It's Worth Getting Sloppy For This Grilled Cheese Taco
1. Eleven Madison Park11 Madison Ave, New York
2. Le Bernardin155 W 51st St, New York
3. Per Se10 Columbus Circle, New York
4. The NoMad1170 Broadway, New York
5. Momofuku Ko8 Extra Pl, New York
6. Daniel60 E 65th St, New York
7. Estela47 E Houston St, New York
8. Masa10 Columbus Circle, New York
There is no shortage of fine dining in New York City, but you'll be hard pressed to find any place better than Eleven Madison Park to splurge on a fancy meal. The sophisticated 7-9 course seasonal tasting menu features all local ingredients, with creative plays on modern American cuisine. As if the meal wasn't impressive enough on it's own, EMP also offers an unbeatable view of Madison Square Park.
Le Bernardin is the Meryl Streep of the New York restaurant scene. It has all the necessary accolades for being the best (three Michelin stars, seven James Beard awards), and other restaurants don’t even try to compete with it. Chef Eric Ripert has mastered the art of seafood in the form of a caviar-heavy prix fixe menu that tastes best with the optional wine pairing. Add white tablecloths and five-star service, and you’ve got a once-in-a-lifetime dinner.
Per Se, looming over Columbus Circle since 2004, has grown to become synonymous with haute French-American fine dining. It’s all one would expect from Chef Thomas Keller, the man responsible for internationally lauded French Laundry —widely considered to be America’s best restaurant. In the most formal of dining rooms, a straight-laced and buttoned-up staff serve refined and extravagantly plated (and priced) nine-course contemporary tasting menus that entice the eye as much as the palate. No single dish has elicited more gasps of delight than his signature starter: warm oysters and a scoop of caviar in a savory tapioca pudding. In the time since its peak, critical applause has wained somewhat, but Per Se remains emblematic of haute, and costly, dining in the city, nonetheless.
Housed in a historic arts building, The NoMad hotel is a stylish, Parisian-inspired luxury hotel with hardwood floors and handmade rugs. Inside the hotel is a bi-level library, an opulent lounge with a mahogany bar, and an upscale restaurant. Around the corner from the hotel is the much-lauded NoMad Bar (10 W 28th St), serving refined cocktails and upscale pub fare in a hip, lively space.
The fanciest and hardest-to-get table in the Momofuku empire is tasting menu-ing it up in a larger space in Extra Place alley.
Daniel is lauded Chef Daniel Boulud's renowned restaurant on the Upper East Side, serving seasonal French cuisine with a side of elegant ambiance. Expect to pair world-class wines with a number of unique dishes, or grab a cocktail and late-night dessert at the swank bar/lounge. A popular location for weddings and rehearsal dinners, Daniel is a great place to bring a date when you have a little extra cash to spend.
From sommelier Thomas Carter, Chef Ignacio Mattos (formerly of Isa), and Mark Connell (Botanica), Estela is a tiny Houston St walk-up focusing on carefully constructed small plates like burrata with radishes, raw scallops with fennel, and beef tartare. Part-bar, part-restaurant, Estela is also known for a serious wine list.
If you'd like to see what makes a meal worth most people's monthly rent, head to Masa. Masayoshi Takayama, chef and owner of this New York City sushi standard, manifests perfection in fresh fish dishes prepared with hyper-conscious attention to flavor interactions and plating techniques. Posted up in the Time Warner Center, you'll forget the bustle of Columbus Circle and the mall crowd below as you indulge on delicate nigiri and mackerel of the highest echelon.