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Restaurant Week’s Appeal Narrows

Restaurant WeekMeghan Keneally The logo for Restaurant Week.

The economics behind Restaurant Week means that a surprisingly small group of East Village restaurants are participating in the program.

The city-wide promotion, which runs for two weeks starting Monday, offers a prix fixe menu for $24.07 at lunch and $35 for dinner, the idea being that diners have the chance to get fancy meals at a lower cost. Because the majority of the East Village’s restaurants are less expensive already, many don’t see the need to participate.

“Our price point is extremely low — everything here is under $12 — so we don’t really fit the restaurant week model,” said Craig Koenig, one of the partners at Whitman’s restaurant on East 9th Street who is not involved in the promotion.

Yerba Buena, a Latin restaurant on Avenue A, is one of the five restaurants in the East Village that is offering Restaurant Week menus.

Participation in the East Village is low “because the restaurants are very small and a lot of people like to hit the really big places, like Gramercy Tavern and Nobu,” said Angel Deleon, the manager of Yerba Buena. “Those places may not give you the same value because the portions are small.”
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