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Jan 8, 2009 08:35 AM

My Culinary Fantasy Trip Next Week and I STILL need help :(

Yes I'm sure everyone is sick of me now but I leave next week for my Culinary Adventure but I'm still hesitate on one day.

Friday- Lunch at Per Se
Saturday- Brunch at Prune, Dinner at Le Bernardin
Sunday-Breakfast at Bouchon Bakery, Dinner at WD-50
Monday- Lunch at Jean George, Dinner at Eleven Madison Park
Tuesday-Lunch at Sushi Yasuda, Dinner at Eithier Veritas or Adour or Gilt
Wednesday- Lunch at Gramery Tavern.

Now Tuesday is my biggest decision. I keep reading nothing but amazing reviews about Veritas and Gilt and I've always wanted to try Alain Ducasse cooking. One option I have is to skip EMP since I've already got GT on my list and do Adour Monday and Veritas Tuesday. Please help chowhounds!

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    1. Hey, cgervais45,

      No way would be ever be tired of helping a fellow Hound out! :-)

      I'll admit right up front that it's hard for me to be objective about Eleven Madison Park. Because it is our favorite NYC restaurant, I think if you jettison it, you will be missing out on a stellar dining experience.

      To be further honest, I would never go to wd-50 because I don't care to dine on science projects.

      So, if it were me, I'd leave EMP where it is and substitute Veritas (which serves dinner on Sunday) for wd-50. We had a superb dinner at Veritas during the summer, and I think Chef Pugin is putting out truly fine French cuisine.

      We've not been to Gilt, but the chef left recently, so I, personally, wouldn't feel too comfortable going there right now. We haven't been to Adour either, but I have been thinking of going there, so I would choose that for your Tuesday dinner.

      Here's another possible configuration. Jean Georges is now serving lunch on Saturday. So, if you can snag a reservation (which would mean dropping brunch at Prune), you could do lunch at EMP on Monday, dinner at Adour on Monday and dinner at Veritas on Tuesday. This would allow you to keep wd-50 if it's important to you.

      Note: Presuming you are arriving here on Friday, the 16th, I just checked OpenTable and there is availability at Jean Georges for Sat. lunch on the 17th. If the time does not suit you, I suggest calling the restaurant directly because they don't put all their reservations on O.T.

      1. I would definitely keep Eleven Madison Park (not the same as GT even though both are owned by Danny Meyer). If you were choosing Gilt for Chef Chris Lee, RGR is correct that he has just left. He has moved over to my favorite restaurant, Aureole (I'm looking forward to trying his new menu!). Adour has also recently undergone a change in chef (I haven't read anything yet about the new chef).

        13 Replies
        1. re: ellenost

          RGR Thanks you just made my day. Snagged a lunch reservation at JG at 1:45 and had to move my dinner reservation at Le Bernardin at 10:15 which kinda sucks but will give me a good lapse between meals I suppose. Snagged a lunch reservation at EMP at 12:00 and now deciding between Adour and Veritas for dinner. I was able to get a reservation at Gordon Ramsay for Tuesday but out of GR and Veritas which would be your pick? WD for some reason draws me and I am still a little mixed with that one.

          1. re: cgervais45

            I've not been to WD, and I think have not really helped you with sorting out your reservations generally, but, given your interest in food, and what I've read about WD, I think you should try it.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Thanks I think it would be something "Different" and there current tasting menu looks exciting.

              1. re: cgervais45

                That is my thought - you've got lots of traditional places on your list. Did you see the Bourdain piece at WD?

                1. re: MMRuth

                  No but I've heard he enjoyed very much....

                2. re: cgervais45

                  Wow, quite a line-up, I'm very impressed. We just went to Veritas on New Years Eve and it was terrific. Here's my report-

                  I haven't been to Gordon Ramsey but I've heard mixed reviews, so I'd be inclined to go with Veritas though obviously you should defer to someone who's been there. Other than that, I would definitely keep EMP and JG as they are our second and third favorite restaurants in NY behind Per Se. It will be very interesting to see what you think!

                  1. re: cgervais45

                    I agree with MMRuth about trying WD-50 just based on your interests. My experiences with molecular gastronomy are very limited, but I have to say that I wasn't a huge fan of WD-50. But the best meal I've ever had was at Pierre Gagnaire where molecular gastronomy is used quite a bit. Many of the more modern restaurants in NYC (eg. Per Se, Eleven Madison Park) do use elements of molecular gastronomy in some of their dishes. But WD-50 does take it to another level.

                    And Eleven Madison Park and Gramercy Tavern are really different types of restaurants though they have the same owner.

                    Sounds like you're going to get good use out of your new suit. ; )

                3. re: cgervais45


                  I saw that 1:45 at JG on OpenTable. 10:15 at Le Bernardin might be late in some backwaters, but in NYC on a Saturday night, it's the shank of the evening.

                  We haven't been to GR proper, but we recently had dinner at his more casual restaurant Maze, and the food was excellent. We are planning to go to GR's formal dining room but without having tried it yet, I don't fee I can do a proper comparison between it and Veritas. Tough to choose, though I'm sure you can't go wrong with either. I guess this doesn't help.... As the expression goes, so many restaurants, so little time!

