NYC Restaurant Week returns July 19 to August 22. And like the city itself, RW Summer Edition is in far better shape than RWWinter Edition, which saw a sharp drop in participants and was limited to takeout and delivery meals.
With more than 500 participants from all five boroughs, Summer RW2021 boasts two-course $21 lunches, two- or three-course $39 dinners and a freshly minted $125 Signature Dining Experience with three- or more courses. Takeout and delivery are options as is indoor/outdoor dining. The implicit message: restaurant dining is back. Check us out!
The story for hotel restaurants isn’t as rosy, much like the situation for NYC hotels. True, with 13 participants SummerRW modestly tops Winter RW’s meager eight-hotel line-up. But that’s a far cry from RW Summer 2019, when a record 48 hotel restaurants served up deals on meals — with pricier $26 lunches and $42 dinners, no less.
Some previous RW hotel restaurant participants didn’t survive the pandemic, notably Augustin at the Beekman, Cafe Boulud at the shuttered Surrey, Narcissa at Standard East, Sarabeth’s East at the shuttered Wales and The Wayfarer at the Quinn Central Park/Hilton Club.
Far longer is the list of past participants still listed as closed temporarily — Blue Fin at W Times Square, Bodega Negra at Dream Downtown, Clement at the Peninsula, Perrine at the Pierre, Gaby at the Sofitel, the Lambs Club at the Chatwal and Maialino Gramercy Park, to name a sampling. After 16 months, their future doesn’t look great.
Tourists are trickling back to New York, but the city’s hotels are still hurting. STR, a research firm specializing in hotel data, reported an occupancy rate of 62 percent for the 700,000 available hotel rooms in New York for the week of June 12, down from 88 percent in 2019. Yet to reopen were 82 hotels with about 25,000 rooms.
Even those hotels that are filling their rooms are losing money because rates are lower than pre-pandemic levels, averaging about $185 a night — not enough to be profitable.
This makes Summer 2021 a terrific time to help out the city and take advantage of agreeably priced hotels, visit The Met, MoMa and the Whitney in a (somewhat) less crowded environment and check out outdoor delights like Little Island and the clever alfresco dining options many RW hotels have created (you can always eat inside if it’s too hot).
Here’s the hotel restaurant line-up for Restaurant Week 2021, Summer Edition:
Ai Fiori at The Langham
Recipient of a Michelin star, Ai Fiori, Michael White’s handsome restaurant at the Langham on Fifth Avenue, serves up a $125 multi-course menu in their rooftop dining room.
Benjamin Steak House at the Dylan
Steps from Grand Central Station, the Benjamin Steak House occupies a Tudoresque setting with leather banquettes, a massive fireplace and a $39 three-course dinner.
Bistrot Leo at SIXTY SoHo
SoHo’s stylish French bistro at SIXTY SoHo serves a stylish two-course dinner for $39.
Bond 45 at the Edison Hotel
This enormous, Italian-ish, two-level endeavor does everything big including a three-course dinner for $39.
Dos Caminos at the W Times Square
Commanding two floors in the W Times Square tower, Dos Caminos offers three-course Mexican-inflected dinners for $39.
Friedmans Theater District at the Edison Hotel
The Theater District outpost of Friedmans, a small New York City chain of American restaurants known for gluten-free pancakes, waffles and fried chicken at the Edison, serves a $21 lunch and a $39 dinner.
Lorenzo’s Restaurant, Bar & Cabaret at Hilton Garden Inn New York/Staten Island
Staten Island’s only hotel restaurant to check in for RW offers a three-course $39 dinner.
Nice Matin at The Lucerne Hotel
The Lucerne remains closed after a stint as a homeless shelter, but plucky Nice Matin a dependable Upper West Side French bistro, is serving up two-course RW dinners for $39.
North Square Restaurant & Lounge at the Washington Square Hotel
This comfortable, multi-culture cuisine restaurant in Greenwich Village’s Washington Square Hotel offers a $21 two-course menu, available for lunch or dinner.
Scarpetta at The James New York-NoMad
Scarpetta, the sophisticated Italian restaurant at The James New York-NoMad, observes Restaurant Week with a $125 multi-course menu.
Society Cafe at the Walker Hotel Greenwich Village
Market-to-table ingredients distinguish the three-course $39 dinner at Society Cafe, the stylish, New American restaurant behind the lobby at Society Cafe.
Standard Grill at the Standard Hotel
Located on the ground floor of the Standard Hotel, this New American steakhouse in the Meatpacking District marks RW 2021 with a two-course $21 lunch.
Tao Downtown at the Maritime
Tao Downtown, the atmospheric, subterranean restaurant-cum-nightclub in the basement of Chelsea’s Maritime Hotel, offers a $39 dinner.