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Special dinner - tasting menu (EMP, Corton, Brooklyn Fare, ...???)

c
clarissa7877 Jan 20, 2012 12:45 PM

Hi, I'm trying to plan a special dinner for my husband's birthday. He loves restos that have tasting menus. We've been to The Modern, Blue Hill Stone Barns, Daniel, ... and are looking to try something new witout breaking the bank (e.g. Per se). I've been put on a waitlist for Brooklyn Fare, but it looks like I still have time to book at EMP or Corton. Would you recommend one over the other? Or is there another place that I should consider? We're new parents and aside from being a special birthday dinner, it's our first date night in a LONG time. Many thanks for your recs!

  1. p
    peter j Jan 20, 2012 12:56 PM

    Corton is more adventurous than EMP, so the choice would depend on your preferences.

    Other French fine dining alternatives include Jean Georges (Asian influences), Le Bernardin (seafood), and Picholine (Mediterranean influences).

    Bear in mind that Brooklyn Fare's $225 fixed menu price translates to about $295 including tax and tip, which puts it in the same league as Per Se (where the $295 charge includes service), but without the comfort of Per Se's dining room. You will have extended face time with Cesar Ramirez though, which I suppose is priceless in its own way.

    For a similar informal setup with counter seating, Momofuku Ko would be a less expensive option.

    -----
    Per Se
    10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

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

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

    Picholine
    35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

    Momofuku Ko
    163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Corton
    239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

    1 Reply
    1. re: peter j
      sgordon Jan 20, 2012 01:20 PM

      I wouldn't say that Corton is more adventurous than EMP, personally.

      One advantage to EMP is that they're a bit more flexible with the menu - I haven't done the tasting menu, but from everything I know they're willing to mix things up a bit, if there are particular dishes from the regular menu you'd like, or curate it to your personal tastes. Corton's new format basically gives you two options: one tasting menu, or the other. Within each I think there's one "choice" course.

      Also keep in mind that the four-course dinner at EMP, once you include all the amuses, etc, is practically the length of a tasting menu. And if you each order four different things - well, that's eight different dishes you'll be tasting right there.

      But yeah, what Peter said about Brooklyn Fare is worth keeping in mind - it'll be pretty much the same price as Per Se, in the end. IF you can get a reservation.

      Momofuku Ko is another good option, as he pointed out, though you can't plan it further in advance than a week, unfortunately. Then you're SOL if you don't get it, because most other places will already be booked for a week from that day.

      Other thoughts:

      Kaiseki menu at Kyo Ya
      Bouley
      Aquavit
      Del Posto
      WD-50

      -----
      Per Se
      10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

      WD-50
      50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

      Aquavit
      65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022

      Del Posto
      85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

      Kyo Ya
      94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

      Momofuku Ko
      163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

      Corton
      239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

      Bouley
      163 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

    2. Cheeryvisage Jan 20, 2012 01:31 PM

      Also consider Jungsik. The 5-course tasting is actually more like 13 courses or so taking into account all of the amuses, pre-desserts and post-desserts.

      -----
      Jung Sik
      2 Harrison St, New York, NY 10013

      1. n
        nmprisons Jan 20, 2012 02:37 PM

        Brooklyn Fare, as others have said, is the same price as Per Se. So, if you are willing to pay Brooklyn Fare prices, and want something truly special, then I would do Per Se.

        All that said, if you can still get a reservation at EMP, snap it up immediately. It is a perfect place to relax over a long dinner and enjoy each others company. It has consistently produced some of my favorite dishes in the city and some of my most memorable dates.

        1. k
          kathryn Jan 20, 2012 02:46 PM

          My choice would be EMP, especially if it's a special night out for both of you. Make sure they know this in advance!

          Also if you're a fan of cocktails, they have an excellent bar program. If you enjoy beer, they can also do beer pairings with your meal.

          1. Spiritchaser Jan 20, 2012 02:56 PM

            As other have said, EMP. And as kathryn pointed out make certain they know what a special occasion it is, They will do you right.

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