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RESERVATIONS OPEN TODAY FOR NYC RESTAURANT WEEK® WINTER 2012

—Dining Program Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary with 20 Days of Dining Deals at More Than 300 of New York City’s Finest Restaurants—

—Founding Sponsor American Express Returns with Cardmember Offers—

New York City (January 4, 2012) — NYC & Company, New York City’s marketing, tourism and partnership organization, announced that reservations for NYC Restaurant Week Winter 2012 open today, January 4. The dining event will honor the 20th Anniversary with 20 days of dining deals from January 16 to February 10, 2012, Mondays through Fridays. Pricing has not changed since 2006, and will remain $24.07 for three-course prix-fixe lunches and $35.00 for three-course prix-fixe dinners (excluding beverages, gratuities and taxes), and Founding Sponsor American Express will present cardmember offers throughout the promotion. Diners can begin to make reservations at more than 300 participating restaurants starting today at nycgo.com/restaurantweek.

NYC Restaurant Week is the first and largest dining program of its kind supporting the City’s thriving restaurant industry, which employs 225,000 people and grosses annual sales exceeding $12 billion. New York City offers more dining options than most states, boasting 24,600 restaurants and food service establishments.

“It’s no question that the City’s restaurants distinguish New York as the capital of fine dining, an integral component of the vibrancy of the five boroughs,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. “We’re proud to present the 20th installment of NYC Restaurant Week to give New Yorkers and visitors the opportunity to experience some of best food in the world at an affordable price.”

“We are excited to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of NYC Restaurant Week with this great offer for cardmembers,” said Carol Engleman, Vice President of Field Client Management at American Express. “This program has grown into a can’t-miss opportunity for New Yorkers and visitors alike to discover new eateries and dine at old favorites and a great way to drive business to restaurants in New York City. American Express is proud to be a Founding Sponsor.”

The first NYC Restaurant Week dates back to 1992 and was developed just in time for the Democratic National Convention held that summer. Three-course lunches were priced at $19.92 at 95 restaurants. New Yorkers and visitors sampled the City’s finest restaurants on a budget while the increase in customers helped restaurateurs through what typically would have been a slow week in the season. According to OpenTable through NYC Restaurant Week online reservations, more than 200,000 diners were seated during the 2011 summer promotion and extension.    

The original culinary promotion was such a success that NYC Restaurant Week became an annual event and eventually a biannual event to boost business in the slow weeks of summer and winter. Since then, the event has grown to include more than 300 participating restaurants. NYC Restaurant Week paved the way for similar dining promotions to be established in cities around the world such as London and Lisbon and across the country including Los Angeles, Seattle, Kansas City, Chicago and Boston. 

A number of eateries have participated in NYC Restaurant Week for all of its 20 years including Barbetta, Brasserie, Carnegie Deli, Dawat, Delmonico’s, Gotham Bar and Grill, Le Cirque, Le Perigord, Mesa Grill, The Palm Restaurant, Remi, The Russian Tea Room, Shun Lee Palace, Steak Frites, Tribeca Grill, The Water Club and Water’s Edge. 

Among the new participants this year are Asellina, Bann, Boulud Sud, Fish Tag, HanGawi, Kibo, La Promenade de Anglais, Marble Lane and Restaurant Nippon.

In honor of NYC Restaurant Week’s 20th Anniversary, American Express® Cardmembers will receive a $20 statement credit when they register and use any eligible American Express Card to dine out three or more times at participating restaurants during NYC Restaurant Week, January 16 to February 10. To register an American Express Card and for terms and conditions, visit nycgo.com/restaurantweek.

Additionally, American Express Cardmembers who sync their eligible card with their foursquare account will be able to discover and unlock exclusive $5-off specials at qualifying NYC Restaurant Week participants. To enjoy couponless savings through February 10, cardmembers can sync any eligible Card to their foursquare profile at sync.americanexpress.com/foursquare, check in to the merchant on foursquare during NYC Restaurant Week (January 16 to February 10), load the special and pay with their synced card. A minimum purchase of $24 is required and additional terms and conditions apply (see website for full offer details).  

NYC Winter Restaurant Week is produced by NYC & Company and presented by Founding Sponsor American Express.

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Contact:    Emily Mayrath/NYC & Company     212-484-1270