Every food festival worth its weight in foie gras has its dissenters, and this year’s Summerlicious is no exception. While the citywide summer food-fest can be a great way to promote a restaurant (check out our top 63 picks here), the stingy tippers and city-mandated restrictions can be a major-league deterrent for others. And so notable chefs, including Susur Lee, are exercising their inner rebel by offering an (unofficial) alternative to the prix fixe madness taking over the city. After the jump, a roundup of prix fixe and alternative summer menus we’ve unearthed:
• Pizzeria Libretto is offering two prix fixe options: a $15 three-course lunch, including a salad, pizza and gelato, and a $25 four-course dinner, with antipasti, a primo, a pizza and a choice of dessert. The dinner menu is available until the end of July, and the lunch will continue indefinitely.
• The dressed-up Elm Street Italian restaurant Oro has a special $60 summer prix fixe menu at dinnertime with four courses: one of three appetizers, a strozzapreti puttanesca, a mackerel or beef tenderloin main and a basil panna cotta.
• The popular Mount Pleasant Indian restaurant Debu’s launched its Summer Debulicious menu last week, and will continue offering it until July 24. The $15 lunch menu and the $25 dinner menu consist of a choice of appetizers, mains and desserts, and both include pilaf rice and naan.
• Susur Lee will be reviving his Susurlicious à la carte menu this year at Lee until July 24. Highlights include smoky gazpacho ($10), watermelon salad ($15), Asian-style confit chicken with chestnuts and shiitake mushroom ($22), clack pepper–crusted tuna sashimi ($24) and braised beef ravioli with Hong Kong–style XO sauce ($24).
• Finally, for diners looking to splurge while everyone else is scrimping, Splendido is offering a special $99 five-course dinner: chilled English pea soup; English pea, fava bean and green asparagus fricassee; smoked chicken thigh with spinach ricotta and pea agnolotti; roast pork belly and soft-shell crab with English peas, carrots and baby romaine; and strawberry crème mousseline with Grand Marnier and orange meringue.
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