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Dinner for 2 for $400 including wine, tax, and tip

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I probably should have just said "any restaurant not named Masa or Per Se", in any case I'm wondering what restaurant has the best combination of food, atmosphere, and service for the price. I was thinking Gramercy Tavern, but I'm afraid the food there won't be superlative. Other ideas include 11 Madison Park and Le Bernardin, but I'm open to any suggestions. Also, I'm not restricting myself to only hyper expensive restaurants, for example I've had wonderful meals at Babbo and The Harrison for 1/2 the price of what I have listed. Thanks for your help!

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  1. Obviously there are many possibilities, but my personal favorite right now when I want spectacular food is Picholine.

    1. My choice is Aureole. Just had a great dinner there three weeks ago. Aureole meets all of your criteria: great combination of food, atmosphere and service for yor price. You would need to spend at least double at either Masa or Per Se.

      1. If you like fish, definitely go for Le Bernadin...I think LB is better than Gramercy Tavern and 11 Madison Park (although, if I had two choose between the two, I'd definitely pick 11 MP; I had the worst service experience at GT). The Daniel experience is also fantastic - though you might need to have another $50 on hand!

        1 Reply
        1. re: cutebee

          You will have an excellent meal if you go to Blue Hill in Greenwich Village and you can easily spend the full $400 if you splurge on wine. If you want a true indulgence set aside some of the funds for train or car service to/from Blue Hill at Stone Barns and not only will the food and service be 10 times better than Blue Hill NYC, but the dining room will take your breath away. Get there early enough to appreciate the surrounding farm!

        2. Most of the restaurants mentioned will cause a minimum of $80+ for 3 course prix-fixe dinner. So for 2 people $400 cannot even cover tax and tips without alcohol. Unless you are talking about lunch, that's a different story.

          How much alcohol are you planning to consume? That can make a big difference of how far your budget can stretch.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kobetobiko

            I don't understand your maths... even if the menu is $100 per person and they buy two $65 bottles of wine and then tip 20%, they will still come in just under $400!

            or have I missed something?

            1. re: pinchy

              Oh gosh. I was an idiot. My eyes saw $400 but somehow my brain was thinking $200. Sorry for the confusion!

          2. Bouley, great atmosphere, great service and amazing food

            1. tell us all a little more about what you are looking for in terms of vibe and what the occassion is....best "atmosphere" is highly subjective...do you want romantic, quiet, bustling, festive, etc...do you want a younger vibe or an older vibe...etc...

              as you have noted, that budget will get you into anywhere other than Per Se and Masa...

              what are you craving these days?...

              1. If you want a different experience... sit at the bar and have the tasting menu at L'Atelier du Joel Robuchon in the Fours Seasons Hotel.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Gelaine

                  I just dined at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon on Friday night. While the food is good (some dishes are great, some are not), service is very attentive, for the $400, I strongly urge the OP to choose someplace else. I left over $400 for myself having a 6 small plates and dessert (my own tasting menu) and a half bottle of Ruinart champagne ($100). It was a nice experience, but not one that I would be recommending or returning to anytime soon. I stand by strong recommendation for Aureole. I've spent $400 for two people with a full bottle of Riesling, 2 prix-fixe with supplements for foie gras, and have had a much better time.

                2. Tocqueville. Very good. 11 Madison is wonderful also.