I think that winter got mad at me for my last three posts since it made me so sick last week I couldn't even stay awake, let alone write! Luckily I felt better on Friday and was able to enjoy NYC's Winter Restaurant Week twice in one day. Today I saw that, as expected, the deals were extended until February 27th. This happened with the last Restaurant Week that ended up lasting almost two months.
Here's the deal. Three courses for lunch, $24.07 and three courses for dinner, $35. Hundreds of restaurants participate and you are able to get a nice sampling of their menus for much less than you would normally pay. For lunch on Friday, a few of us from work took a nice long lunch and went to Tamarind in Tribeca (99 Hudson Street). Tamarind is an Indian "fusion" restaurant with another location on 22nd and Park.
Tamarind's "Restaurant Week" menu is actually also their "Executive Lunch" menu at a 43 cent discount. The menu changes every few weeks but you do get one appetizer, two selections for the entree, and a dessert. My picks (as copied from the menu):
- Murg Chaach Tikka - Chicken breast marinated in tandoori spices, buttermilk, goat cheese, cardamom and coriander, spicy mint and tomato chutney
- Hari Chaampe Aur Benarasi Aloo - Tandoori lamb chops marinated in hung yogurt, green onions, jalapenos and oregano, spicy potatoes with fennel, mustard and cumin seeds, peach and pineapple chutney
- Assamese Niharu Jhinga - King prawns marinated in garlic, yogurt, parsley, lemon zest, on a betel nut leaf, dill, yogurt and cucumber chutney
- Leeche Kulfi
Everyone at the table also got fried okra (delicious and my first sample of okra!), basil naan, spicy potatoes and chickpeas (oh and hot hand towels - which I love). I enjoyed the prawn more than the lamb which I thought was nothing special, but others at the table liked the lamb better and wished they had two instead of prawns at all. But I thought everything else was really good and they really take care of you there, so we will probably come here again for the Executive Lunch even though we will have to scrape up the extra 43 cents.
For dinner, after a two-week long g-mail chain, a decision for Italian food, and reservations made at two different Italian restaurants, my friends and I somehow instead ended up at Maya (65th and 1st), a modern Mexican restaurant. I decided to go off the Restaurant Week menu and ordered:
- Margarita Maya - el jimador blanco, tamarind fruit, citrus juices
- A scallops appetizer that is not in the current online menu but was AMAZING
- Pechuga Adobada - adobo marinated grilled chicken breast, huitlacoche (which, when googled, came up as "corn smut?!") dumplings (mmmm), warm pico de gallo, cilantro pesto
- CHURROS (discussed below)
So the downside to Maya was that the service was pretty terrible, roomie's soup came out cold, and our table was really just plywood on a stand. The upside was that it ended up being one of the best four-hour dinners I've had in the city both because of the company and the food. Every single person but me finished every bite and every spoonful of sauce on their plates. I have so much trouble eating everything that I want to, but that just means I got to enjoy my chicken today again for dinner. I wish I got to enjoy the dessert again too...
THE CHURROS WERE SO ADORABLE! Obsessing a little here, but these were not your typical UTES-style taco-day cafeteria churros, and even those I think are really good. My favorite part about them was the mini cups of caramel dipping sauce and hot chocolate! I mean look how cute you can look whilst indulging:
The maraschino cherry on the day was definitely our cabride back. Our cab driver told us he knew every single country in the world's capital so we tested him with as many countries as we could think of and he got all of them! We even threw in some hard ones (for us) like Montenegro, Trinidad and Tobago, and Canada. THEN he quizzed us on state capital trivia all the way back to our apartment! Four state capitals named after presidents? Four states capitals that start with the same letter as the state? We pretty much got into Ca$h Cab but instead of being paid, we had to pay the game show host. Maybe next time we will get the real Ben Bailey.