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Food Frenzy

Next week, some of the the best restaurants around Manhattan will take part in the biannual Restaurant Week, with special fixed-price lunch and dinner menus for three weeks in July and August. Our favorites run the gamut from Asian fusion to New American.

The dining scene at ilili

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The Red Cat
Red Cat’s zucchini sauté has been replicated by blogs across the Internet, including Smitten Kitchen. But its main courses—like grilled brook trout with piquillo pesto—are equally admirable. The restaurant itself, decorated in red and white, is homey and casual, perfectly suiting the accessible but immaculately prepared dishes.
DETAILS Mon-Fri lunch, Sun-Fri dinner, 227 Tenth Ave./ 24th St., 212.242.1122,

Iron chef Masaharu Morimoto flies fish directly from the Tokyo fish market to his eponymous restaurant every other day. His restaurant fuses Japanese techniques (Morimoto was trained by chefs in his homeland and collects traditional tools) with American sensibilities.
DETAILS Mon-Fri lunch, 88 Tenth Ave./ 16th St., 212.989.8883,

Ilili, the Arabic word for “tell me,” boasts a modern take on Lebanese cuisine. Restaurant week menu options range from traditional Mediterranean mainstays such as hummus, falafel and branzino to options for the more adventurous palate such as a boneless ribeye steak with semolina dumplings.
DETAILS Mon-Fri lunch and dinner, 236 Fifth Ave./ 27th St., 212.683.2929,

Il Mulino
With a whopping 27 rating, Il Mulino is the second-highest Zagat-rated Italian restaurant in New York. While there are now six Il Mulino outposts around the country, the original Greenwich Village location remains a bastion of red-sauce Italian cuisine that offers sophisticated versions of classic dishes.
DETAILS Mon-Fri lunch, 86 W. 3rd St./ Sullivan St., 212.673.3783,

Over 30 years ago, Tamarind owner Avtar Walia emigrated from North India, working at Gucci before realizing his dream of opening a restaurant. Tamarind’s dishes are heavily infused with flavor, whether mint, honey, saffron, coriander or, of course, tamarind. Try the bikaneri tikki, a chickpea patty with paneer and peshawari chutney, for authentic Indian flavors.
DETAILS Sun-Fri lunch, 41-43 E. 22nd St./ Park Ave., 212.674.7400,