This meal was $24: NYC Restaurant Week

5th February 2011

Hi. I’m in New York because Travelocity sent me for Restaurant Week. It is awesome.

Have you been to Restaurant Week? It’s this thing in New York where upscale restaurants offer prix-fixe menus for ludicrously low prices. They have it in San Francisco too, and I’ve never done it before. Because I am stupid.

Yesterday, I had lunch with some girlfriends in Brooklyn at the River Cafe. This was the view from our table.

I had the lamb meatballs, which were vanilla scented with a slight caramel aftertaste,

and the Boar Bolognese Papardelle,

and a trio of desserts.

All of it was $24.

Again, I am stupid for not having done this before. Even now, I’m only here because Travelocity sent me to New York to eat with their Roaming Gnome. I was kind of surprised about the amount of attention he attracted. Through the whole meal, people kept trying to interact with him. The waiter wanted him to taste the wine.

And then I had to be like, “Uh. He doesn’t talk… He’s made of resin?”

And then this woman came up and said, “Where’d you get that amazing hat?”

And then I was like, “Uhhh. He’s a statue? The hat is attached to him.”

But after a little champagne,

and then a little more champagne?

I started to understand.

He’s an amazing listener, and so well traveled. Plus, he was paying, so I kind of felt like I had to put out.

But he’s a gentleman. Our second date is dinner.

18 thoughts on “This meal was $24: NYC Restaurant Week

  1. Dana

    I love the River Cafe! When I was 7 my parents couldn’t find a babysitter so they had to take me to a business dinner there. I wore my very pink party dress and ate the sugared pink rose petals on my dessert. 29 years later it’s still one of my most memorable meals!

  2. Heather

    Denver’s restaurant week is at the end of this month — dinner for two is $52.80 (because it’s the mile-high city — ain’t they clever?).

  3. Meg

    WHAT? You didn’t mention you’d be eating with the Gnome. When you get back and you realize I’m not talking to you, just remember, it’s because now you’re so famous that you’re making me uncomfortable.

  4. Melanie

    We are just finishing up our equivalent event here in Vancouver (Canada). Dine-Out Vancouver runs for 2 weeks and features restaurants at 3 price points ($18, $28, $38) for a 3 course meal. They also added Dine-Out events this year including dinner & theatre nights, Mystery Tours, cooking classes, etc. It is amazing!

  5. Maureen

    In Toronto it’s called Winterlicious, or in my neighbourhood, Leslieville, it’s called Leslielicious.

  6. Kim

    Hmmm. Reading this while eating a Nicoise Salad that looked so pretty in the package. Now it tastes suspiciously like tuna on lettuce. Enjoy your week in the world of gastronomes. Jealous!

  7. Carrie

    My grandfather took me to the River Cafe when I was in the 8th grade. One of my all time favorite memories with him and it’s on my life list to go back! Looks like you had a fabulous time!

  8. Maggie Mason

    Clair, I don’t get to keep the gnome. The gnome actually has handlers, it’s a whole deal.

    Meg, the Gnome doesn’t eat. He’s a statue. But I did get to caress his pointy hat, which was a thrill.

  9. MFree

    My husband proposed to me on the pier after dinner at the river cafe back in 2000.. the chocolate bridge dessert was our choice that night as well. thanks for the images!

    oh and LA has a fabulous restaurant week that just finished last week. Definitely worth the trip down the coast.

  10. Angeline

    Can I ask a photo-geek question? Are the photos taken with all natural light or was there indoor light too? Do you know what setting the white balance was on? The food looks terrific and I can never get food photos to look quite right…

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