Veritas, Blue Hill, Anissa,11 Madison or somewhere else?? a splurge... I want it to be absurdly good!
I'm being taken out for my birthday next Thursday and price isn't too much of an issue. I'm not looking for super stuffy; but I recognize that one of these amazing meals doesn't usually come with a casual environment and that's fine. I never get to eat out at restaurants like this so I really want to go somewhere mind blowing. After doing some research online here and elsewhere these were the places that I'd narrowed it down to. What are some opinions? Is there any one I should definitely rule out? Or did I miss something? I'm much more well read on the scene that I can afford-- help!!
Being on a college budget, my only true splurge thus far in my life has been taking my girlfriend out for a tasting menu at Po in the village, and it was fantastic and really not that much of a splurge. However, I've already decided that when I get back to the city, my next splurge will be the pasta tasting menu at Babbo or a stop in at Veritas.
I'm in complete agreement re EMP - I too consider it top tier in NYC - here's a post I did a couple of weeks ago...and, BTW, it is "absurdly good!"
We (2 of us) went last night, June 29th, to EMP for my birthday (and got that same chocolate script wishing me happy birthday on my dessert plate!) I left thinking that EMP with Daniel Humm at the helm of the kitchen had finally entered the top echelons of fine dining in NYC. The entire 3-hour experience, except for the desserts, was transporting.
We were served an amuse bouche that included big eye tuna, a layered goat cheese dish, and sweetbreads embedded in a pastry shell that was spiced to perfection.
My wife then had the scallops grilled with ruby grapefruit and stacked on sping potatoes with basil. I had what, up to this point in my life, was the finest foie gras dish I have ever had - elevages perigord foie gras mille feuilles with bing cherries and pistachio, sour cherry brioche and a separate foie gras creme brulee - this was the richest, sweetest, most mouth-watering dish of the night.
The next course was another amuse - strawberry gazpacho with pork crisps and prawns - very refreshing and cleansing.
Next courses were halibut mi-cuit w/asparagus and black truffles for my wife and the world's best suckling pig for me - this was served confit style w/cipollini onions and dried plum chutney.
We finished with muscovy duck breasts for two - cooked to rare/medium rare perfection with a glaze of lavender honey and spices.
We also had cocktails beforehand and a bottle of Ghislaine Barthod Pinot with dinner. The total bill with taxes and tip was $420.00
I've never eaten at Masa - but have eaten at most of the other Michelin starred restaurants in town - and I consider the current incarnation of EMP to certainly be worthy of 2 Michelin stars and certainly deserving of it's 3 Bruni stars.
I am a fan of Anisa (not so much of Blue Hill), but had the most fantastic, transporting meal at 11 Madison a few weeks ago. The space is beautiful and the food is delicious, interesting, and delicate. I went in good jeans with a nice shirt - it's not stuffy at all. It is a must in my opinion!
In regards to A Voce, it is one of my favorite restaurants and I do love it, but if you are willing to splurge, I'd go for 11 Madison.