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What is the best open-kitchen restaurant in Manhattan?

PeteM Nov 25, 2007 09:33 AM

Price is of no concern, sushi doesn't count.

Which restaurant has the best combination of view of kitchen + food?

Skybox? What else?

  1. daveena Nov 25, 2007 09:59 AM


    6 Replies
    1. re: daveena
      PeteM Nov 25, 2007 10:10 AM

      You'd take it over Cafe Gray?

      1. re: PeteM
        chocokitty Nov 25, 2007 10:41 AM

        After going to Cafe Gray once for lunch, the view of the kitchen is not all equal. The food's good but it doesn't make me want to run back there though.


        1. re: PeteM
          daveena Nov 25, 2007 03:44 PM

          Haven't been to Cafe Gray... for me, it's hard to top the intimacy at Degustation, paired with the creativity and soulfulness of the food. I like knowing that the chef who created the dish is also the one cooking it.

          Thank you for bringing up Cafe Gray, though... I haven't been hearing much about it, and now I'm thinking I should take my parents there next time we're all in NYC... they loved Lespinasse (my dad was kind of devastated when it closed). I actually hated the formality, and might enjoy the food more in a more casual setting. Although, I just read chocokitty's blog post on Cafe Gray - maybe we'd be better off just going back to Jean-Georges?

          1. re: daveena
            chocokitty Nov 25, 2007 04:09 PM

            I personally would stick with Jean Georges rather than Cafe Gray, even if it was for dinner and pay a larger price for it.

            Cafe Gray is supposedly in a more casual setting but it somehow felt stuffy and fussy. The food was good but I loved it more in Jean Georges. The service was spotty in Cafe Gray, sometimes I have attention from the servers and at certain times, I was ignored despite the fact that the dining room's only half full at best. At JG, I didn't feel pressured and there's a good amount of attention when it's called for.

            Btw, I also love Degustation as much as you do. That was one great birthday meal.

            1. re: chocokitty
              ny.foodie Mar 8, 2008 05:45 AM

              Wow, Wow, Wow! Yes, was just there yesteday. Best lunch in NYC. 2 plates for 28.00. Yes at the 4 star Jean Georges! Great food, (service-very friendly), the room-simple but elegant. They let you relax and unwind and don't throw you out so fast. No stuffyness here. But was it crowded. It was jammed at 3:00pm! The the owner WAS there too buzzing around making sure everyone was happy.


        2. re: daveena
          financialdistrictresident Nov 26, 2007 03:59 PM

          Another for Degustation. We also had dinner at Falai recently and the views of their open kitchen were not great (we were seated at a corner table with a view of the patio and diagonally positioned toward the kitchen), but our meal was delicious.

        3. r
          RCC Nov 25, 2007 03:54 PM

          I haven't really made the effort to go all out on trying for tables or bars with the view of the open kitchen in Manhattan.

          However, although not an open kitchen restaurant. the counter/bar at Hearth right by the open kitchen is one truly enjoyable dining experience out there.

          1. k
            kathryn Nov 25, 2007 07:45 PM

            What about Kitchen Counter at Beacon, which only runs on Thursday nights? It's kind of Chef Waldy Malouf's version of a chef's table, except you eat at a bar/counter.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kathryn
              ginsbera Mar 7, 2008 12:09 PM

              I'll be going there in April, but for now I say Degustation is tops by far.

            2. a
              amysal47 Mar 7, 2008 12:35 PM

              Peasant, my fave

              1. d
                digitalburro Mar 7, 2008 04:59 PM

                Another vote for Degustation. It's not just the open-kitchen aspect, it's the feel of intimacy that the space also brings. Add in the quality of the food and you have a winner!

                1. Miss Needle Mar 7, 2008 05:13 PM


                  1. egit Mar 8, 2008 05:14 AM

                    Another for Degustation. It's not just an open kitchen. It's like you're IN the kitchen. The food's good and you're really only about 5 feet away from the chef. A lot of places that have open kitchens don't really force you to focus your attention on the kitchen. At D, you have no choice.

                    And the food's very good too.

                    1. l
                      Lucia Mar 8, 2008 05:47 AM

                      Casa Mono--I like it better than Degustation. Momofuku Ko is probably worth a try if you can get in. I haven't been yet, but I'm excited to go from early word I've read.

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