One of the most difficult questions to answer is: “Which restaurant should I try in NYC?” Even more of a difficult question to answer is: “Which restaurant is worth splurging on in NYC?” The type of cuisine, service, presentation, and occasion are just a few factors to consider when planning to drop big bucks on a meal. Luckily, we’ve listed our 10 favorites in New York City that we think are worth every penny.
Expect utmost service and exceptional fish-forward French cuisine at this three-Michelin-starred dining experience. Le Bernardin was birthed in Paris and expanded to New York in 1986. Diners are in good hands as Chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin has run the kitchen for over 20 years. Le Bernardin offers a few tasting menu options; the four-course menu is split into three categories – Almost Raw, Barely Touched, and Lightly Cooked.
Think Kampachi Crudo with grated yuzu, lemon, and extra virgin olive oil and Poached Black Bass with braised cippolini, spinach, and shaved turnip bacon-green peppercorn sauce. The chef’s tasting menu (which we highly recommend), consists of eight courses from Osetra caviar on a “potato cloud” to poached lobster with black trumpet and baby turnips to brown sugar curd, oats, and apple-pomegranate sorbet. While seafood remains Ripert’s passion, there is an option of a vegetarian tasting menu as well. Le Bernardin serves 99% sustainable and wild fish from between Maine and North Carolina.
Located in SoHo, one-Michelin-starred Vestry places heavy emphasis on seafood and vegetable-focused dishes. The menu, with Asian cuisine influences, includes a variety of small, shareable plates and larger, main course items. Menu highlights are the shiitake handroll with nishiki rice, wrapped in wasabi leaf; chu toro with yuzu and fresh wasabi; sushi rice mixed with egg yolk, shiso, and trout roe; Atlantic salmon with butternut squash and kombu; and homemade cheesecake with Honeycrisp apple.
Nestled in a narrow, brick-walled space, Rezdôra is an unassuming upscale one-Michelin-starred Italian restaurant. Pasta is the route to take here, and if you really want to commit to that route, try the five-course pasta-tasting menu. Dishes to try include burrata with royal mushrooms and black truffle puree; strozzapreti pasta with tomato sauce, lobster and basil; uovo raviolo di nino bergese pasta with ricotta, egg yolk, sage, and white truffle; and scallops with roasted squash, hazelnuts, and saba. The bulk of the produce comes from nearby Union Square Green Market and Rezdôra is committed to working with local farmers.
The food on the 10-course Korean tasting menu at two-Michelin-starred Atomix is genuinely excellent. There are several details that make dining at this restaurant worth the dent in your wallet. To begin, to enter you must ring the doorbell of an unmarked small residential building. A host will then greet you and walk you down a set of stairs to a counter with 14 chairs. A few snacks arrive, but the fun part is that a tray of chopsticks, each unique, are presented to you and you’ll have the option of selecting your perfect pair. After this fun step, dinner begins. Every course commences with a notecard. The notecard gives specific details about what you’re about to consume, even down to little ingredients such as water. The notecards also have a short description of the inspiration behind the dish as well as the IG handle of the person who made the plate. The courses start small and progressively get larger. At the end of your meal, you’ll be given an envelope to take all of your notecards home.
You know that the food will be exceptional and the service incredible the moment you step foot into one-Michelin-starred Marea. The pasta dishes are the restaurant’s claim to fame, but Marea is a seafood restaurant before it’s an Italian one. Marea can be experienced through a tasting menu or a la carte. Outstanding dishes include the crudo; grilled octopus with fregola, sundried tomato, castelvetrano olive, almond, and charred raisin; and the grilled lobster with mushroom, castelfranco, and caramelized sunchoke. The house-made pastas are the star of the show with the gnocchetti tossed with tomatoes, shrimp, chilies, and rosemary oil, and the squid ink lobster ravioli with coral bottarga being our favorites.
Superior French cuisine makes this two-Michelin-starred restaurant worthwhile. Dishes present everything from attention to detail and immaculate seasonal products to distinct flavor combinations. Dishes may include foie gras terrine with glazed sour cherries and candied almonds coated in a thin brûlée shell, while steamed black sea bass is dressed tableside with a mild red curry broth, a splash of lime and a sprinkle of sesame seed. Desserts are more elaborate such as a plum sorbet, verbena-poached pear, and a palate cleanser of melon soup with “vanilla noodles.” A vegetarian tasting menu with the likes of butternut squash purée with minced chives and brunoised mushrooms is also available.
Located on the 63rd floor of the Art Deco building, Saga is a multi-course seasonal tasting menu with Moroccan influences. The average dinner lasts about 3.5 hours and spans several different rooms. First, you’ll have cocktails on the terrace. There’s no menu to peruse in advance, so a server will come to you and ask a couple of questions (this dish or this dish?). After answering, continue with the cocktails until you’re summoned to be seated in one of the dining rooms. Execution of the dishes at Saga is critical. After finishing the meal, you’ll be taken to a different terrace for tea service followed by dessert.
Bâtard is home to a multi-course European tasting menu with touches of the chef’s native Austrian roots. Menu highlights include foie gras mousse with almond streusel, apple, sunchoke, and cranberry; carnaroli risotto with forest mushrooms, chives, parmesan, and jus; and Amish chicken with roasted salsify, ricotta, chicken ragu, shallot confit, and sage jus.
Two-Michelin-starred, The Modern, overlooks the MoMA’s sculpture garden and is designed to capture the feel of the art museum. Dishes such as seed cracker with aged cheddar and butternut squash butter; or soft-boiled eggs with sturgeon caviar; or turbot roasted on the bone alongside rich parmesan cream may be found on the carefully curated pre-fixe menu. We recommend a reservation while it’s still daylight to be able to look out at the garden while the sun’s still out.
Don’t be fooled by Indian Accent’s seemingly rigid prix-fixe and chef’s tasting menu options. Yes, it’s fine dining, but the restaurant isn’t above letting you have some fun and even get a little authentic by eating with your hands. Menu favorites are the beet and peanut butter tikki and goat cheese raita; sweet pickle ribs, sundried mango, and onion seeds; crispy jackfruit, cauliflower rice, and kerala pumpkin curry; paper roast dosa, wild mushrooms, water chestnuts, and gunpowder; and for dessert, makhan malai, saffron milk, rose petal jaggery brittle, and almonds.
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