New York City’s Restaurant Week Returns for Its ‘Winter Outing’

New York City’s popular Restaurant Week is returning from Jan. 17 until Feb. 12 for its fourth annual “Winter Outing,” a way to lure visitors and locals out and about in the chilly weather even after the holiday season has ended. The event spotlights more than 460 restaurants from all over Gotham, including 57 Wine Spectator 2022 Restaurant Award recipients, from Grand Award winners like Nice Matin and Tribeca Grill to neighborhood joints with standout wine lists. Reservations for the specially priced meals are available starting Jan. 10.

“The fourth quarter is historically the most active period of the year, and with the city expecting a total of 56.4 million visitors at the end of 2022, we want to keep up the momentum with the return of NYC Winter Outing,” Fred Dixon, president and CEO of tourism organization NYC & Company, said in a statement. The seasonal event “brings exceptional deals across the five boroughs—from world-class dining and culture to sophisticated hotel accommodations and spectacular Broadway performances.”

Restaurant Week gives diners the opportunity to visit restaurants that are new to them at a lower cost of entry through curated prix fixe menus, sometimes offered with optional wine pairings. Participating restaurants can choose to offer two-course lunches, Sunday brunch and/or three-course dinners priced at $30, $45 or $60, depending on the starters and entrées the chef selects to provide a sampling of the overall dining experience.

Some restaurants, like Indian fine-dining Best of Award of Excellence winner Junoon in the Flatiron District, have been a part of Restaurant Week for decades and look forward to the Winter Outing as a way to reset after a hectic holiday season and to keep busy during a historically “dead” period for restaurants. “It’s a good way to start off the year, where you’ll meet many new guests, create an experience for them and make them a regular for the rest of the year,” says Hemant Pathak, Junoon’s general manager. “And it’s good to have a new set of people who can have a taste of Junoon at a comfortable price for themselves.”

For Luis Rivera, beverage director at Best of Award of Excellence winner Marta, which specializes in Roman-style pizzas, the diners that come during Restaurant Week are some of the more experimental ones. While they may have found the restaurant through NYCGo’s online Restaurant Week search tool, they’ve done the research and aren’t afraid to ask questions.

“I think they definitely lean a little bit more on the servers, asking what’s popular and ‘This is our first time, what should we really get?’” says Rivera. “There’s a lot more interaction when it comes to Restaurant Week versus our regular clientele. Marta’s a very simple place; we tend to have people that come in and visit us, you know, once a week, maybe even a couple times a week, just for a quick margherita pizza and a cocktail at the bar. Those people are very much creatures of habit. I feel that people are a bit more exploratory during Restaurant Week.”

[article-img-container][src=2023-01/restaurantweek2023_templecourt_1600.jpg] [credit= (Jose Portillo)] [alt= Sommelier pouring glases of wine in the Temple Court dining room, with the restaurants stained glass window in the background][end: article-img-container]

With the influx of open-minded guests, wine directors are looking to show off the depth and range of their cellars, as well as to pour more eclectic options that they think deserve the spotlight. Isabella Fitzgerald, beverage director of chef-restaurateur Tom Colicchio’s Temple Court, has selected 20 different wines to pour alongside the winter tasting menu, with the special Restaurant Week wine list presented to each customer. “I think that it helps as a conversation starter, because…

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