Dine at an NYC Restaurant Award Winner for Less (Wine Spectator)

NYC Restaurant Week returns for its winter season, Jan. 21–Feb. 8, with discounted dining at some of the city’s top restaurants, including 77 winners of Wine Spectator‘s Restaurant Awards for wine-list excellence. Now in its 27th year, the promotion by the city’s tourism bureau offers 2-course lunches for $26 and 3-course dinners for $42. Reservations are now open at nearly 400 participating restaurants across all five boroughs, spanning a wide range of cuisines.

The promotion provides a chance for diners to explore beyond their usual spots, according to Chris Heywood, senior vice president of global communications for NYC & Company. “If there’s a restaurant that you’ve been waiting to try and you’ve been putting it off, this is the time of year to do it,” Heywood said.

While the promotion doesn’t include wine, the discounted meals help encourage diners to experience some of the higher-end destinations with award-winning beverage programs. In addition, some restaurants independently craft wine pairings for the prix-fixe meals.

“Wine lovers flock to New York to explore the city’s great wine cellars,” said Wine Spectator executive editor Thomas Matthews. “We invite visitors to the city to become part of our wine community.”

Best of Award of Excellence winner Aureole, which has been participating in Restaurant Week since the initiative began in 1992, will feature optional by-the-glass pairings for each course, along with a “sommelier’s selection” of value wines in the range of $50 to $75.

“Hopefully it leads to future business, but also even more enlightened dining experiences for guests,” said head sommelier Candace Olsen.

NYC Restaurant Week has come a long way since it was created as a promotion for delegates at the 1992 Democratic National Convention. It now runs twice a year and has inspired similar programs in cities such as Miami and Las Vegas.

To learn more and sign up for email updates, visit NYCgo.com/restaurantweek.