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Please tell me the restaurant that has blown you away within the last 6 months...

Food, experience, etc. We left the city about 8 months ago and are coming back in for a birthday dinner but really would like something fantastic and new! Thanks
Signed,
Missing NYC!

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      1. re: thew

        I was actually underwhelmed at Marea. i really liked the affogato and astice and i thought the fusilli and veal agnolotti were good. but i felt like everything else was mediocre, especially the vongole and panna cotta.

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        Marea
        240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

        1. re: daffyduck

          I didn't love it either...and certainly nothing close to "blown away."

          1. re: daffyduck

            Me too! I enjoyed my fusilli but it was actually too rich for my blood. I haven't been craving to go back at all. Unlike scarpetta

            1. re: kelea

              Agreed. I was vastly underwhelmed by Marea but love, love Scarpetta.

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              Scarpetta
              355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

              Marea
              240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

              1. re: gloriousfood

                Add me to the list of those hardly blown away by our two dinners at Marea.

                Photos with commentary here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                1. re: RGR

                  I would also agree with this. There were a few dishes well above average but as a whole I was definitely not wowed. Also the service was a bit lackluster for a place with one Michelin star.

                  1. re: MVNYC

                    Agreed, thought it was ridiculously overpriced for what I got and would personally not go back. Some others at my table ordered dishes they were happier with than mine, but even they admitted that, for the price, it wasn't "mind-blowing" as it should be.

                2. re: gloriousfood

                  I had an excellent meal at Scarpetta and would recommend it, but I wasn't quite blown away by the experience.

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                  Scarpetta
                  355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

              2. re: daffyduck

                I was underwhelmed at Marea, most dishes are mediocre. I am a savvy eater and cannot understand the fuss around this restaurant. My friend, a foreign food critic, was very disappointed with Marea as well. I ate at many top restaurants in Manhandle in last 8 months. The only restaurant that blew me away (3 times !!!) is Bouley were we ordered chef specials. No chef in NYC can compete with a good day of David Bouley. It is also one of the most beautiful restaurants in NYC.

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                Marea
                240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                1. re: SYCRoberts

                  the implication being that if we found our meal great there we are less savvy eaters?

                  I am a savvy eater. I waas blown away by the fusili at marea

                  1. re: SYCRoberts

                    David Bouley is a great cook, a flawed chef, and a terrible business man. It's a shame that the current iteration of Bouley hasn't lived up to his culinary abilities, but under his unsteady hand, it isn't unexpected. The kitchen doesn't hold itself to the same level of rigor and discipline as the top tier restaurants in NYC and it is far too plagued by inconsistency for Bouley to be considered a legitimately great restaurant, IMO.

                    I also think there are several chefs in NYC that can easily outcook David Bouley, especially in this stage of his career.

                    1. re: hcbk0702

                      I've dined at Bouley more than 20 times in the past 10 years, and have always had flawless food (that's right--flawless), with excellent service in lovely decors. The new restaurant is among the most beautiful in Manhattan. I'm looking forward to celebrating my birthday at Bouley in 6 weeks. I guess you won't be joining my party.

                      1. re: hcbk0702

                        I agree. I have been to Bouley many times, over many years, in all its incarnations. I have had wonderful meals and I have had poor meals. I agree about the unsteady hand and inconsistency. There are better choices in NYC, and more dependable. I have also had good service there, and amateurish service. It is not at the level, consistently, of other restaurants in its peer category in NYC. Sometimes yes, but sometimes no. And yes, he is a terrible businessman.

                2. Le Bernardin's menu consistently has dishes I think are extraordinary in balance and flavor profile. I find that remarkable, especially considering how often dishes drop off the menu permanently (they usually have a 1 year lifespan at most, no "signature" dishes are kept) to be continually replaced by brand new dishes. The top kitchen in NYC IMO.

                  Dining at the bar at Kurumazushi, Sushi Yasuda, and 15 East also yields great pleasure.

                  Other than that, perhaps the very occasional dish from Per Se. I've had very good dishes at Jean Georges, Eleven Madison Park, Daniel, Marea, etc. but nothing that has "blown me away" in recent memory. Generally, I'm having better luck (at least in terms of value) at less expensive restasurants.

                  Perhaps I've become jaded.

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                  Per Se
                  10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                  15 East
                  15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                  Eleven Madison Park
                  11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                  Jean Georges
                  1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                  Sushi Yasuda
                  204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

                  Le Bernardin
                  155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

                  Marea
                  240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hcbk0702

                    Le Bernardin never fails to impress.

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                    Le Bernardin
                    155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

                    1. re: ExFlexitarian

                      I second degustation. the 10 course tasting menu is amazing.

                      1. re: ExFlexitarian

                        Degustation is where I took my girlfriend for her birthday last year, and that was also a great experience. Like daffyduck, we did the 10-course tasting menu. The kaiseki at Kyo Ya was very different in style. Both dinners were multi-course tastings, accompanied by wine (sake at Kyo Ya). I would say that Degustation presented stronger tastes and Kyo Ya focused more on subtler harmonies. It's hard to compare the two meals because of the numerous differences in style, but overall, I think my girlfriend and I both liked Kyo Ya more, and to be fair, it cost more, too: Before tax, the bill was just over $300 at Kyo Ya and about $205 at Degustation. If the 10-course menu at Degustation is still $75 and the wines haven't gone up significantly, the prices are directly comparable.

                      2. Eleven Madison Park
                        15 East

                        That's about it in terms of "blown away"

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                        15 East
                        15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                        Eleven Madison Park
                        11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: gutsofsteel

                          EMP and Marea are also very high on my list

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                          Marea
                          240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                          1. re: gutsofsteel

                            hey guts, i plan to go to 15 east sometime soon. i'm thinking about either the sushi chef tasting or the kitchen tasting. what dishes did u try that blew you away?

                            1. re: daffyduck

                              I recommend asking the chef to prepare a sushi/sashimi omakase and add an order of soba -- it's fabulous (I have had it with uni, with salmon roe and with duck and all three have been excellent -- maintaining the Honmura An quality).

                              1. re: Nancy S.

                                thanks, i went last week and had an excellent experience. like you suggested I tried the soba noodles with shiso. i really liked them. i also started with a sushi omakase and an a la carte order of live clam and santa barbara uni. i liked everything but the eel blew me away. i followed this with the squid inked risotto which was delicious, the sushi chef was nice enough to throw on extra uni on the risotto because I liked it. dessert was very good too, i had a frozen pistachio souffle with apricot compote and the rice tempura a la mode, the souffle was a much stronger dish imo.

                          2. Corton, for its ephemeral, stream-of-consciousness approach to fine dining (but note that some people dislike it for those same reasons).

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                            Corton
                            239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: fm1963

                              I really dislike the room at Corton, and I found the food extremely erratic.

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                              Corton
                              239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                              1. re: gutsofsteel

                                I think the room is weirdly sterile, but when he's on, Liebrandt's food really shines.

                                One of the city's most talented chefs IMO.