Industry Opinion contributed by Tracy Nieporent, Myriad Restaurant Group
When it comes to dining out, there are more events, festivals, and celebrations than ever before. On any given weekend, you can almost always find a street fair or farmers’ market. But of all the culinary activities that can satiate one’s culinary muse, none is more beloved or celebrated than New York City’s Summer and Winter Restaurant Week.
Since the Summer of 1992, New Yorkers and guests from all over the world have embraced this culinary celebration of quality, variety, and hospitality that makes New York City one of the dining capitals of the world. More than any other culinary event, New York City’s Restaurant Week brings together a community of restaurants to celebrate all of the elements that make dining out meaningful to our guests.
At the restaurants that I’m personally affilated with—Tribeca Grill, Bâtard, and Nobu Downtown, we take pride in offering savory dishes representative of the best that our menus have to offer. We also offer a setting in which family, friends, and colleagues can spend a memorable time together and create new memories. And we try to do it with professional service, pride, and civility.
Tim Zagat and Joe Baum had an inspired idea when they implemented the first Restaurant Week in 1992 when the Democrats were holding their presidential Convention at Madison Square Garden. NYC was going through economic doldrums, and there was a need to create some excitement for both New Yorkers and the convention delegates who were visiting. What started with a few dozen restaurants serving Lunch for one week in the Summer has now evolved into a program with close to 400 restaurants serving both Lunch and Dinner, for 4 weeks in the Summer and 3 weeks in the Winter.
More than 40 neighborhoods in all five boroughs are serving up more than 30 international cuisines. Our guests can dine the world without leaving the city limits. This Summer (from Monday July 23rd through Friday August 17th), Lunch will be two courses for $26, and Dinner will consist of three courses for $42, a significant value. New York City’s marketing arm, NYC & Company, does an inspired job of providing the infrastructure for the event, and the city’s best restaurants want to be part of it. After all these years, our guests continue to embrace restaurant Week because they enjoy the great value, while being part of something so special.
The graciousness of a well-prepared and professionally served meal is one of life’s genuine pleasures. Ultimately, what makes NYC Restaurant Week important is that we all share it together. It’s the sense of camaraderie that makes New York City’s restaurant community one of the finest in the world.
Tracy Nieporent is Partner/Director of Marketing of the Myriad Restaurant Group, which includes Tribeca Grill, Bâtard, and Nobu. Since 2004, he has also served as Chairman of the Restaurant Committee of NYC & Company, helping to oversee the administration of NYC Restaurant Week.