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Nov 20, 2008 09:17 PM

Best Tasting Menu for under $150?

Hi - I'll be in New York over New Year's and want to do an epic tasting menu. Right now, I am thinking of doing WD-50 - their tasting menu is $140. Anyone have a favorite that they would rank higher?

I have yet to do the whole molecular gastronomy thing, so I am looking forward to that. However, I sure wish per se was cheaper....

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  1. Re: per se. Keep in mind that service is included in the cost. If your budget doesn't permit having the 9-course menu for $275, a 5-course menu is served at lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at a cost of $175. If you subtract the 20% service charge ($30), that brings the cost for that tasting to $145. In addition, the easiest reservation to get is lunch on Sunday.

    For other options, here are two dinner tastings I highly recommend:

    On the high end, if you've never had Jean Georges' tasting of his signature dishes, it's $148. (The seasonal tasting is also $148.)

    On the "bargain of the century" end, Fleur de Sel's 6-course tasting is $89 is a steal for cuisine of this superb quality! Plus, you get two choices for each course -- not generally the case with other tastings.

    If you want to do a tasting menu at lunch, Eleven Madison Park's 5-course Gourmand at $58 also belongs in the bargain category. Sensational!

    As for WD-50, I've never been interested in going there because I don't want the food on my plate to be a science project. But as the expression goes, "Chacun a son gout."

    1 Reply
    1. re: RGR

      If you are around on Sunday, I would go with Per Se. When we went there, it actually was for lunch on a Sunday. Not because that was the reservation that we could get, but when our friends wanted to go. It was the best dining experience I have ever had. What was most amazing was the thought that I could spend as long as we did eating, probably 4 hours or more, and I wasn't tired because it was the middle of the day. Totally enhanced the experience. At the time we went, they didn't have set wine pairings, which I believe they do have now. It was also a 9 course meal. We asked for wine pairings, and they worked more or less within our price range. They asked if we could go a little higher, which we of course agreed to.

    2. I think one of the vest values in the city is the 10-course tasting at Degustration. It's $75. And you can do the wine pairing for an extra $65. The food was wonderful and again - it was such a great value and Im glad to recommend it.

      I also did the 10-course at ko, and while slightly more innovative, I couldn't afford to drink, and I really don't think it was worth the price tag (and the annoyance of getting that reservation).

      2 Replies
      1. re: piegirl74

        I second Degustation. Yum. It's been a while since I've been there though -- hope it's still as good as it was! A great value. Not sure I'd call it "epic" though -- certainly not on the level of Per Se.

        1. re: _emilie_

          When I was there in September I was absolutely blown away by some of the options -- especially the octopus, which might be the best thing I've ever eaten. There was some disappointments though (the salad, the croquettes), so while I am excited to go back, especially given the price, I would have to agree it is not epic.

      2. I can't remember how much it was per person, but Babbo was excellent. I would highly recommend it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: rockstar14

          I third Degustation. Also, Babbo pasta tasting is $75. It's unreal.

          1. re: rockstar14

            Went to Babbo on Tuesday, I think it was just over $350 for four people including four antipasti, four pastas, two mains, two desserts, a few glasses of wine, tax, and tip.

          2. ESCA - My favorite Italian/seafood in NYC

            $75 for 6-courses is a steal!!!! It's seafood, so it's wont walk out feeling like you will explode like some other restaurants offering richer foods...

            1. went to corton last night, $110. great tasting menu -- not sure if theyll do it on new years but its good