Diners can head to Locanda Verde among other Downtown destinations for special Restaurant Week deals.

It’s that time of year again when a myriad of NY restaurants lure in customers out of their hibernation mode to experience their fare at unbeatable prices. Yes, during Restaurant Week (which takes place from January 14th through February 8th) lunch at participating eateries is $25 and dinner is $38. Granted there are special prix fix menus with limited choices available but the smarter venues will be sure to put some of their signature items on these menus. There is no better way to cultivate a loyal return customer than by getting them hooked on your signature items so creating a menu which does not reflect the restaurant’s style of cooking, in my opinion, defeats the purpose.

There are pros and cons to Restaurant week as there are with most things. The pros are clear – it gives people a chance to try restaurants they would normally find either too intimidating or costly and thus they’d like to try it before dropping a bundle. It also gives people the opportunity to go out when they may normally choose to stay home, call some friends and say, “Hey let’s go check this place out! For $25 for lunch and $38 for dinner we can’t afford not to!” So grab your best friend, your co-worker, your boss, your significant other or even your neighbor and have an adventurous and delicious three weeks!

Below are some Downtown spots that are on my list to revisit or visit for the first time. Some are fabulously fancy, others trendy (but with good food), others elegant or exotic and still others fun and tasty but all have wonderful food and are worth a visit at any time – pre, during, and post Restaurant Week!

Alison 18 – $25 lunch, $38 dinner http://www.nycgo.com/venues/alison-eighteen

The Darby – $38 dinner only http://www.nycgo.com/venues/the-darby

David Burke Kitchen – $25 lunch, $38 dinner, http://www.nycgo.com/venues/david-burke-kitchen

DBGB Kitchen and Bar – $25 lunch, $38 dinner, http://www.nycgo.com/venues/dbgb-kitchen-and-bar

EN Japanese Brasserie – $25 lunch, $38 dinner, http://www.nycgo.com/venues/en-japanese-brasserie

Gotham Bar & Grill – $25 lunch only http://www.nycgo.com/venues/gotham-bar-grill

Kin Shop – $25 lunch, $38 dinner http://www.nycgo.com/venues/kin-shop

Locanda Verde – $25 lunch only http://www.nycgo.com/venues/locanda-verde

Mercer Kitchen – $25 lunch, $38 dinner, http://www.nycgo.com/venues/mercer-kitchen

Mr. Chow Tribeca – $38 dinner only, http://www.nycgo.com/venues/mr-chow-new-york-tribeca

Osteria Morini – $25 lunch only http://www.nycgo.com/venues/osteria-morini

Rayuela – $25 lunch, $38 dinner http://www.nycgo.com/venues/rayuela-restaurant

SD26 – $25 lunch, $38 dinner http://www.nycgo.com/venues/sd26-restaurant-wine-bar

Cipriani – Menu will be revised daily commencing 1/15/2013 through to 2/8/2013 http://www.cipriani.com/locations/new-york/restaurants/downtown.php