Recessionista Eats

Pardon the platitude, but every cloud has a silver lining, which means that while the restaurant industry is going into a death spiral, there are great deals to be had for savvy diners. And, seriously, we need to consider our friends in the restaurant business—most are small business owners who borrowed a whole bunch of money and staked it on a dream, guaranteed only by their backbreaking labors. If you, as diners, appreciate the creativity and nerve it takes to open a restaurant, then walk away from your Stouffers and start hitting the scene. They could use ya. And P.S. there is a moral imperative now to drink wine – expensive wine—and lots of it. It’s a win-win. You get the buzz, they get life-line profits.

42 As part of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week (March 22 through April 3), 42 is offering an unheard of dinner at $28.09 and lunch at $20.09. Folks, the damn view is worth that tab, plus you get to swank around the Ritz Carlton and take a ride in a glass elevator just like Willy Wonka. Also participating is Crabtree’s Kittle House, Equus, X20, Harvest on Hudson, Restaurant X and Bully Boy Bar, Sonora, and Valley at the Garrison. Basically—get your dialing fingers limbered-up, it’s going to be a scramble for the hottest tables.

One  Pricy One is offering a break, and running their usual menu at a reasonable $35 prix fixe on every night but Saturday. Unlike most prix fixe menus, only two of One’s fabulous dishes are excluded from the discount – a prime rib and tuna main—everything else is on offer and on sale. Also, look for more bottles under $50.

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Antipasti As we mentioned, there are lots of half-priced drinks specials, live music, and free antipasti deals, so you can visit this spot with a cool bar and tuck into drinks and nibbles on the cheap.

Half Moon This gorgeous chalet snuggled up to the Hudson is offering dynamite-under-the-butt “incentive” packages from Monday to Friday: 3 courses, $15.95. Right on the Hudson, fireplace-n-all, with fabulous views — and don’t miss an upcoming Captain Laurence beer dinner, 5 courses, $42.00 + tax and tip — a freakin’ steal, since 5 of Captain Laurence’s divine local brewskis are included, and five pints of these gourmet suds could easily set you back $42 at the supermarket.

Plates is offering a bunch of incentives to visit this elegant little Larchmont nook , including small plates Tuesdays with $5 and $10 nibbles, and Plates Rebates—or discount coupons. Plus, now that the Larchmont Farmer’s market is closed—where ex-Bouley Chef Matt Karp was a fixture, selling bread and line caught fish from the Hamptons, he’s selling the stuff as “side-door fish”—which we love, since we can’t find better fish anywhere.

Espana Okay, we’d love to duck into Espana for those fabulous baby Iberian eels, angulas, which are nearly as costly as caviar (and, equally, don’t bear real close scrutiny). You remember these little worms from Top Chef a couple years ago, when winner Ilan broke them out like a neutron bomb, cackling like Dr. Evil? They’ll go you $200/per100 grams (and you need to call ahead), but you can drop in anytime mid-week for Espana’s $19.99, 3 course prix fixe lunch—which includes all the yummy tapas like croquetta, mains like saffron and seafood risotto, and desserts like crema catalan.

Crabtree’s Kittle House Aside from Restaurant Week, they’re offering up two fab teasers to get you off your duff. One, a lunchtime sandwich trio — all under $20 — that makes my mouth water: look for a lobster roll with mango and avocado ($19.50 — scrumptious, I’ve had it), country ham and gruyere panini with garlic potato chips and Dijon mayonnaise ($12), and a sirloin burger ($15) with smoked bacon, aged cheddar, caramelized onions and fries. Then at dinner, tuck into a $38 Prix Fixe three course dinner, which offers an edited version of all your Kittle House favorites.
 

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