Restaurant Week is here! Twice a year we get to indulge at minimal cost. For about 4 weeks I’ll be dining (and lunching) out at some of these amazing NYC restaurants. A 2-course lunch is $26 dollars, a 3-course dinner is $42 dollars. So if you ask me what I’m doing, chances are: I’m out to eat. This summer I’ve decided to visit all three of Tom Colicchio’s restaurants here in New York. As you should know by now, he’s the head judge of the Top Chef tv show on Bravo. He owns several restaurants around the country, is a seasoned chef himself and is an all around fantastic entrepreneur.

All his restaurants are Farm to Table in NYC, and they all are without exception stunning establishments, while the service is impeccable without being stuffy. All in all, his restaurants are beautiful from the design to the plating of the food, no detail is overlooked.

Craft

Craft is located in the Flatiron District, it is spacious and luxurious, beautiful and rustic. Sunny during the day, romantically lit at night, the bustling staff is on alert at all times, while remaining friendly and down to earth. Large farm style tables (some of which actually can be enlarged) allow for large groups and families to dine in comfort, which in and of itself is a luxury in Manhattan.

Their lunch menu was their every day menu this Restaurant Week, the price having been adjusted. I chose the Beet Salad with rye berries, goat cheese and mint leaves. It was super fresh. I followed with a Crispy Pork Belly with heirloom tomatoes, purslane and Thai basil. Pork Belly is probably my favorite thing to eat, so I’m quite critical, and I’m happy to report that this one was perfectly cooked, crispy and delicious with the perfect sides to balance the saltiness. I left happy.

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Temple Court

Temple Court is located in lower Manhattan inside the Beekman Hotel. This is without question the most beautiful of his restaurants. Maybe all of New York. It is breathtaking. Mosaic glass windows, chandeliers, plush seating accompanied by dark woods inside this restored restaurant and bar room leave you gasping for air, as you admire the atrium built in 1883. You are engulfed by a feeling of luxury and old age charm.

The menu was also their every day menu, the price being adjusted for restaurant week. My appetizer was Basil Pesto Gnudi made of ricotta with fingerling potatoes and haricots vests. The main course was Black Bass with summer squash, mussels and a saffron sauce that was poured table side. Do I have to say it? Yes. It was just as beautiful and tasteful as everything else in this amazing place.

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Riverpark

Riverpark is located in Kips Bay in Manhattan (to our new New Yorkers that’s all the way on the east side in the 20’s and 30’s). It is right by the water, separated by the FDR Drive, looking over the East River into Queens. To get to the restaurant you walk through the lobby of the Alexandria Center, just follow the stunning staircase and make a right. The dining room is lit by hundreds of little ceiling lamps, giving you a feeling of a starlit sky. Outside seating offers a great view, and there is a garden next to the restaurant that actually grows some of the vegetables served in your food. Farm to table in minutes!

My Restaurant Week lunch consisted of a Maple Brook Farms Burratini with prosciutto crumble, cantaloupe and fennel granola, and Braised Brisket with grilled leeks, heirloom squash, confit marble tomatoes and salsa verde. I needed a much, much larger portion of the brisket, because, quite frankly, I didn’t want to stop eating. It was heavenly.

For more info click here

For more info on Restaurant Week click here