New York Restaurant Week is coming round again next month (January 24–25 and January 28–February 1), and today the reservation lines open up. We’ve always loved the whole concept, even though at some restaurants you get a simplified menu that may not do the place justice. But what’s great about the deal ($24.07 for lunch, $35 for dinner) is the chance it gives you to try places you might not otherwise get to if you had to pay full fare. Who rolls the dice when they know they’re looking at dropping two bills at the end of the meal? But at these prices, you can afford to see where you stand on places you may only have read about. Think of it as an introductory trial offer. We would recommend the following:
It’s 4 p.m., and that means it’s time to play Two for Eight. We just asked ten restaurants the best time they can squeeze a couple in for dinner; you need only make your chosen reservation. (As always, we make the calls but don’t guarantee the results.) Today: Gourmet Italian.
We’re taking the loss of the spaghetti-slurping Soprano family hard, but comfort, in the form of an ultrarare specimen of Northern Italian wine, is at hand. Lambrusco, a sparkling wine from a red grape of the same name, comes from Emilia-Romagna, where its refreshing effervescence cuts the richness of hearty regional dishes. Until recently, a méthode champenoise variety — fermented in the bottle, that is, like Champagne — was not known to have been poured in New York, let alone stocked on shelves.