Sadly, another delightful Restaurant Week has come to a close. Hopefully your past three weeks were filled with prix fixes galore, diving in to fancy pants restaurants at the ever-so-affordable prices. Now we (in NYC) have a long six months to wait before it’s time for (official) Restaurant Week once again.
But… there’s no need to wait before enjoying a prix fixe with friends.
You can do it on the cheap, on the town, or on the fly. Just keep your goals, budget and guest list in mind while planning.
I’d suggest starting with local produce. In fact, browse your local Fresh Market/Whole Foods/farmers’ market with the goal of finding a produce item you’ve never tried/cooked before. Hop online to find a recipe of choice (can even be done on your smartphone while AT the store) and gather together the necessary items. Prix fixes are usually four courses, and half the fun is trying new flavors, so you’ll already be well on your way. The rest is all about creating a menu that progresses logically, is delicious, is complimented by the environment created, and enjoyed in great company.
Remember that presentation of your plates can also contribute to the ambiance of the evening (individual plates vs. family style, casual outdoor environment vs. a sassy dinner party for four). If you’ve ever seen a Top Chef‘s Restaurant Wars episode, you know to also steer clear of scented candles near your seating area (candles? sure, but unscented, please). If you’re really going all out, whip up little menus for your guests with a displayed prix fixe cost of $1 or 2 hours shared time. Get silly. Even the little differences will go a long way.