Is there an equivalent to Chez Panisse Cafe in NYC?
It's a place I go once a year for the past three years. I have yet to find something that is near it. Any advice?
I have not been to the restaurant yet. I have never loved what they were having the days I was there. The cafe has not disappointed. Ever.
Always liked Union Square Cafe. Sit at the bar, eat great food, talk to other patrons. Food, in its own way, is just as great as CP in Berkeley. Both are top notch restaurants, in my opinion and have been for a long time.
For me, the allure of Chez Panisse, and Alice Waters in particular, is the quality of the food. Her commitment to using locally grown (and seasonal) ingredients revolutionized the culinary world. In that regard, Union Square Cafe is not a complementary choice (In my opionion, it's the most overrated restaurant in Manhattan. I live around the corner and yet prefer going to all the other Danny Meyer eateries).
I have seen Alfred Portale, the chef/owner of Gotham Bar & Grill, described in print as the East Coast version of Alice Waters. I think his restaurant is fantastic and a consistently excellent experience. However, my vote is for Blue Hill. The chef/owner, Dan Barber, owns a farm upstate (which also houses a restaurant) and apparently get most if not all his ingredients from there. Another consistently excellent experience.
I would say Blue Hill or The Tasting Room, which are both slavish to quality, local ingredients.
The Tasting Room is one of my favs. I have never been to Blue Hill. I was just on the Chez Panisse Cafe site to see what they had this week. As usual, I was mesmerized by how simple but amazing their dishes read. They taste even better. I am calling Blue Hill immediately. I won't get out to NorCal this year because I am getting married. We are going to Newport, RI for the honeymoon. We really debated going out to CA again. But next year! Definitely!