45 Tudor City Pl., New York, NY 10017; 212-599-5045
A bargain is a relative thing. Five juicy Chinatown fried pork dumplings for a dollar is a great deal, but so—at the other end of the spectrum—is Scott Conant’s four-course $49 prix fixe at L’Impero. In contrast to those restrictive prix fixe menus that limit your choices to humdrum chicken or salmon for simpletons, the entire menu is yours for the picking: Choose an appetizer (truffle-scented mushroom fricassee with polenta, say), a pasta (we’re partial to the duck-and-foie-gras agnolotti and the deeply satisfying spaghetti), a main course (roasted baby goat is the house specialty), and dessert (repeat after us: sesame-seeded baklava). A few of the pricier items carry a supplement, but if you start feeling guilty, economize with a $9 carafe of house wine. Chances are you’ll learn something—partner Chris Cannon finds some really interesting, unfamiliar labels, rotating them almost every day. Bet you didn’t bargain on that..
Best Bargain Prix Fixe
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).