Winter Restaurant Week 2013! It's HERE!

rest week winter It's that time of year again! It only happens twice every year...and it's when all of us humble humans have the chance to dine in some of the City's best restaurants on the super-cheap*! As of right now there are 317 restaurants OFFICIALLY participating in this year's winter restaurant week with several more that are offering their own unofficial deals that are as good, if not better than the official ones.

What are these deals I speak of? You get a 3-course meal for $25 at lunch and $38 dollars at dinner at one of these great participating establishments, where such a menu will regularly range from $30-100 or more! Some of these are your neighborhood spots, but the ones I suggest that you check out during this very special time are those that are usually booked up and out of budget!

A lot of the best deals are found at lunch--like your $25 meal at Gotham Bar & Grill or Cafe Boulud or Delmonico's. But you can still score a pretty nice dinner deal at places like Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle's Perilla, the famed Palm Restaurant, or our former speakeasy '21' Club.

Some of these restaurants offer great deals for wine or other drink pairings as well, which I would definitely take advantage of if you can--for some reason most people don't, but let me tell you...the house wine at Dovetail is MUCH better than your average house wine, and TOTALLY worth the extra $18 split between two people...but hey, not everyone can have wine with lunch, so I guess I get it? No I don't!

Whatever your preferred cuisine, you're surely able to find something that fits your taste. There are participants in all five boroughs and beyond!

The name is slightly deceiving as is more like Restaurant MONTH...the official dates are: Jan 14th-Feb 8th, with many of them extending into weeks beyond that...possibly into March. Just note that not all restaurants offer both lunch and dinner and most of them are for the weekdays only. You can check out the details for Restaurant Week at NYCGo. Or you can make reservations through OpenTable at those participating restaurants.

Of course, if you're not in NYC during this time...you can always come back for Summer Restaurant Week in July/August. Otherwise...why wouldn't you take advantage?!

*I know that some of you out there will say that $25 for lunch isn't cheap, even for NYC...but I'm not talking about a slice of pizza or a bagel or hot dog. If that's what you want, then you should go to your regular joint, or ask your nearest local for their favorite. If you would like to have a nice sit-down meal for lunch or dinner, at a restaurant you can't typically afford...then this is SUPER-CHEAP. For example, if you chose to eat at Gotham Bar and Grill without the deal, your lunch could total $51 before tax, tip and beverage for: A Mixed Green Salad, Gotham Burger, Ice Cream/Sorbet. And those are the CHEAPEST items on the menu. So, if 50% off or more isn't super cheap for a 3-star restaurant...then I beg you to tell me what is.

pizzaYeah, now I want some pizza for lunch.