Restaurant magazine just unleashed its definitive list of The World's 50 Best Restaurants for 2014. Compiling the opinions/votes of roughly 900 international industry experts (members of The Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, who wonder why you're not using their credit card), the mag has maybe the most simplistic voting guidelines of any voting thing, ever: "There is no criteria that a restaurant has to meet. They certainly do not have to sell a certain product. They do not need to have been open a certain number of years and they do not need to have won any other culinary accolades."
So, which of our fair city's restaurants made the top 50 list? Check it out:
Oh, and in case you were wondering who just missed out on the 50 Best, they have an extended list too. Here's who didn't (but did) make the cut:
See which non-NYC places snagged a coveted spot by checking out the entire list, here.
Julie Cerick is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist and is wondering why ABC Kitchen isn't on the list, for their squash toast alone. Let her know why on Twitter.
1. Eleven Madison Park11 Madison Ave, New York
2. Le Bernardin155 W 51st St, New York
3. Daniel60 E 65th St, New York
4. Per Se10 Columbus Circle, New York
5. Momofuku Ssäm Bar207 2nd Ave, New York
6. Marea240 Central Park South, New York
7. Jean-Georges1 Central Park W, New York
8. The NoMad1170 Broadway, 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.
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.
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.
Let’s start with the name. The word Ssäm means “to wrap,” and refers to a Korean dish of wrapped meat, much like a burrito. Now that we’re all experts, let’s dive into David Chang’s egalitarian, East Village hot spot, Momofuku Ssäm Bar. The restaurant’s stools and communal tables have been coveted and constantly full since its inception in 2006, when Chang introduced the Asian burrito to the New York dining scene. And as with most of, if not all of Chang’s restaurants, there’s always a wait, and trust us when we tell you it’s worth it. Chang’s convivial concept features Korean streetfood with global -- primarily local -- influence, with a heavy focus on pork and offal. (Vegetarians, tread lightly: the menu states that vegetarian options are available upon request, but that’s really not the point.) The beverage list features Asian-inspired signature cocktails (Yuzu Kir Royale, Seven Spice Sour) as well as classics, and sizeable selections of sake, beer, and wine. The menu changes daily, but a few staples remain and should be ordered without question: pork buns (a few, at least), kimchi (obviously), fried Brussels sprouts, cured country hams, spicy pork sausage and rice cakes, and an ever-changing, large format Ssäm. At lunch, you can enjoy any of five individual Ssäm options; order extra pancakes.
Michael White’s seafood-centric destination off Central Park aims to impress with its elegant interior and high-end Italian ingredients. The house-made pastas will have you coming back for more, like the fusilli with red wine-braised octopus and bone marrow, an elevated homage to surf-n-turf with baby octopus braised in red wine and buttery Pat LaFrieda marrow.
There are plenty of fine dining opportunities in New York City, but none of them can compare to Jean-Georges. Since its opening to critical acclaim in 1997, Jean-Georges has been known for its beautifully crafted dishes that blend French, American, and Asian cultural influences. The menu here changes seasonally and is created with locally sourced ingredients to ensure that every visitor can enjoy a truly exceptional meal.
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.