I made a ton of reservations for Restaurant Week this summer. It’s not even over yet, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s. I ended up dining at 7 restaurants, and following are 3 that were just amazing, and in my opinion are musts, being that they’re among the culinary elite of New York.

Gotham Bar and Grill

This New York gem is located in Greenwich Village. Owned by Executive Chef Alfred Portale, I dons a Michelin Star and serves beautiful New American Cuisine. It has numerous James Beard Awards, and should be on top of every foodie’s go-to-list, Restaurant Week or not.

Of course I brought my lovely daughter along, and we were definitely excited. The restaurant is a few stairs down, sunken, sunny (even on that rainy day it seemed), and just beautiful. Our first course consisted of Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with compressed melon, cucumber, Thai basil and marcona almond, and Cured Atlantic Salmon with wheat berry salad, radish and a calamansi lime emulsion. Being that those were mostly flavors we never indulged in, we were swooning in our chairs. The second course was equally impressive. Sasha chose the Campanelle Pasta with heirloom tomato, capers, olives, basil and ricotta cheese, while I went with the Duck Breast with polenta, roasted black plum and Tokyo turnip duck sauce. We were loving every bite of it. For dessert I indulged in a Vanilla Parfait, paired with fresh blueberries and lemon sorbet. My daughter chose the Gotham Chocolate Cake, served with salted almond ice cream. Every bite of this lunch was exquisite, which makes this a must for Restaurant Week.

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ABC Kitchen

ABC Kitchen is one of Jean Georges Vongerichten’s upscale eateries, housed in a building together with an ABC carpet store. Sounds strange? Don’t worry, it’s beautiful. It’s busy and bustling, yet soft and pretty. Jean George is a well known French chef who has countless Michelin Stars and James Beard Awards, and so do his restaurants. He is amongst the crème de la crème of the chefs of the world. Do not skip this restaurant during Restaurant Week…..

Another lunch with my darling daughter, and this was one to remember. From the sophisticated menu we chose our starters: Shaved Raw Fluke with horseradish, celery root and lemon for me, Kale Salad with lemon, Serrano chiles and mint for Sasha. Needless to say, both were mouthwatering. Next up was an Angel Hair Pasta for me, made with saffron, jalapeños and ricotta. This dish was spicy and delicious, just outstanding. Sasha’s next move was a Grilled Portobello sandwich combined with Parmesan cheese, jalapeños and rosemary mayo. She totally loved it, and after a bite, I could only agree. We closed out this lunch with a plate of cookies and an order of Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae topped with candied peanuts, popcorn, whipped cream and hot fudge. Holy smokes, what an incredible dessert.

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Fung Tu

I hope this message reaches you in time! This restaurant is closing within a couple of weeks, so now is the time to make reservations. Even though it will reopen…. This modern Chinese restaurant serves classic Chinese food with an American twist, and from all the places I visited during restaurant week, this was hands down my favorite. Chef Jonathan Wu, restauranteurs Wilson Tang (of Nom Wah Tea Parlor) and John Wells hit it out of the park with this one. It will eventually (hopefully late September) reopen as Nom Wah Tu. But don’t wait…

Candle lit and cozy, this friendly eatery was just what I needed after a long day that Tuesday, my daughter and I were excited about the menu, this one offered an extra snack, Bok Choi with shrimp pasta for Sasha, and Seitan Manchuri with pickled cauliflower and Thai Bird Chilies. I had never heard of most of these ingredients, but they worked excellently. At this point we were served a little complimentary dish of Jelly Fish with Cucumber and Strawberries. No, this is not a typo. I hesitantly tried it, and it was interesting…  Following were the Scallion Pancakes with clam cream, steamed clams, bacon and chilies, as well as a Pork Belly Egg Roll with citrus aioli. These had me checking my September schedule for a return visit. Just instantly addictive. The Entrees were Yellow Noodles with Clams in a black bean sauce, and an order of Fried Chicken with Lap Cheong Gravy and a garlic-chive biscuit. Now this had me clearing my September schedule….  The desserts were the cherry on top: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ganache Balls, and Mango-Coconut Tapioca Pudding with berries. This was truly great.

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As Restaurant Week is coming to a close, and I am looking forward to my trip to New Orleans this weekend, I am filled with gratitude for being able to live this amazing life right here in New York City, visiting all these amazing places with my children and my friends. It just doesn’t get better than this. Or does it?

Until next time!