The main reason I wrote “365 Guide New York City” was to save money on food and drinks while still being able to eat out every night! Sometimes I'm in the mood for a cold beer and wings at a sports bar, and other times I want delicious, opulent food at dive bar prices. These deals come from some of my favorite upscale restaurants that offer tremendous discounts on incredible food.
They have the best hummus! Barbounia is sleek and sexy with an upscale Mediterranean menu, but from 3-7 p.m. daily you can nosh on half-price appetizers and $6 cocktails. Take advantage of the affordable options at the bar and don't leave without an order of the iron skillet shrimp. Amazing. I usually have so many appetizers that I don't have room for dinner.250 Park Ave. S.
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When you first walk in, you'll think you've entered an exclusive club. Don't let the high ceilings and modern décor scare you, the Mediterranean/Lebanese food at ilili is off the charts. Luckily for your wallet, from 4-7:30 p.m. you can taste the menu at a discount: Specialty cocktails are $7, and appetizers start at $5. I like the fried chick pea and fava bean dumplings ($5) and the kafta taco ($8). 236 Fifth Ave.
Across the street from Lincoln Center inside The Empire Hotel lives this lovely upscale seafood restaurant. The food is wonderful and unlike some places, they handle the crowds well. The bar area is just as pleasing and offers two times to save. Sunday to Thursday from 4-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-close, you'll find real deals like $1 clams, $1.50 oysters, $4 soups, and appetizers like salmon sliders are $9. Bottled beers are $3, wines $7 and cocktails $8. 44 W. 63rd St.
Monica DiNatale is a Deals Expert and Author of “365 Guide New York City,” a treasure trove of restaurant deals and bar specials in New York. Monica has been featured as the Dining Expert for PIX 11and Good Day New York and has hosted segments for The New York Chocolate Show and The New York City Craft Beer Week Festivals. “365 Guide New York City” is available in paperback and e-book.