Angelina is a lifestyle blogger and freelance writer from New York. She is an adventure-seeking, travel enthusiast with a love for margaritas and learning about new places. She is the go-to girl for what to do and when to do it!
Monday kicked off the start of Restaurant Week in New York City, and it’s a great time for foodies and connoisseurs to make their way over to new and old restaurants alike. Whether it’s a restaurant that just opened, one that you’ve been dying to try, or a classic favorite you enjoy visiting time and time again, Restaurant Week offers a great excuse to get out during the week and enjoy a delicious and slightly-less expensive meal.
If you’re not familiar with how Restaurant Week works, it’s essentially a prix-fixe lunch or dinner menu including one appetizer, one entrée and one dessert per person for a fixed price of $25 (lunch) or $38 (dinner). Restaurants may also offer a special Restaurant Week cocktail or wine selection for a price slightly lower than normal. Most often this special menu is only available on certain days of the week and usually excludes the weekend, typically available Sunday through Thursday. Sometimes you can find a restaurant who will offer the specials on the weekend, since not everyone can make it out to dinner mid-week.
While many restaurants are known for serving smaller plates and portions when you order off the Restaurant Week menu, the well-known restaurant China Grill was a nice surprise when it served full plates. They even took it a step further to include a shared side order in their prix-fixe menu, on top of the apps, entrees and dessert.
The food alone at China Grill is absolutely spectacular. Although the tastiest items on the menu incurred an additional charge by a few extra dollars, it is certainly worth it. Start your meal with the Lobster Pancakes; thin crepe-style pancakes stuffed with pieces of lobster and vegetables, and topped with a lobster bisque-like sauce. The Crackling Calamari Salad is another must-get from the appetizer selection, and will not disappoint to any degree.
Both the Drunken Chicken and the Skirt Steak are solid entrée options, and the healthy portions will not leave you hungry. Add a side of wok sautéed vegetables or wasabi mashed potatoes and your meal will be complete. But it’s the dessert that you absolutely must leave room for.
While there are only two options on the Restaurant Week dessert menu, and one involves an additional $8.00 charge, it is way worth the extra $8.00 to get the famous Bananas in a Box dessert than to settle for the included Chef’s Signature Selection. While the Chef’s selections did nothing to wow (with an okay slice of chocolate cake, two crunchy cookies and some small scoops of (tasty) ice cream), the Bananas in a Box was a dessert you would write home about. An edible, rectangular “box” that is sweet and crunchy and filled with bananas and cream. If you like anything similar to bananas foster, you will love this dessert.
And what would a dinner in New York City be without a fancy cocktail? The Mango Sake Sangria is so delicious, you will have to refrain from guzzling it down in minutes. A Restaurant Week menu that surely deserves 5 stars for presentation, freshness, taste and unique flavor combinations that tantalize the taste buds.
A few hiccups from an inattentive waiter who forgot to put a dessert order in is all that didn’t go smoothly when dining at China Grill. But with food, décor and ambiance that truly impress, China Grill is a solid option for Restaurant Week, as they really know how to wow the crowd and treat your taste buds to an Asian adventure. Eat up and take advantage of Restaurant Week in New York City, going on now through August 14.