Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Mar 2, 2009 09:50 AM

Jean Georges, Kefi, Scarpetta or Blue Hill?

I know these are all wildly different - which one should I pick for my mom's birthday? She's happy at a fancy place or a more casual one. What I'm looking for is the most delicious meal possible at a place that feels celebratory. Warm and gracious service is a plus. And if the vegetarian options are as tasty as the non-veg ones, all the better. If we go to one of the more expensive places, we can't go wild with the tasting menus, will have to be a la carte.

Thoughts? Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. We've not been to Kefi or Scarpetta. Between Jean Georges and Blue Hill, J.G.definitely has the more celebratory ambiance, at least to me. The cuisine is superb, and service is faultless. However, there is no a la carte menu, so if that's what you're after, Blue Hill has that.

    3 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Jean Georges over Scarpetta and Blue Hill , not even close

      1. re: foodwhisperer

        JG is the clear winner here. The ambiance at JG is beautiful and the food is fancy light and fine. If you are doing the al carte at JG you will be stuck with the 3 courses for 98$ (I believe) which is plenty of food. If i were you I would order the scallops w/ capers and the halibut. There are other choices. I don't eat meat so for your starters do that (I can't tell from your post the level of Vegi). The deserts are also excellent and you should at least do one (to split) they are large and when paired with the free stuff they give for desert will be enough for two.

        1. re: hkhungry

          There is no "a la carte" dinner menu at Jean Georges. The $98 prix-fixe = 3 courses -- starter, main and dessert -- so no need to choose one dessert because each diner gets his or her own choice.

    2. Thanks for the opinions so far! I have eliminated Jean Georges and Scarpetta because the vegetarian options don't look as appealing. I'm also throwing Perilla into the mix. Anybody out there with a strong opinion?
      My sense is these are all winners, just wondering if one of Blue Hill, Kefi or Perilla is more guaranteed for deliciousness.

      2 Replies
      1. re: edamame

        First, dont discount jean georges so quickly. If you are interested in having a vegetarian based meal, call them ahead of time and ask them to arrange something for you,. I had dinner there once with a vegetarian and they arranged a wonderful menu for her. Secondly comparing Jean Georges to the other restaurants listed is like comparing Lou Gehrig to a double A ballplayer.

        1. re: sethd

          I agree with sethd. We took a vegetarian to JG and called ahead too. JG would be my first choice.

      2. JG is clearly the best but it is most rigid. I would actually opt for Blue Hill as the options are greater and the vibe is easier and the food is really first rate. Kefi would be a nightmare... Scarpetta a great choice if the food appeals. Perilla is wonderful too but if Italian works I'd go to Scarpetta instead

        1 Reply
        1. re: msny98

          How is jean georges rigid? They are at least thirty options on the main dining room menu, they will gladly do a vegetarain menu if asked in advance or when you arrive at the restaurant. It is one of the 4 best restaurants in the city if not the country. This is a no brainer for me!!!

        2. It certainly doesn't compare to Jean Georges, but if you decide to go for a less pricey option I adore Kefi. I especially recommend the meatball appetizer.

          1. I ate at Kefi the other night and while the food is quite good, and the prices shockingly low, I would never describe the service as gracious. Far from it, actually. We were halfway through our apps, when the runner brought our our mains. It was pretty annoying. And when I asked for some guidance on their all-Greek wine list, the server (or sommelier) asked me what kinds of things I liked and then immediately went to a $56 bottle. At a place where the entree prices hover around $15, I found that to be a bit bold.

            I think Blue Hill best fits what you're looking for. The service there is professional and polished but not the least bit stuffy, and they are definitely able to accommodate vegetarians.