                  1. re: RGR

                    Well now it between Veritas for Adour for Monday night. Have you been to Adour?

                    1. re: cgervais45

                      I am a regular at Adour and have had nothing but extraordinary meals there in the last year. There has been absolutely no change since Chef Esnault left in terms of what comes out of the kitchen.

                      1. re: sethd

                        Thanks. I've always wanted to try one of Alain Ducasse and since I missed Mix in Las Vegas maybe I should hit up Adour!

                        1. re: cgervais45

                          Adour is closed and doesn't open until either January 14th or 15th.

                          1. re: sethd

                            WellI don't leave until I think I will be ok.

              2. Nothing to contribute here, except to wish you the best with some of the best restaurant choices in NYC.

                You'll be living it and I'll be rooting for you during that week!


                15 Replies
                1. re: RCC

                  Ran into a slight probelm with EMP. There fully booked due to Restaurant week. But the lady said I could do the tasting menu at the bar. Has anyone have any experience with dining at the bar? Would it take away from the experience?

                  1. re: cgervais45

                    I think there have been some very positive posts about doing RW at EMP at the bar.

                      1. re: scoopG

                        Wow thanks that helps a lot. I will arrice right at 12:00 for a bar seat. I don't care for Restaurant Week Menus, nor did I know it was Restaurant Week until today, so I will straight for the tasting menu. I just hope my GT won't be a let down due to RW.

                        1. re: cgervais45

                          All of Danny Meyer's places take RW seriously, he is one of the exceptions...its worthwhile to consider it, however, given your itinerary you probabaly want to go full bore.....i wonder if the rest of the food suffers a bit if you dont order from the RW menu? probably not but you never the bar at EMP btw, great bartenders,....

                          1. re: Cpalms

                            and if your meal sucks at EMP.. go to Shake Shack in the park across the

                            1. re: Cpalms

                              I've been to both regular lunch at GT and RW lunch at GT and found no difference in quality.

                          2. re: scoopG

                            Thanks - that was what I was thinking of.

                          3. re: cgervais45

                            Interesting that you can get the tasting menu at the EMP bar for lunch. I've been told you can't for dinner.

                            1. re: kathryn

                              I asked the lady I talked to on the phone and she said I would be able to so hopefully so...if not a la carte here I come!!!!!! Kathryn I'm intertested on hearing your thoughts on my Monday reservation between Veritas or Adour or maybe you have a better pick for me.You seemed to know the NY dining seem VERY WELL and would love your input on where I should dine that night.

                              1. re: cgervais45

                                I know that you could also probably add on courses to the RW lunch at EMP, as well. They already allow diners to add on courses to their regular prix fixe lunch (2 courses for $28).

                                As for Veritas vs. Adour, I've never been to either so I can't comment as to which is better! Unfortunately.

                                You do, however, have a lot of fine dining in your schedule already...Bouchon Bakery seems to be your only casual meal, and I see a single, non-Western cuisine meal (Sushi Yasuda). Don't you need to take a break at some point? I thought you were in search of boldness and spiciness?

                                1. re: kathryn

                                  Yeah I want to try and get Koi on there and also been thinkin about Degustation for my Monday night. I do LOVE spice and spice and spice!!! Recs? I've also thought about skipping GT and going to Ssam Bar....what do you think???

                                  1. re: cgervais45

                                    If you like spicy, you might want to consider Devi.


                                    1. re: cgervais45

                                      Koi? I think you mean Ko?

                                      I love GT and I love Ssam Bar, so that's a rough choice. Do you already have a GT reservation?

                                      1. re: cgervais45

                                        Despite your comment above, I think you should skip Bouchon Bakery and go to Ssam bar.

                            2. Hi cgervais,

                              if you like to have something different (as kathryn suggested) from the almost all French, all fine-dining line up, how about substituting Bourchon Bakery breakfast to a brunch / lunch at Ssam Bar (as you seem to show interest?) Afterall, you are already hitting the best of Thomas Keller's restaurants Per Se, so why bother with Bouchon Bakery? I think it will make more sense to hit up a totally different restaurant/ chef like Momofuku.
                              Or if you want to go all out, you can try to reserve Momofuku Ko, either lunch or dinner whenever it fits your line up (which now seems confusing due to the multiple changes you made - you may want to rewrite it here).

                              For RGR: Is JG's main dining room now open for Saturday as well? I know the Nougatine room is always open for weekend, but didn't know that they have changed the schedule for the main dining room.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: kobetobiko

                                Good idea but I fell in love in Bouchon Bakery in Las Vegas. To my surprise, Jean George is now serving lunch in the main dining room on SAT. even though its not on there website nor on opentable yet.

                                1. re: kobetobiko

                                  Hey, kobe,

                                  As cgervaise said, it is the main dining room (Jean Georges) that is serving lunch on Saturdays. And you can reserve via OpenTable. To test it, I plugged in a Saturday date, and a reservation time appeared.

                                  1. re: kobetobiko

                                    Yes - Jean Georges' formal room being open on Saturdays is a recent change. It is not reflected on their web site but it is reflected on OpenTable.