In a time when we’re all at our wit’s end with this cold, snowy, rainy mess, we feel OK splurging on a few good meals—especially since we spent most of the past few months hibernating. We heard NYC Restaurant Week say, “Come on out hungry bears. We’re here to fill you up and get you ready for Spring.” Naturally, we listened. And. Ate. Up.
Here were some of our favorites dishes during NYC Restaurant Week Winter 2015.
Dinner at Bar Primi
The restaurant that glorifies the most important dish of all— the pasta! Taking what Italians call the first dish “primi piati” and making it the center of their menu, the folks at Bar Primi know how to create the perfect ambiance for carb-loading. Not only is the inside of the restaurant cozy and warm, but so is the food.
Although the pasta got us in the door for for NYC Restaurant Week, it was the homemade ricotta crostini appetizer, $10, that really impressed. And for a place known for its truly glorious pasta, this was a bittersweet realization.
Topped with ricotta was hazelnut, truffled honey, and rosemary (UH, YUM) the crostini appetizer summon three simple words: Flavorful, creamy, and refreshing. Combined with the freshness of the ricotta, it is an imaginative and truly surprising flavor profile that you otherwise may not have seen coming. For so many distinguished flavors, this appetizer defines the meaning of harmony.
Although Bar Primi’s strozzapreti (a similar shape to cavatelli) pasta dish, $18, was fresh and quite delicious, it sadly fell short of that “OMG” factor. Maybe simple was what they were going for, but the dish was lacking in flavor and had us reminiscing about the first course. The mushroom and marsala ragu definitely added that earthy flavor, which is used a lot during the winter, but it was too subtle and underwhelming.
Even the octopus appetizer with fingerling potatoes and red hot peppers was more impressive and creative than the pasta, which is to be appreciated — but makes for another disappointment at a “pasta place”.
Lunch at Boulud Sud
We found more pasta at Chef Baniel Boulud’s Mediterranean-inspired, Boulud Sud and Executive Chef, Travis Swikard did not disappoint. With similar flavors as Bar Primi’s strozzapreti, it was the pesto at the base of the dish that tied in what was missing from the former.
Not to be overshadowed by the main, there was plenty of ‘oooh’s and ‘ahh’s withBoulud Sud’s modern dessert. Rose panna cotta with pistachio gelato and sponge cake was the perfect cleanse of the palate to end a large lunch.
Dinner at Lido in Harlem
Taking a break from the cold on a miserable rainy night, dinner at Lido is Harlem is a must when you’re craving something cozy— which was exactly the case in our stopover during Restaurant Week.
Lido has happy hour at the bar every day from 5:30-7:30— red wine please! Wondering what our favorite entrée was? The pasta do you say? Why yes, the spinach tortellini with sage pesto, roasted butternut squash and walnuts, $18, confirmed yet again that simple wins the race…and our slow and steady eating made it even better. (Isn’t that what they say?) These flavors were the perfect wintry mix, and the pasta itself had the perfect dough to filling ratio.
Appetizers were a nice start to the meal, but none were extraordinary. Lido’s pasta was the true star of this meal. Shown here is the butternut apple soup, arugula salad with roasted pear, parmesan shavings, and walnuts, $12, and a homemade organic ricotta crostino with sautéed crimini, deep fried sage and truffle oil, $9.
It is worth mentioning that the salad stood out among its fellow apps, contributing something unique with flavors lacking on other Restaurant Week menus. The pears were caramelized just enough to bring out the sweetness against the peppery arugula.
So that’s a wrap for NYC Restaurant Week Winter 2015. Check out more pics on the Girl Meets Food New York Istagram account. What were your faves? Share with us below in the comments, so we know where to start prepping for NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2015.
In the meantime, here’s where to find these restaurants:
One Lincoln Plaza
20 West 64 Street
2168 Frederick Douglass Blvd.