One of the unique things about New York City is that we get not one, but two restaurant weeks during the year. It doubles our opportunity to try out different restaurants that we otherwise would not usually have the chance to dine in. The winter restaurant week kicked off on January 8th and will last till February 5th. More than 300 high end and fine dining establishments offer a pre-fixe three course lunch menu for $25 and dinner for $38, excluding tax and tip. For college students, we usually have to stick to a strict budget but this opens up a great opportunity to try and eat at new places we usually wouldn't be able to afford. While the more hyped-up and longer restaurant week takes place during the summer, the winter sister event is more accessible for students who tend to go back home during the summer months. As more farm to table concept restaurants are popping up in the city, it is also a great away to try out fresh produce thats in season around this time of the year.
This year, I had dinner at the Cecil, an uptown Afro-Asian inspired neighborhood staple that not offers the best kind of fusion food I ever tasted, but also impeccable service and live music. Located in Morningside Heights, the restaurant is sandwiched between the Upper Westside and Harlem; it makes a great halfway meeting point for students who have friends in both Lincoln Center and Rose Hill for a dinner night out in the city. In my three hour stay, the atmosphere had went from upbeat reggae music to romantic jazz to even some in house live rapping. Our sever had even given us a complimentary appetizer and drinks for a little mishap we had with our reservations and I am never the one to turn down free food. We sampled the beef suya (African bbq), pineapple friend rice with wok tofu, market fresh salmon in a curry sauce, and ended the night with olive oil cake with lavender ice cream for dessert (sounds weird I know but it was delicious). I think it's safe to assume that my stomach was very happy with me and I will surely be going back another time in the future.