Visiting NYC - can finally afford a GREAT meal. Help!
So my husband and I went to college in NYC and lived on a tight budget there for years. We are finally returning with healthy appetites and more money to spend on an excellent meal. But we don't know where to start. We want one, special, anniversary meal. No seafood (I'm from Seattle and you can't beat that!). And I'm not a sushi fan. All else is fair game. I've been trying to get a reservation at Babbo all morning, but can't get through.
Please, send any and all recommendations. Thanks!!
So many options, really...some of it depends on the atmosphere and the cuisine you want...in addition to seafood, you Seattlers have NYC beat on American bistros: Lark, Matt's in the Market, etc are all superior to similar places here...
i'd suggest Il Giglio...elegant, festive old-school Italian in Tribeca...or maybe go to Picholine and get the cheese course...
Babbo books 31 days to the day ahead of time. If you are coming before that time without reservations you can go to restaurant at 530 when they open and grab a bar chair or they have a couple of tables for walk ins-BUT they fill fast so get your butt there before 530. That being said try calling couple hours after 10am when phones not as busy or keep redialing-they do answer and trust me the phone is not off the hook-just very busy! Other great substitutes are Eleven Madison Park, Gordon Ramsay at The London, Tabla, Adour, Market Table etc. Best of luck!
My husband and I went to Felidia last night (for the first time, for our anniversary). It was truly wonderful. The food was fabulous, service perfect, and Lidia came to talk to us at our table. Pricy, but well worth it for a once-in-a-blue-moon-treat-yourself kind of dinner.
bouley is a perfect special occasiony spot i think. i also would second picholine.
but if you want something less uber-romantic, and more clean/modern elegance what about JG or perry street?
Cru is one of the best restaurants I've been to in the city so far...we actually go there for our anniversary every year. I'd also suggest Union Square Cafe and Fiamma. All were pretty much flawless.
French: Robuchon (at four seasons), Jean georges (1 Central Park West), db bistro moderne on 44th street
American: Per se (very hard to book: put your names on a waiting list), Momofuku Ko (korean inspired, very hard to book), WD-50 (molecular gastronomy), veritas (excellent wine list)
Italian: Babbo, Lupa, Esca, Felidia
Spanish: Casa mono
Japanese : Kai (try the wagyu beef) on Madison avenue
Libanese: illilli (haute libanese)
Steakhouse: try craftsteak (organic steak)
Scandinavian : Aquavit
Opentable.com is a great resource. It allows you to book tables online and also gives you a lot of great info on many restaurants like gayot rating, reviews, price range, neighborhood, cuisine, etc. Never had a problem booking with them as they are very reputable.