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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bargain lunches are back in Manhattan; Costco cuts price of wild salmon, organics

A moist fillet of Faroe Islands Salmon served on  a cedar plank, above, and a Feta-Stuffed Lamb Burger, below, were our main courses on Tuesday at Blue Fin, a seafood restaurant in Manhattan. Hundreds of restaurants like Blue Fin are offering three-course lunches for $29 during the Summer Restaurant Week promotion in Manhattan.


-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Two people could easily spend more than $100 for a three-course lunch at one of Manhattan's fine-dining restaurants.

But twice a year during the NYC Restaurant Week promotion (actually multiple weeks starting in January and July), price-fixed three-course lunches are only $29, plus tax and tip.

That's often less than the price of an entree at other times. This year, the promotion began on Monday and ends on Aug. 18. 

Three-course dinners are $42, but the choices often are similar to those offered at lunch, so the mid-day meal is a better value.

Typically, Summer Restaurant Week menus offer a minimum of three appetizers, three entrees and two desserts. 

You can view many of the menus online at NYC Restaurant Week.

Filling meal

Me and my wife couldn't have been happier with our delicious lunch on Tuesday at Blue Fin, a seafood restaurant in the W New York Hotel in Times Square.

We felt pleasantly full and because neither of us eat dessert, we took home a Summer Stone Fruit Upside Down Cake and a Triple Chocolate Cheesecake, both served with gelato, and gave them to our son.

My antibiotic-free Atlantic Salmon fillet from the Faroe Islands was cooked medium, as I requested, and the skin was crisped.

I loved the side dish, a warm salad of charred summer corn, grilled scallions and wheat berries.

My wife's Greek-style Lamb Burger came with terrific french fries and a tasty tzatziki or yogurt sauce with shredded cucumber.

Our appetizers were a refreshingly cold Local Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with ricotta and English pea pesto, and a melt-in-the-mouth Shrimp, Basil and Mango Sushi Roll with avocado and yuzu miso.

With tax and a 20% tip, our lunch cost $74.75, but I'll receive a $5 statement credit for charging the meal to a pre-enrolled American Express  card.


At Blue Fin, our starters were Shrimp, Basil and Mango Sushi Roll, above, and Local Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, below.

Blue Fin is at 1567 Broadway (47th Street) in Manhattan; 1-212-918-1400. Just outside the door is the carnival atmosphere of Times Square, below.



An upstairs dining room at Blue Fin. The light bulbs strung on wires, also found in the open staircase and a second dining room, seemed a little tacky, and I was surprised at how many of Blue Fin's employees wore jeans.
The round-trip senior citizen fare on NJ Transit from Hackensack to midtown Manhattan is the biggest bargain in transit, but the two old buses we took are long overdue for replacement.
Fresh wild sockeye salmon fillets were only $9.99 a pound today at the Costco Wholesale in Teterboro -- the same price as farmed Atlantic salmon fillets raised without harmful antibiotics, below.
Artificially colored farmed salmon fillets can't match the deep red-orange color of their wild cousins or the rich taste.

Costco cuts price of wild salmon

For the third time since the first week of June, Costco Wholesale has cut the price of fresh wild sockeye salmon fillets.

At $9.99 a pound, wild salmon is the same price as antibiotic-free farmed salmon and only a dollar more a pound than the lowest-quality farmed Atlantic salmon in the warehouse store.

On June 5, the first shipment of fresh wild salmon went on sale for $16.99 a pound in Teterboro. Then, the price was cut to $15.99 a pound and, a couple of weeks later, to $12.99 a pound.

When the wild-salmon season ends in early October, Costco "typically will have sold some 7 million pounds of fresh, wild salmon" in its U.S. warehouses, according to the Costco Connection magazine.

The Teterboro Costco also is offering instant savings on nearly 40 organic products through Aug. 6, including extra-virgin olive oil, juices, snacks, salsa, pasta sauce and chicken sausage.


For dinner tonight, I grilled six serving pieces of fresh wild salmon and topped them with Costco's Basil Pesto, roughly chopped fresh herbs from my garden and ground Aleppo pepper. I served mine over a homemade tzatziki sauce.
A sale on organic snacks includes an instant coupon on Kale Chips, right.
A 2-liter jug of Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is on sale for $12.99 with an instant coupon. This EVOO was top rated on The People's Pharmacy radio program.
A 59-ounce jug of Suja Organic fruit-and-vegetable juice was on sale for $6.49.
A 2-pound, 10-ounce jar of Organic Strawberry Spread wasn't on sale, but cost only $6.99.