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PLEASE HELP very confused on where to eat Daniel, Per se, EMP, Le bernd etc

k
kalbaker Oct 1, 2012 04:02 AM

I have gone through these threads extensively and many other websites and several restaurants keep coming up. My only problem is i have 10 restos to choose from and only 4 nights in Manhattan. So for those who have been there please share which of the places that are MUST DO and somewhat different (makes no sense hitting per se daniel and le bernardin, i just want the best one for this time). Price is not an issue. It doesn't have to be fine dining, or amazing setting and service, I just want the best damn food. If i fail to mention some please do
The restos are as follows:
Strip House
Peter Lugars
Yasuda
Annisa
Jean Georges
Per SE
Daniel
Masa
Le Bernardine
Eleven Madison Park
Chefs table at the Brooklyn Fare
Momofukka KO
Balthezar
Babbo
Degustation
The Modern
Jungsik

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  1. u
    UES Mayor RE: kalbaker Oct 1, 2012 04:24 AM

    Momo what? Sounds like you are swearing!!

    1. u
      UES Mayor RE: kalbaker Oct 1, 2012 04:29 AM

      Btw in no particular order , my recs for top 4 from your list:
      EMP
      Jungsik
      Jean Georges
      Le Bernadin

      3 Replies
      1. re: UES Mayor
        k
        kalbaker RE: UES Mayor Oct 1, 2012 04:34 AM

        Momofuku Ko some place i read about. arent Jean Georges Emp and le bernadin all french?

        1. re: kalbaker
          a
          arepo RE: kalbaker Oct 1, 2012 04:39 AM

          Per Se

          1. re: kalbaker
            u
            UES Mayor RE: kalbaker Oct 2, 2012 03:41 AM

            You might automatically cross Momofuku Ko off your list as I found reservations impossible to get-may be different these days but took me a year to get when I last tried. Maybe you'll be lucky. I never considered the aforementioned places "French", meaning the dishes at each feel quite Continental in that there are influenced by different cuisines-not your strictly French fare.

        2. Cheeryvisage RE: kalbaker Oct 1, 2012 06:12 AM

          I like The Modern, Momofuku Ko, and Jungsik the best.

          1. t
            tpigeon RE: kalbaker Oct 1, 2012 07:48 AM

            I have not been to all the restaurants in your list but I would do the following -- I hope you are made out of money:
            Per Se
            Masa
            EMP
            Katz's Deli

            2 Replies
            1. re: tpigeon
              ellenost RE: tpigeon Oct 1, 2012 07:57 AM

              Next time you're in NYC, you should definitely try Jungsik. I had an amazing dinner (10 course tasting menu) on Friday night. It's on my "short" list of restaurants that I want to return to before the end of the year.

              1. re: ellenost
                t
                tpigeon RE: ellenost Oct 1, 2012 11:54 AM

                It is on my list. Thanks.

            2. d
              downtown1234 RE: kalbaker Oct 1, 2012 08:44 PM

              per se is an amazing experience. Chef Kelleher has done a great job of combining california casual with NYC distinction. I don't know anybody who has eaten there and not set it was the best meal they have had in NYC and usually the entire country (except for French Laundry).

              If you really love fish and seafood, you should go to Le Bernadain. If you just short of like fish and seafood, then skip it. The mean is 90% fish/seafood and at the end says "Also available, Lamb, beef, chicken". I found Le Bernadin to stuff and corporate, but just my tastes. I have a friend who love fish and seafood and says this is one of his top 2 in NYC.

              My personal favorite in NYC is Daniel. It is a little more uptight and Per Se (But the recent renovation makes it feel less so). IMHO, food at Daniel is better than Per se.

              4 Replies
              1. re: downtown1234
                s
                Sneakeater RE: downtown1234 Oct 1, 2012 09:35 PM

                Just because I'm a dick and can't stop myself: it's Keller (not Kelleher).

                Also, if anyone really thinks the food at Daniel is better than the food at per se, I'm ready to meet them in the Park Avenue traffic islands, midnight any night, their choice of weapons.

                1. re: Sneakeater
                  k
                  kalbaker RE: Sneakeater Oct 1, 2012 11:11 PM

                  hahaha this is my problem, similar cusines and i would like to only go to one of the 2

                  1. re: kalbaker
                    t
                    tpigeon RE: kalbaker Oct 2, 2012 12:12 PM

                    Per Se > Daniel

                  2. re: Sneakeater
                    t
                    thegforceny RE: Sneakeater Oct 7, 2012 04:01 PM

                    I was hoping you'd take care of Le Bernardine and Le Bernadain too.

                    But please, allow me: it is Le Bernardin.

                    : )

                2. sgordon RE: kalbaker Oct 2, 2012 12:27 PM

                  First, when are you coming to the city? If it's soon - i.e. within the next month or so - the likelihood of getting into EMP, Brooklyn Fare, Per Se, and a number of others is pretty slim.

                  Of the list above... I'd cross off the steakhouses. Go with places that can provide a truly only-in-NYC experience. Not that there's anything wrong with a great steak, but if you're only here for four nights... go somewhere you'll get something creative. I'm sure you can get a good steak where you're from. I'd also cross out Balthazar for the same reason. Great place, no doubt, but simply well-executed classics.

