Craft vs Aureole vs other
I'll be in NYC the nights of Nov 2-6.
Typically I like to cruis in and out of restaurants sitting at the bars, grabbing and a glass of wine and moving on to the next place.
I would like, however, to scrap this on two of the nights, and eat two tasting menus while there with my wife.
WD-50 is the one place I definitely want to experience.
A trip to NYC has been a long time coming for me as a former cook/chef living in St. Louis. There are many places I've always wanted to eat...Union Square Cafe, Jean Georges, Gotham etc, but I don't have time to do them all.
My Craft vs Aureole is my love of the culinary philosophy of those two guys. Obviously they're not in their kitchens anymore (especially Palmer).
I have a map with points plotted for places I might check out:
Thoughts...suggestions...I have to call and make the reservations in a couple days.
I have not been to Craft, although it is on my to-do list. I have been to Craftbar, and been very unimpressed. I know they are not the same restaurant, which is why Craft is still on my list.
WD-50 is definitely a great choice. Wiley is really going out of his way to do some great things with food down there, and is definitely worth a stop.
I would recommend against going to Aureole. I was there early this year for the five-course tasting menu. While the service and decor were great, I found the portion management to be all wrong (all the portions were way too big, filling me quickly). Additionally, at the time, the tasting menu was rhubarb-inspired, with each integrating rhubarb into it on some level. There is only one dish I can recall where it worked on any level, other than that, I thought it was nothing more than garnish for all of the dishes. In all fairness, the dessert menu was very, very good, and the desserts that my date and I had were both superb.
Go to Craft! At, Aureole the food is very good, but the vibe and presentation is kinda pretentious. Perhaps a by-product of its location and clientele? Craft keeps its simple,
and wows on the plate. I've never had their tasting menu, but based on my previous meals there, I bet it's an excellent idea.
BTW, I checked out your list of places to check out. Looks like a great trip, although some of the choices are a bit "old school". I guess it depsnds on your motivation for going there (perhaps it's a place you always loved when visiting) and personal taste, but you have a lot of places that attract an older crowd: Chanterelle, Le Bernardin, Danube, etc. I'd suggest updating the list, throw in a Cafe Grey, or a Blau Gans, or some sushi? Just a thought.
The 3 spots on your list that I think you should DEF go to are 11 Madison Park,
Veritas & Peasant. Amazing each in their own way.
I would say skip Les Halles, there are many better Brasseries in NYC now.
enjoy your trip!
Great list. I actually think you mix up the new and old nicely. You are missing something Asian though. If you had to subtract anything I'd say Matthew's (unless you are in the media business and want to lunch there for some reason? It's the de facto cafeteria for the power scene of that industry.) And Park Avenue Bistro isn't really a must.
On your list:
A Voce: I was underimpressed. Peasant, Lupa, and Babbo, though very different, are better choices for Italian
Aureole Restaurant: haven't been in years but my chef's tasting there was very memorable
Babbo: haven't been in a few years, but it is very good and worth trying. Of course, Lupa is a nice substitute.
Buonitalia: plenty to see here. A nice shop to look around in
Chanterelle: again, haven't been in a few years. Dinner was more memorable for the extremely gracious service than the food
Craft Bar Restaurant: a decent neighborhood place, but I wouldn't waste my time if I were just visiting
Danube: excellent, though a bit snobby
Le Bernardin Restaurant: very good, but didn't live up to expectatiions
Lupa Restaurant: definitely worth a try for food and fun (though packed) atmosphere
Park Bistro: underimpressed
Peasant: great place
Union Square Cafe: simple but good food with very good service. I wouldn't go out of my way.
wichcraft: fine but overrated.