurant Week appeared to be the best solution to achieve this objective. (See the Website : http://www.nycgo.com/restaurant-week) However, as a foreigner, it’s quite difficult to find this event because most of the time, it’s a word of mouth process. There is only few advertising for this special week and it was important for us to share with you our experience during this wonderful event.
What is the restaurant week?
First of all, and despite what you may think, the Restaurant Week lasts in fact two weeks (January, 23rd to February, 10th in 2017)- and the date remains quite the same each year. It’s a semiannual promotion that celebrates fine dining at an affordable price. It implies around three hundred gastronomic restaurants spread out in New York City. During this period, you can eat in this type of restaurant for a fixed price whatever for lunch, around $29 or for dinner, around $42. For this price, you would enjoy an appetizer (first course), an entrée (main course) and a dessert. Usually, in most restaurants, you would only expect a first course or a main course for this price ! The most interesting aspect for us in this event was to discover a variety of food from many cultures such as American of course but also Italian, Greek, Indian, Chinese… It doesn’t only provide a high quality of food, but also high-flying services that you are not used to.
And what about our experience?
As we are very professional students, we have decided to experience this concept. So, we have selected two different restaurants: “Tavern62 by David Burke” and “The Empire Steak House”.
The first one is a modern American Tavern located in the Upper East Side, Manhattan. David Burke is a several times decorated chef with honors. We have discovered with pleasure very creative and tasty recipes. We were really surprised, first by the perfect plate presentation, then by an unknown association of tastes, but also by the high quality of services provided by the waiters. For instance, whatever quantity of water you drink, your glass is always full thanks to the reactivity of restaurant staff.
The second one is a worldwide restaurant located in the Upper East Side. This restaurant is focused on the finest cuts of steak, the freshest seafood and the best selection of wine. The atmosphere was incredible and very luxurious as you can see on the photography. Moreover, the amount of food in the plate was quite important compared to French gastronomic restaurants. Once again, waiters were very warm and paid attention to our needs, providing a lot of advices and transparency concerning restaurant’s products.
For both restaurants, food was incredible. We are not experts in culinary critics but we can just advice you to discover it by yourself!
To conclude, Restaurant Week is a real opportunity to discover another way to eat premium food at an affordable price for students. We were really enjoyed by this concept which allowed us to enter in the high-end gastronomy world. So, if you have, one day in your life, the opportunity to travel or even study in this beautiful town during the last week of January or the first week of February, you know henceforth that it’s possible to sit and live a real experience in a starred-restaurant! Enjoy your meal
By Boris NOAZIM and Lilian FAURE