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Recommendation for Bouley and Babbo fan?

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Hi…I’m visiting NYC in late December for the 5th time, but I don’t think I know the dining scene as well as I’d like to. After combing the boards…I came to an awful conclusion: I know what I don’t like, but don’t know what I’d like!! So I’d really appreciate some guidance in where to go.

I’m looking for a place that is on the par with Bouley and Babbo – food that reflects a definitive style and sophistication. I like all kinds of cuisine and eat all kinds of ingredients, but for my trip, European cuisine or Inter-European fusion would be most welcome. I know that New York has many great Asian places, but I go to Asia once every two months and I grew up in Asian countries, so…

I have ruled out Le Bernardin due to many negative feedbacks about its uneven quality on Chowhound. I am skipping Per Se because I live in San Francisco. I read many good things about Eleven Madison Park, but I don’t feel very inspired by its menu or the pictures of its food. I’ve been to the original Alain Ducasse in Paris and thought that while it was good, it did not deliver on the wow impact. I’ve been to Vong and found that its presentation and décor shadowed its food, so I’m very hesitant about Jean Georges.

So....Can someone help me, please? Thank you so much for your help and advice!

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  1. sounds like "a voce" might suit your tastes...

    chowhound's "link to a place" feature seems to be on the fritz again, but the restaurant has a web site:

    http://www.avocerestaurant.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      oops, i misread...didn't realize you haven't been to jean-georges...i'd say take a chance.

      since you like babbo & bouley, how about del posto or daniel?

      other ideas:
      aureole
      gordon ramsay at the london
      aquavit

    2. I've never been to Vong, but from what I've read, it's a poor representation of the Jean-Georges empire. I wouldn't hesitate to go to the flagship.

      1. Don't be hesitant of Jean Georges!! It is phenomenal.

        What about Picholine?

        1. How about Cru? Having been to daniel, bouley, per se, and cru for special occasions over the last few years, I give the slight edge to Cru for the full package experience of it (food + service + atmosphere). The service was truly stellar there and we really enjoyed the food. One of the best wine lists in the city too.

          1. Jean-Georges is simply amazing (and a wonderful deal at lunch). I would also second the recommendation for A Voce. I am not a huge fan of Eleven Madison Park. Some of the food is beautiful but none of it TASTED terrific (don't get me wrong - it was all good but just not sublime) and some of it was really form over substance (a little too much WD-50ish). Don't miss J-G and A Voce.

            1 Reply
            1. re: CTGirl100

              agree about eleven mad park. i was underwhelmed both times i was there...once for lunch, once for dinner.