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Reservations now open for biannual NYC Restaurant Week

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NYC & Company announced on Wednesday that reservations are now up for grabs for this summer's NYC Restaurant Week, a biannual ritual where tourists and locals alike gather to indulge in some of the most delectable eats around the city.

More than 300 restaurants are offering a three-course prix-fixe menu this year from July 21 to Aug. 15. Lunches are $25 and dinners are $38 from Monday-Friday, with Saturdays excluded and Sundays optional. Despite beverages, taxes and gratuities not being included, it's a great and affordable opportunity to visit high-class restaurants that some may otherwise never step foot in.

Reservations can be made using OpenTable, a free online service that is also useful to make lunch or dinner reservations at any other time of year. For a list of participating restaurants, visit NYC & Company's official website for the event. They are even offering a photo contest on Instagram: take a spectacular photo of your three-course meal and use #NYCRestaurantWeek for a chance to win $250 in gift cards to select restaurants.

"Our vibrant and diverse restaurant community looks forward to welcoming our guests with a meaningful dining experience," said Tracy Nieporent, Chairman of NYC & Company's Restaurant Committee, in the official press release.

New to the plate this year are soul food and Australian cuisines, such as Minton's in Harlem and Burke & Wills in the Upper West Side. Big wigs, such as David Burke Fishtail in the Upper East Side, Bluefin in Times Square and Tertulia in the West Village, are also participating.

In addition to foodies enjoying a creative dish, NYC Restaurant Week also provides a chance for restaurants to expand their customer base. Burke & Wills, in particular, is a growing bistro and bar that opened nearly one year ago. Specializing in Australian cuisine, they focus on seasonal produce and hope to separate themselves from the reputation Australian food has garnered from huge companies like Outback Steakhouse.

"Especially in the Upper West Side, business slows down in the summer because people are out of town," said a manager from Burke & Wills. "We're hoping Restaurant Week will drive a lot of new customers and regulars to take advantage of the new dishes that we've put on our Restaurant Week menu."

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