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Nov 28, 2009 10:15 AM

Our Annual December "Vacation"

For the third year in a row, instead of leaving the city for the holidays, my husband and I are planning to "vacation" in NYC during the last week of December -- by using our vacation budget to try some great restaurants...

Noteworthy places we've been to over the last couple of years: Le Bernadin, Daniel, Gramercy Tavern, 15 East, Mesa Grill, Eleven Madison Park, Del Posto, Jean George, Sushi Yasuda, Per Se, Babbo, and River Cafe.

We are planning this year's restaurant list and need your help - what do you suggest we try this year???

Looking forward to your thoughts...


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  1. The Modern if you like their winter menu.

    1. I went to La Grenouille for lunch with a friend a couple of weeks ago, and I think you should go there. It's the last of the grandes dames of French cuisine in Manhattan. Our meal was superb (oysters, Dover Sole, caramel souffle) - the dishes were simple, but perfectly executed, and the service is of the tradtional style (yes, there is a line on the bill for a captain's tip), without being in the least bit stuffy. The flowers there are beautiful any time of year, but particularly so at Christmas.

      1. Looks like you've hit most of the best of NYC.

        For newer places, there's Corton (New French), Marea (Seafood/ Italian), Momofuku Ko and SHO Shaun Hergatt (the last two I consider New American but w/ strong Asian influence). If you like more decor, disregard Ko. And getting a reservation through the online system is always tough.

        For older spots, looks like you haven't hit Cafe Boulud Il Mulino.

        1. How about Aldea or Scarpetta?

          1. The Modern, Picholine, Convivio, Bouley, Public.

            Not in the same league as the others (this is not a negative comment) but also try:

            August, Klee, BLT Market

            3 Replies
            1. re: Spiritchaser

              Spiritchaser, we are definitely going to try Picholine this year. thanks for the suggestion! I'm surprised to see Public on your short list - its that good?

              1. re: cutebee

                cutebee - I was actually on the fence about where to place Public because the food really is THAT GOOD and we love the "industrial meets rustic" look of the space but the service, although very personable, is not to the level of truly special dining.

                And just a quick follow up: So glad to hear you are going to try Picholine. Make sure you save room for the cheese cart, it's the best in the city.

                1. re: cutebee


                  As you probably know, Picholine is known for serving game at this time of year. We were there last week and had the tasting menu, which features game in many of the courses. In a word: Superb!

                  You can see photos of that meal here: