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NY Restaurant Week summer 2014 starts today

NYC Restaurant Week, July 21 - August 15
NYC Restaurant Week, July 21 - August 15
NYCGO

If you love to eat and drink – and if you’re a subscriber fan of this column – and if are still reading, chances are you do, listen up – there’s good food news oozing all over Gotham.

Today kicks off the bi-annual NYC Restaurant Week.

Well, it’s really four weeks, but when you are in for this much delicious imbibing and dining – well, foodies lose all sense of temporal scheduling and calendaring.

This season’s NYC Restaurant Week promises to be a boozy, tasty doozy event.

So before you slip into a food coma – after all, there are more than 300 participating restaurants -- work up a plan.

The fix is in

Lunch is a budget-busting $25 and dinner is $38 for three-course prix fixe meals. Seriously – that is less than what a decent server tip is.

Why not mix up the lunch and dinner options? A saucy café or seafood, or lobster shack or Korean BBQ for a light lunch - sprinkled throughout the summer restaurant experience.

Steamy romance induced by French or Italian fare, along with big juicy steaks for dinner…

Couldn’t make it to Rio last month? How about choosing the World Cup Soccer finalists’ and the home country cuisine to sample?

Perhaps it’s the season to follow a favorite celebrity chef and dine at a distinct restaurant in each of the culinary talent’s portfolio of dining meccas.

Will you seek adventure with never-before tried restaurant experiences? Try a few “exotic” cuisines heretofore deemed too dodgy for the wallet.

Will you scale up the luxury ladder and select more than a few of those la-ti-da “fancy” places you’ve been itching to try?

A petit-four of this Examiner’s recommendations include:

The iconic ‘21’ Club captures a Prohibition-era mood and is a top 30 most popular NYC restaurant. Sweet décor too.

Le Cirque Cafe may be the petit souer to its epic grand dame Le Cirque restaurant – but it's classic menu dazzles. Coupled with over-the-top people watching. (Think how that alone can up the Instagram followers appetites!) Appetizers include Summer Pea Risotto, (“in rhythm with the season” says the menu. Cha, cha, cha!) Entrees include Merlu, with rice, lemongrass, and green curry or Confit Lamb with corn pesto and lemon. Tempting desserts are Le Cirque’s invention: Crème Brulee, or Pineapple with Malibu rum, coconut and bourbon vanilla. Yikes!

The Upper West Side’s Bar Boulud is offering a chilled creamy corn, mackerel “escabeche” popcorn soup, (sigh), salade du Marché as part of their extensive appetizer offerings and Moules Provençale and Boudin Blanc (truffled pork sausage, apple & mashed potato) for entrée choices.

EatUp at any of the five participating restaurant’s in Bobby Van’s culinary empire for incomparable grilled steak; or David Burke’s two fanciful and delicious restaurants from his restaurant portfolio, or play “eeny, meeny, miny, mo” with Daniel Boulud’s capricious culinary establishments. Can’t miss.

Brasserie Ruhlman in Rockefeller Center, well, rocks – with celebrity chef Laurent Tourondel’s menu choices including classics with a twist: roasted chicken Provencal with tomatoes, olives, pearl onions and Calabrian Chilies, and be-still-my-heart desserts: Chocolate Macaron, Chocolate Profiteroles, and Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue with pistachio ice cream.

The Fourth Restaurant has gotten a ton of foodie news coverage, lately. Find out why!

Every participating restaurant has upped their game, producing taste bud-defying special menus filled with creative, seasonal dishes.

It’s delightfully dizzying!

To make booking a reservation convenient and easy, go to www.nycgo.com/restaurantweek

The "good food" people at NYCGO have already set up the search by Neighborhood, Cuisine and Meal.

Go ahead. Click in.

Here, enjoy some pre-meal “food foreplay” perusing the menus and images of the restaurant’s dining rooms, along with maps and contact information, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media links.

* Note: Saturdays are excluded from Restaurant Week and Sunday’s are a restaurant’s optional choice. Check before booking.

American Express cardholders can get $5 credit with every meal after registering the card and spending more than $25 at the participating NYC Restaurant Week dining establishments. Heck, it only takes two meals to practically break even.

Culinary Camera Cuisine

NYC Restaurant Week kicked up the fun food factor with their Instagram "Eat Up: Photo Contest

Here how it works. Enter your tempting culinary cuisine camera photos in any of the four categories:

* Appetizer

* Entrée

* Dessert

* Group shot/Selfie

Tag the picture. Use the hash tag: #NYCRestaurantWeek and be eligible for a chance to win $250 or more in gift cards to some top NYC participating restaurants. That’s a lot of clams.

@NYCRestaurantWeek gets right back with a link to “claim” your photo entry.

NYC Restaurant Week says celebrity guest judges will choose four winning pictures every week for the duration of Restaurant Week. Do the math - that’s a lot of chances to win.

Daniel Krieger, one of the celebrity judges offers tips on the NYC Facebook page about how to take winning food and drink photos. One tip he offers is to use natural light.

(See #NYCRestaurantWeek photo contest for complete details.)

NYC Restaurant Week has been stoking foodie frenzy since 1992, the country’s first-of –its-kind restaurant week celebration. Naturally.

And just like the line for Cronuts, the experience just continues to get insatiably bigger.

Share more food news on the NYC Restaurant Week Eat Up Facebook page

#EatUp And share with this Examiner your food picks for NYC Restaurant Week summer 2014.

Cheers.