Elaine Velie

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NYC restaurant week is back but this time it’s to-go. Four restaurants in Bushwick are participating along with another four nearby in Ridgewood.

A record 571 restaurants across the city are registered for this delivery-and-pick-ups edition of the semi-annual Restaurant Week, which runs from January 25th through February 1st. (some restaurants, like Mission, however are keeping the deals going until February 7th.) Despite the record sign up, numbers in Bushwick and Ridgewood are, like in past years, are still relatively low. Williamsburg, by comparison, has nineteen restaurants registered for the event.

Participating restaurants each choose a set menu for the week. And this year, they all cost $20.21, and most also include an appetizer, an entree, and dessert.

In Bushwick, the Restaurant Week stars are Sweet Chili, Queen, Seawolf, and Mission.

The colorful restaurant week menu at Mission in East Williamsburg, which is holding the promotion until February 7th. 

Along Flushing Avenue, Sweet Chili, headed by Top Chef finalist Lisa Fernandes, offers a dinner of dumplings, chili chicken or tofu and broccoli, and Thai coffee tiramisu. Like most menu items at her Asian fusion restaurant, the Restaurant Week items offer the comfort of the strip-mall Chinese food but with twists like braised chicken instead of the sticky-fried of our youth.

At Queen —the Mediterranean spot off the Jefferson L train stop offers ample outdoor seating — the menu includes lentil soup, tagine, and baklava. Everything is always good at Queen, and there’s a welcome bonus that you’ll walk away feeling healthier too. And Sea Wolf, coincidentally, is a block away and sells some of the city’s best seafood, the menu includes grilled salmon, salad, and fries.

Further into East Williamsburg, you can order from Mission, the latest outpost of the trendy Mission Chinese restaurant concept, a colorful and controversial media darling. Their Restaurant Week menu offers an appetizer and a selection of punchy entrees like thrice-cooked bacon, and a side of rice.

Over in Ridgewood, you can pick up your meal from Beaucoup at Bar Freda (a bar that serves excellent Vietnamese food on weekends), Cream, Ltauha, and Craft Culture (all New-American fusion.) 

“Animal Craft:” and “Culture Fries” are on the restaurant week menu at Craft Culture in Ridgewood

At a time when restaurants are doing everything they can to last through the pandemic, the city tourism office waived the hefty fees the agency ordinarily charges to participate in the promotional event. Most year, the fees are typically run up to $2,800 for restaurants in Manhattan and around $1,500 in the outer boroughs. 

You can order directly from many restaurants’ websites or through websites like GrubHub and Uber Eats.

Top image by Elaine Velie. 

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