City | 4:12 pm | November 5, 2011 | By Carolyn Lipka

Restaurant Week: an eater’s guide

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Photo by Christina Tsai.

With Restaurant Week fast approaching, your favorite New Haven restaurants are filling up with reservations. It’s the happiest week of the year in New Haven, because a slew of participating restaurants offer a $17 and $29 prix fixe lunch and dinner, respectively. If you haven’t made your reservation yet, fear not! We’ve talked to some of New Haven’s hottest restaurants to see what their schedule is like.

Zinc

Thursday and Friday are booked up, and Sunday, Monday and Wednesday are filling up. If you’re looking to make reservations, err on the early side, between 5:00 and 6:30 p.m. Post-8:00 p.m. spots are available, but Zinc closes at 9:00 p.m. on weeknights, so avoid later if possible. Zinc’s restaurant week menu features Modern American options like roasted pork loins with an apple cider butter sauce and creamy white polenta.

Ibiza

Unsurprisingly, Ibiza is booked up almost every day during restaurant week. If you absolutely must go Ibiza (which, yeah, you absolutely must go Ibiza), your best chance is around 5:30 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. Ibiza’s restaurant week menu has fall classics like the Butternut squash soup with roasted pumpkin seeds and zucchini julienne, a vegetable mushroom risotto with braised oxtail meat and spanish cheese cake.

Oaxaca Kitchen

Oaxaca has a lot of availability for restaurant week reservations. “Right now we are able to accommodate any size party on every night,” said Colin Cunningham, a bartender and server at Oaxaca, on Thursday. Act quick to make your reservation, though because they’re filling up on Thursday, Friday and Sunday of Restaurant Week. Restaurant week for Oaxaca will let you try Mexican cuisine ranging from tortilla soup to empanadas to a “Bufalo Chorizo Hamburguesa.” Yes please.

Pacifico

Pacifico is filled for lunch, and booked for both meals on Sunday. For the rest of the week, Pacifico is busy, but available for reservations at pretty much all times. Snatch your reservation while you can to try Pacifico favorites at a reduced price. While their restaurant week menu doesn’t feature their famous guacamole, it does offer the delicious duck quesadilla, the plantain crusted crab cake and pan-seared salmon over arepas, sauteed spinach and a remolacha sauce.

Soul De Cuba

Soul De Cuba is booked on Sunday and Friday. Wednesday and Thursday are filling up quickly, so while almost all hours are available, only a lucky few will be able to get reservations. Nonetheless, a spokesperson for the restaurant was confident that they would be able to seat walk-in parties from 2-4 people any day of restaurant week. Soul De Cuba offers a restaurant week menu showcasing Cuban cuisine featuring “bacalao sliders” — are sofrito blended cod fish fritters puffed in hot oil and served on toasted cuban bread with hot sauce and “ajiaco cubano,” a cuban stew consisting of different indigenous root vegetables along with chicken, pork and beef chunks served with white rice.

Box 63

A restaurant that usually doesn’t take reservations, Box has started taking reservations for Restaurant Week. Box’s schedule is fairly open, but owner Carl Carbone says Thursday, Friday and Saturday are booking up. The newcomer to restaurant week is not featuring a special menu, but instead offering customers a free beverage, super salad and dessert with their lunch or dinner.

To see restaurant week menus and participating restaurants visit http://www.infonewhaven.com/restaurantweek

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