                  A number of the ones you mention are French. So were I here for four nights, I'd break it up... one French or Haute New American, one Italian, One Japanese, one other. If I had to pick four I'd go with:

                  EMP
                  Babbo
                  Momofuku Ko
                  The kaiseki menu at Kyo Ya (which you didn't have listed)

                  If you have time enough to get a rez at Brooklyn Fare, maybe replace one of them with that.

                  Momofuku Ko can only be booked online exactly one week before the date you want to eat, so make a back-up reservation somewhere else first, you can always cancel it if you get the Ko rezzy. Though honestly, were you not able to get the Ko rezzy, I might just as soon say go to Momofuku Ssam Bar - it's no-reservations, but as a solo diner you wouldn't have a long wait for a seat, and much of the food there is spectacular.

                  Another option to consider - especially for a solo diner - is the bar at WD-50. Again, it's no-rez, but it's one of the better spots for a solo diner, the bartenders are very friendly and engaging, and the cocktails are among the best in the city.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: sgordon
                    p
                    Pan RE: sgordon Oct 7, 2012 12:13 AM

                    I like Ssam Bar and have been very satisfied with my food there, which I've found to be consistently very good, but I haven't had anything there that I considered spectacular. I haven't had the duck lunch yet, though. What do you suggest I get the next time I go there, for dinner or (quite a lot less likely, because of my schedule) lunch?

                    1. re: Pan
                      s
                      sygyzy RE: Pan Oct 7, 2012 12:30 AM

                      I know you aren't asking me but I just got back from NY where I ate at Ssam Bar on back to back days (dinner and lunch). If I went for lunch I would deifnitely get the duck lunch but don't get the set with the lettuce and pancakes. Just get the regular one in the bowl.

                      1. re: sygyzy
                        p
                        Pan RE: sygyzy Oct 7, 2012 12:33 AM

                        Sure, I was asking anyone, and thank you very much! Is the set too much food, or is the one in the bowl just better?

                      2. re: Pan
                        sgordon RE: Pan Oct 7, 2012 12:54 PM

                        Well, the menu changes pretty regularly at Ssam, so it's hard to say. Some of the perennial items (pork buns, rice cakes & sausage, etc) are delicious, but I tend to find the standouts to be among the more seasonal selections. The last couple times I've been, the uni was a knockout - a different prep each time, but amazing. So I'd go with anything containing that. In fact, as a general rule, most of the raw bar items tend to be pretty great. Also, I've had a couple of amazing octopus dishes of late, so if any octo shows up on the menu I'd certainly order that as well.

                        Other dishes I've had recently that have stood out, off the top of my head:
                        smoked chicken liver mousse w/ maitakes & olive berries
                        sweetbreads w/ goat cheese & watermelon
                        lamb loin & belly
                        pork shank w/ yuzu koshu

                        1. re: sgordon
                          p
                          Pan RE: sgordon Oct 7, 2012 03:57 PM

                          Yeah, those items sound incredible. I don't remember things like that being on the menu the last x-number of times I went. I should go back soon.

                    2. s
                      sygyzy RE: kalbaker Oct 6, 2012 11:24 PM

                      My pick for your list:

                      Yasuda
                      Jean Georges
                      Per Se
                      Eleven Madison Park
                      Le Bernardin
                      Momofuku Ko

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: sygyzy
                        p
                        Pan RE: sygyzy Oct 7, 2012 12:11 AM

                        And in 4 nights, which ones would you choose?

                        1. re: Pan
                          s
                          sygyzy RE: Pan Oct 7, 2012 12:18 AM

                          Sorry I didn't cut some out. Four nights, assuming a perfect world and you can actually get reservations, can afford it, and can handle the amount of food:

                          Jean Georges
                          Per Se
                          Eleven Madison Park
                          Momofuku Ko

                          Just note this is very French centric. Also three out of the four restaurants are 3 Star Michelin and the other is 2 star. This just means there's some consideration here for price, difficulty to get reservations, etc. Do you want something more casual?

                          1. re: sygyzy
                            p
                            Pan RE: sygyzy Oct 7, 2012 12:21 AM

                            From the original post: "Price is not an issue. It doesn't have to be fine dining, or amazing setting and service, I just want the best damn food."

                            So if you think those four places serve the "best damn food" in Manhattan, they're the ones you should recommend.

                            I couldn't imagine visiting those four restaurants, four days in a row, but I'm not the original poster. :-)

                      2. p
                        Pan RE: kalbaker Oct 7, 2012 12:15 AM

                        Degustation was a great restaurant, but reports since their change in chef have panned the place, so unless something has changed recently, don't even consider it.

                        I won't comment on the rest of your choices because either others have covered them or/and I haven't been or haven't been recently to most of them. Money is an object for me, so I tend to go to high-end restaurants sparingly, and even then, not at the price point of a Per Se or Masa.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Pan
                          k
                          kalbaker RE: Pan Oct 7, 2012 12:35 AM

                          It seems like i cant go wrong with either choice, so were working on gettin reservations and taking it from there. Thanks all for the help

                          1. re: kalbaker
                            p
                            Pan RE: kalbaker Oct 7, 2012 12:47 AM

                            Have a wonderful time!

                        2. Charles Yu RE: kalbaker Oct 7, 2012 01:46 PM

                          WHEN are you planning to eat??!! As someone already eluded to, the criteria and final selection might be determined by 'reservation availability'!! Before my chowmeet last week, my initial chow-list was very similar to yours. However, my final choices were determined for me by availability. Places like Chefs table and Per Se were fully booked 4+ weeks in advance for evening dinners and was quickly eliminated! from considerations!!!!!

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