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Your Best Meal Out in New York City this Year?

Your Best Meal Out in New York City this Year?

Old Nov 13th, 2011, 08:58 PM
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Your Best Meal Out in New York City this Year?

We will only be able to have one big meal (out just hubbie and me) in NYC this December. Want to make it an amazing one. Last time it was Babbo which was good-- but not as good as a previous dinner. Would like to stay under $250 including a moderately priced wine.

What was the most amazing dinner you've had in NYC this year? Would love some direction with this.
thanks - KAWH Sebastopol, CA
kawh is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2011, 03:21 AM
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Would help to know what types of food you like/dislike.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2011, 06:03 AM
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Eleven Madison Park, but it's not possible to eat there for $250 even without wine. Le Bernardin would be next for me, but again it doesn't begin to fit the bill.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2011, 06:31 AM
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How about lunch instead of dinner? While Doug is right about Le Bernardin not fitting the bill pricewise ($115 prix fixe), lunch is almost the same as dinner but a real 'bargain' at $70 still allowing a decent budget for a nice wine within your budget. Besides, I'm now finding splurging on a spectacular lunch rather than dinner is so much more decadent.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Old Nov 14th, 2011, 07:39 AM
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Patrick's plan makes a lot of sense and would open up virtually very top restaurant in NYC to you.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2011, 10:05 AM
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Ask me again after Wednesday night, when I will have a long-awaited dinner at Ai Fiori. I have very high hopes since I think the chef is at the top of his game right now. I'd take a meal at a Michael White restaurant (Ai Fiori or Marea) over a Batali restaurant any day. And I have lots of respect for Batali as a chef, even if he is not to be found too often in his restaurants these days.

You might squeak by pretty close to your limit if you are careful with the wine at The Modern Dining Room, which is also a personal favorite.

You certainly could have a wonderful meal for far less than $250 with wine at the Modern Bar Room, but it is bustling and not at all cozy. I think I spent $179 before tip for a dinner for two very recently. Of that, $65 was for wine, and we had more than enough food for two.


ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2011, 10:07 AM
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ps. I agree about the lunch plan.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2011, 10:59 AM
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Some of the best lunch values are Gotham Bar and Grill, Nougatine, and Toqueville.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2011, 05:23 PM
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My very favorite meal of the past year was at Hearth. I LOVED it. You could certainly blow out all the stops there and come in under your price limit.

Two of us shared the beef and it was fabulous. There were five of us and we ate across the menu and liked everything. I would go back in a minute.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2011, 05:43 PM
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On the trip before this last one - I had marvelous appetizer's at Bar Masa Sushi (next to the highly regarded Sushi restaurant Masa) - which included Kobe Beef and Fois Gras, Scallops from a Northern Japanese Island, and another wonderful small plate, and even with glass of house Chardonnay - and then a decent saki - it was around $175

Tomsd is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2011, 06:52 PM
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point well taken about mentioning the food we like.... normally, my answer would be EVERY type. however, i immediately looked up 'le bernadin' and saw that it is mostly fish== and i am not much of a seafood fan. so-- anything-- other than a place that is know for its amazing seafood!! thanks much for responses so far...
kawh is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2011, 06:37 AM
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So don't go to Marea either. It's Italian (and excellent) but the menu focuses primarily on seafood.

I'd throw Gramercy Tavern into the mix. It has either a more affordable and casual (no reservations) tavern room or the more upscale dining room. Lunch is quite affordable there, as is the tavern room. I really like the food.

I am about to go to Maialino for the first time next week. It's also Italian but a Roman trattoria, so the emphasis is on excellent pastas (such as spaghetti carbornara) and pork (i.e., "maialino").

A more formal and upscale Italian option would be Del Posto. It's really very different from Babbo even though Mario Batali is involved. The simple lunch prix-fixe there is pretty cheap at $29, but the menu doesn't begin to convey what the restaurant is known for. There's also a more elaborate menu for $75, which is $145 at dinner. So lunch there is a real bargain, so to speak, regardless of how you go.

And it's already been mentioned, but I simply adore The Modern Bar Room. The lamb chop there is always excellent, and there desserts are excellent. But the menu is so varied and interesting (mostly small plates) that there is bound to be something that will appeal to you.

Several of NYC's top restaurants do specialize or are particularly known for seafood.
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Old Nov 15th, 2011, 10:21 AM
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We had an exemplary celebratory dinner last night at Picholine on West 64th Street. A lovely dining room (we were in the first of the two rooms); excellent service, attentive but not hovering, friendly but not obsequious; wonderful food, including four game fowl choices not ordinarily available elsewhere, beautifully presented.

When I mentioned that we were celebrating a friend's birthday, the hostess asked how she spells her name. Lo and behold, the menus were imprinted with Happy Birthday Riska. And, when the captain mentioned our special occasion, I casually noted that my own birthday is this week as well. So, when it came time for desserts, a couple of extras showed up that included a large disk of white chocolate bearing another "Happy Birthday."

Highly recommended, special occasion or not.
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Old Nov 15th, 2011, 11:54 AM
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I hope the birthday treats didn't deter you from the CHEESE at Picholine. Yum. I was actually disappointed in my entree the last time I was there (a couple years ago) but that wouldn't deter me from going back. I had a duck and mushroom risotto there once that I still dream about.

The space is just lovely, and the service impeccable (I already gave my disclaimer that it was a couple years ago.)
YankyGal is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2011, 01:41 PM
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We didn't partake of the cheese course (for which Picholine is justly distinguished), but I had perhaps a more exiting alternative. I had a dessert called Roquefort Textures that consisted of variations on Roquefort, including a small wedge of cheese, a Roquefort mousse, a Roquefort sorbet, a caramelized Roquefort meringue, and a Sauternes gelée. The ladies each had Apple "Pain Perdu," with salted caramel ice cream, a green apple "cloud," and rum raisin sauce.

Dessert tours de force!
bspielman is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2011, 02:05 PM
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OMG, I'm drooling. That is my kind of dessert!
YankyGal is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2011, 05:09 PM
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Jean George last month and best ever last year at Per Se. Both above budget, so sell the kids!!!!!
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Old Nov 16th, 2011, 01:16 PM
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We had our "nice" dinner two weeks ago at Boulud Sud and really enjoyed it. The service was lovely and the food was so different - there was quite a bit of seafood and we were going easy on that because it was our pre-marathon dinner, but we found plenty of other great dishes to share. The chicken Tagine was so tasty!
AtlTravelr is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2011, 02:17 PM
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Craft is another favorite of mine that I forgot to mention above; you could get out for your limit with careful ordering of food and wine. Style of cooking is not dissimilar to Hearth, mentioned above, but lusher in execution, in my opinion. Great ingredients; simply prepared. Simple as compared to other restaurants, not similar at all to the cooking in my home, or to any home cooking that I know!

ekscrunchy is offline  
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