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Apr 24, 2012 06:12 AM

If you were going to leave the World of fine dining in NYC what would your last restaurant be?

Curious as to what fellow 'hounds have to say regarding this question. Grown kind of weary of NYC fine dining, I know occasionally new and interesting pops up but it's just same same after a while.

So where would go?

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  1. Eleven Madison, followed closely by Per Se.

    1. Extended tasting at Per Se. Without a doubt. EMP might be my favorite restaurant, but that would be my last meal.

      3 Replies
      1. re: nmprisons

        Agree about the Extended Tasting at Per Se.

        1. Well, it's not fancy or gourmet, but I would go to Katz's Deli, have a juicy pastrami sandwich, a round potato knish, and maybe a garlic wurst. You can't get anything close to that outside of New York. I know the OP says leaving the NYC world of fine dining, but not knowing what world they are going back to , I pick Katz's. If the OP were going back to California, they could go to French Laundry, which IMHO is the best tasting meal in the country. So ,therefore Katz's is my choice

          1 Reply
          1. re: foodwhisperer

            Fortunately we won't be leaving the area just the fine dining and maybe just taking a break from it until something "different" comes along.

          2. If I hear you correctly, you're not leaving NYC. Just want to stop doing the fine dining scene. Right?
            In this case, I'd say Per Se.

            3 Replies
            1. re: RCC

              That is correct, not leaving the area, just the uber fine dining.

              1. re: Spiritchaser

                In the case that you will still be in the area, I would say Jean Georges or Per Se

                1. re: foodwhisperer

                  OK, I'm confused. Doesnt the OP say he or she wishes to leave the "fine dining NYC" world? And all the suggestions are EMP, Per Se, etc.

                  How about Dallas BBQ? Juuuust kidding. (Well, maybe not :-)

            2. I think it's a different question - growing weary of the options vs. actually leaving town. Leaving town, you go for the "meal of your life" kind of thing, from among your favorites. Growing weary... well, you could go spend a grand on a meal for two at Per Se and... still be weary of it. Would you spend $1,000 to go see a band you're tired of listening to, as great as that band may be?

              If you're burnt out on Haute French, don't go spend a bunch of money on it or you're just going to feel like you wasted it.

              If it's just Western fine dining in general you're burnt on - be it French, Italian, New American, whatever - mix it up. Get the Kaiseki at Kyo Ya or something. Maybe that'll shake off the doldrums a bit.

              If it's a question of belt-tightening (be it in the financial or physical sense) - just don't do it at all. Resist the urge to have one last blow-out, because the rewards for skipping it would be greater. For the price of a meal at Per Se you could dine at 5 different upper-mid-range joints, 10 neighborhood haunts, or 50 different cheap eats establishments, all of which could provide just as delicious an experience if perhaps less refined. Go food exploring out in Flushing or up in the Bronx. Take that $1,000 busget and say, "for the next year, once a week I'm going to eat something I've never eaten before."

              Search for cuisines you've never tried - Sri Lankan? Czech? Liberian? Icelandic? Uyghur? Maybe something will re-excite the taste buds... Heck, you could probably even include cab fare to/from in your budget.

              10 Replies
              1. re: sgordon

                Funny, it never occurred to me how contradictory I was being. Taking a break from the fine dining scene and marking the exit with a fine dining experience. I guess in my head it was more like (and I apologise if this comparison is offensive to anyone) someone getting ready to enter a monastery for a year, they are giving up a lot of Earthly delights so they have one more blow out before doing so.

                We have never (with maybe one or two rare exceptions) thought the money spent was wasted and we love the experience each and every time while it is happening but since they have become very similar there is no more of the rush you get from thinking about it afterwards and that's why we need to step back.

                My guess is that we will continue to dine out but find the places/cuisine that can maybe excite us again.

                1. re: Spiritchaser

                  It does cease to be anything special if you do it too frequently. I prefer to spread my eating around, with lots of exciting ethnic foods that provide different experiences. We only go out to a "fine dining" establishent maybe once or MAYBE twice a month (if there's something new & exciting we want to check out) at this point - though I suppose everyone's definition of FD is different. For some it's only the tippy-top, the Per Ses and EMPs and $100+ prix fixes - for others something the price range of, say, Public or Acme or Forgione is as high-end as they'll go.

                  I used to be of the former opinion, now I'm closer to the latter. That's more the level of our fine-ish dining for the most part these days, with maybe once per season doing something uber-fancy - though given my personal distaste for much of the four-star (and upper three star) club, the frou-frou options are fairly limited to begin with...

                  1. re: sgordon

                    Sgordon, you make a good point about doing it too often takes the specialness out of it. Mixing it up does help. For myself, the restaurants like Per Se, Jean-Georges, etc I tend to keep special, not because of price, but more for the high end service, also because these days I don't like dressing up to go eat. So I save those for special occasions.
                    I do tend to over visit certain places I like, then stay away for a month. Places that cost as much as Per Se, but are more casual, like 15 East, Jungsik, Brushstroke, Kyo Ya. I have my favorite lesser priced places, and i tend to frequent the places I like. Maharlika for Filipino Food , Greenwich Grill, Pearl, D'Andrea. Viet Cafe. Lately I've been exploring the Elderidge St part of Chinatown, and find it exciting. So along the lines of what you were saying, it is exciting or special to eat different types of food.i.e. Czech, Austrian, Icelandic, etc
                    Tonite I ate Southern indian for just that reason, I was Italianed and japanesed out. Maybe I'll try a different cuisine every day for say 2 weeks and see how that works out.

                    1. re: foodwhisperer

                      I'm not following you around trying to start fights, but I don't get this.

                      I've eaten at Per Se a lot of times. I've also eaten a Kyo Ya a lot of times. I don't see how it's even POSSIBLE to spend HALF at Kyo Ya of what I spend at Per Se.

                      What am I missing here? Is there some secret menu I don't know about? (I'm sure no one could drink more sake than I do.)

                      1. re: Sneakeater

                        No fight here. I'm not sure what you spend when you go to Per Se ,,or when you go to Kyo Ya. for sake of argument ( or no argument) , Per se costs about $400 pp with wine. Kyo Ya is about $200-250. There is no secret menu at Kyo Ya. I usually order a la carte because I don't make reservations, and the tasting menu requires advance notice. I order several dishes. and drink sake. Brushstroke was over $400 for 2 people the other night. Brushstroke sushi was over $200 just for me. Eating in good places is expensive. French Laundry was about $1000 for 2 of us.

                      2. re: foodwhisperer

                        Speaking of Czech food, where could I find it in Manhattan? Where could I find Austrian? Thanks.

                        1. re: conniemcd

                          You can find good Austrian food at Wallse in the West Village and Seasonal in Midtown. I prefer Wallse to Seasonal.

                          1. re: ellenost

                            Blau Gans in Tribeca for Austrian, is same owner/chef as Walsse but less formal and maybe not quite as good food. But I prefer it as an everyday spot

                          2. re: conniemcd

                            Very good sort of haute Czech (from people who run an excellent restaurant in Prague) at Hospada on the UES.

                      3. re: Spiritchaser

                        sounds like a fine dining bachelor party of sorts! I'm in :)