This year is the celebration of 20 years of the venerable NYC Restaurant Week. It is almost a month-long festivity this time and there are 10 more days left. NYC Restaurant Week is extended from July 16–August 10, with 20-plus days of three-course prix-fixe dining, featuring $24.07 lunch and $35.00 dinner at more than 300 restaurants.
As the country’s first-ever restaurant week, it debuted in 1992 when it was developed as a one-time culinary event to welcome the Democratic National Convention (DNC) to the City. Although the original prices were under $20 for a 3-course lunch or dinner, it still can’t be beat. American Express has a deal going if you register and pay with your card four times; you automatically get a credit of $20 back. Sign up on Foursquare and get a $5 credit each time you spend over $30 at all Restaurant Week venues.
Last week, I took advantage of a few places, but Park Avenue Summer stood out amongst the best of the best. Boring fine dining has seen it’s day, but this restaurant seems to offer both white tablecloth service in a fun, hip environment. The venue changes name with the 4 seasons, followed by Fall, Winter and Spring – as does the menu, so it is always interesting and fresh. Here are your choices for the Lunch and Dinner Restaurant Week menu.
Tomato & Watermelon Gazpacho, Avocado Spring Roll
Roasted Baby Beets, Lemon-Poppy & Kunik Goat Cheese
Cured Lemon Caesar Salad
Mussels & Squid Ink Pasta, Red Curry Fra Diavolo
Crispy Soft Shell Crab, Avocado, Strawberry, Passion Fruit ($5 supplement)
Free Range Chicken, Summer Squash, Romesco
Grilled Rainbow Trout, Kale, Lemon Aioli, White Anchovies
Organic Scottish Salmon,
Crispy Taro & Cucumber Salad Potato Gnocchi, Sweet Corn, Summer Truffles
Lobster Salad, Ginger Pickled Plums, Barley ($10 Supplement)
Lemon grass Panna Cotta, Watermelon & Strawberries
Chilled Praline Parfait, Chocolate Crumbs & Caramel
Creme Fraiche Cheese Cake Mousse, Blueberries & Lemon Semolina Cake
House made Ice Creams & Sorbets
Standouts include the Beet Salad, Gazpacho, Trout, Lobster Salad and Praline Parfait. Of course that is my opinion and nice that they have many options. On Sunday evenings during the summer they offer a festive “Paella & Rosé” menu designed by Chef Kevin Lasko. This includes a Garden Salad or Tomato & Watermelon Gazpacho for starters. Hamptons Paella with Maine Lobster, Native Corn, Prawns, Mussels & Chicken. As well as a glass of Summer Rose vinted by Lieb Cellars on Long Island’s North Fork. All for $45 per person, extended through August 26th.
While you wait for your table, enjoy cocktails at the Vodka Bar, which encourages a unique make-it-yourself selection of summer drinks. Enjoy the architecture and design in the restaurant environment, brought to you by Michael Stillman, who also created interiors for Public and Stanton Social.
The Townhouse adjacent to Park Avenue has an identity all of its own. Designed to be a Pied à Terre on the Upper East Side, this luxurious space can be yours for any private occasion. Actually, it’s perfect for weddings, seating up to 50 guests for dinner or 65 for a cocktail reception. Within the Townhouse there is an “Archive Room” that seats up to 75 guests or 95 for a reception. As well as the “Kitchen Table” – in which 10 guests can enjoy an intimately designed dinner by Chef Craig Koketsu in an open kitchen setting.
While there are over 300 restaurants to choose, Park Avenue Seasons stands out all year long, from dinging with friends a venue perfect to host special events.