I mentioned earlier this year that Restaurant Week occurs twice a year in NYC. It gives the plebes 😉 an opportunity to try restaurants that we may not try out otherwise. As I am on a graduate student’s salary, I like Restaurant week. This time around my friends and I visited two restaurants- “The Red Rooster” for lunch and “Smith and Wollensky” for dinner. To say that these restaurants are complete opposites of each other is an understatement. I really liked that though because it gave me the chance to try out different flavors and styles of cooking.
“The Red Rooster” is located in Harlem. Harlem in itself requires a trip of its own. It is very culturally different from the rest of the city, so it is worth getting out there just to soak some of that up. Since this restaurant is located in Harlem, it was nice to just get out of the UES. “The Red Rooster” is owned by Marcus Samuelsson, who you may know from the Food Network (at least that is where I knew him from) and Top Chef. When we chose this, I didnt really know much about the restaurant, but I was pleasantly surprised by their menu and decor. The decor is very vibrant and busy. By busy, I mean that there is a lot of art on the walls. This gives it such a nice feel because I love art. There is always something to look at or a painting to stare at. This makes the restaurant feel alive and have a character of its own. The food was phenomenal. We ordered some things from the regular menu and had the restaurant week menu as well. The appetizer we had was the shrimp and calamari hot rice and it was incredibly delicious. I just couldn’t get enough of it. For the restaurant week menu we had the gazpacho, salmon with in a mushroom broth, and the doughnuts. Everything was so delicious. In fact, I still dream of the mushrooms and broth. I am not a big fan of mushrooms, but this dish made them have such incredible texture and flavor. I think that my idea of what mushrooms should taste like changed completely after this.
“Smith and Wollensky” is located in the UES, which is closer to my own place, so there was no big cultural shift in where I was going for dinner 😉 . It essentially is a very well known steakhouse. The decor is very old fashioned and reminded me of almost entering a club of some sort. The waiters were all dressed in similar uniforms which added to this idea that we were in some club. Even though it felt that way, it still had a sense of homeyness mostly because the dining rooms were set up like you were having dinner with family. We ordered everything from the restaurant week menu and decided to have some wine to go along with our steak. I had the caesar salad, filet mignon, and bourbon soaked pecan pie. I think the highlight was the perfectly cooked filet mignon. This place knows how to do a good steak. The pecan pie was also pretty delicious and somewhat different from other pecan pies I have tried in the past…it was really soft and not so chewy. If you want a good steak, this is the place to go.
So that was my week! It has been hectic in lab as always, so it was nice to get out and have a good few meals. I didn’t take any of my own photos since I felt uncomfortable doing so when we were all having a good time at lunch/dinner, but you can click on the links on this post to learn more about the restaurants.
Also, any suggestions on how to just take more pics while out and about? I want to live in the moment, but I also realize I want to share these things with you. If you have a suggestion for a good small camera, that is not my iPhone, let me know!