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Nov 4, 2012 12:41 AM

Per Se Salon and Daniel prix fixe or Eleven Madison Park Tasting Menu?

I am taking a solo trip to New York in late January and was trying to piece together my itinerary with some Michelin star restaurants. Looking at the menus it looks like ordering a couple of items off of the Per Se Salon menu and taking part in the Daniel prix fixe menu would be comparable price wise to doing the tasting menu at Eleven Madison Park. Would eating at two Michelin three star restaurants, albeit with not the whole three star experience be more or less memorable than the full experience at one three star restaurant? Just curious as to your opinion on my options and what you might choose? Also if I decide not to do the tasting at EMP, is there an a la carte option at their bar?

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  1. Easy choice (at least for me): EMP.

    1. First, I'm not sure that eating at the Salon at Per Se costs the same as the tasting menu at EMP. Maybe I don't watch my receipts, but my impression, as a fairly frequent diner in the Per Se Salon, is that the Salon is cheaper -- probably considerably so. (But then, I rarely order more than two savory courses and a dessert -- which is more than adequate.)

      Second, I feel compelled to say that, IMO (and I know most people here disagree), you don't get the "three-star experience" at ANY restaurant in New York. There is no restaurant in New York that would get three Michelin stars in Europe. IMO, most of our three-stars wouldn't even get two.

      If I were you, I'd feel no compulsion at all to eat at Daniel.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Sneakeater

        It's very interesting from a European perspective to see how New York awards its stars. It certainly seems less discriminatory and the idea in Europe of restaurants jumping from 1* to 3* would be almost inconceivable. Even Alain Ducasse was made to wait for his London outpost to go to 3 (not that it deserves more than one).

        Places like Mugaritz (Matthew Lightner's mentor) and Noma remain stuck on two stars for reasons best know to the inspectors.

        I always find it fascinating to read this article:

        1. re: ManInTransit

          I guess the Michelin inspectors have their reasons for giving three stars to restaurants in New York.

        2. re: Sneakeater

          "If I were you, I'd feel no compulsion at all to eat at Daniel."


        3. I believe that the OP's previous high-end dining experience dictates the choice here. ozone81, which comparable highly-regarded places, if any, have you tried before? And from where are you visiting?

          3 Replies
          1. re: ramenbound

            I have not. Maybe the only comparable place I have been to is Craftsteak in Vegas, but even there I wanted to do the tasting menu but because the entire table didn't want to take part, I had to stick to ordering a la carte.

            I am from Chicago so I have Alinea and Next practically in my back yard but have been to neither. Most of my friends couldn't imagine spending $100 on a meal let alone $200 and both of those restaurants don't allow solo diners. That's part of the reason for taking this trip solo is that I can eat where ever I want and not have to worry about any friends cash restraints.

            Based on comments in this thread and in other threads, I might be crossing eating at Daniel off my list and instead eating at EMP for lunch one day and at the Salon at Per Se for dinner another night. I am also going to have lunch at Jean Georges.

            Thanks for everyone's responses

            1. re: ozone81

              Jean-Georges lunch, per se Salon, and a daytime meal in the stunning EMP dining room -- a good lineup and exactly how I would've advised.

              1. re: ozone81

                You did it exactly right ozone81! I recently got back from NYC and was less than impressed with Per Se. The next time I go, I'd only stick to the Salon. I will definitely be doing the tasting menu at EMP -- it's infinitely more fun. I only ate at EMP at night, but I can only imagine what their maginificent dining room looks like with daylight coming in. Have fun!