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Celebrate NYC Restaurant Week on the Lower East Side

New York City Restaurant Week is here, and, according to The New York Times, it’s “back in full force.” With the longest run of the event’s history, spanning not a week but a full month (July 19 through August 22), it’s the perfect opportunity to explore mouthwatering dining options only minutes from the One Manhattan Square condos. Mark a delectable return to date night, try a type of food you’ve never tasted, and celebrate summer on the Lower East Side, where your new favorite neighborhood restaurant is waiting to be discovered.

You won’t have to look further than Ivan Ramen for a dining experience that has garnered superlatives from the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Chad Robertson, owner of the famed Tartine bakery in San Francisco. Bourdain said of Ivan Orkin, the restaurant’s namesake, “What Ivan Orkin does not know about noodles is not worth knowing.” Robertson, cosmic in his praise, says, “We are all fortunate that a young Ivan Orkin, growing up in 1970s suburban Long Island, fell in love with Japanese food. If he hadn’t, the world would never know Ivan’s amazing ramen, one of the most powerfully delicious noodle soups on the planet.” With innovations like ramen noodles made from rye, to new takes on old classics like the roast pork bun, or the Tokyo shio ramen, featuring rich chicken broth and pork belly, this is the Japanese street food of your dreams.

For another take on the Japanese dining experience, Izakaya Juraku puts Japanese craft beer at center stage. The $39 special menu for lunch and dinner during NYC Restaurant Week lets you choose from black garlic ramen or spicy ramen, served with seaweed salad or edamame — all of which is designed to pair perfectly with the shop’s extensive selection of sake and beer.

For the perfect neighborhood go-to spot, check out Essex, whose Restaurant Week menu is a curated take on their seasonal and locally focused fare. Choose from entrees like New York strip steak with chimichurri or Long Island duck breast. And for dessert, indulge in chocolate mousse or passion fruit panna cotta. The Golden Unicorn is a local Chinese food and dim sum hot spot where you can get a $21 lunch deal, featuring dim sum both savory (baked pork pastries) and sweet (coconut jelly pudding).

For a real celebration of all that’s happening in the neighborhood food scene, try Beauty & Essex — an expansive, intricately decorated restaurant behind a former pawn shop — to sample their menu of decadent creations for both the eye and the palate. Start the evening with a refreshing Emerald Gimlet, featuring vodka, basil, lemon, and lime. Then, choose from chef Chris Santos’ range of innovative dishes from land and sea in an atmosphere that captures the creative, adventurous spirit of the neighborhood.