marc forgione, wd-50 or ko?
SO is taking me out for my bday dinner next weekend and we have it narrowed down to these 3 (already have rezzies at each). I've done a ton (probably too much in fact) of research and just can't seem to decide. The tasting menu at marc forgione sounds absolutely delicious, and I've confirmed that they'll allow certain substitutions/additions that also look interesting. wd-50 has always been on my radar, but the wildly dissenting/inconsistent opinions about the food have always rendered it a second/third choice. I enjoy molecular cooking, but not where it equals style over substance (as many have claimed wd-50 is/was). in terms of ko, what is there to say? was able to secure the tough reservation, and the food looks/sounds delicious. I dont really care about the ambience, as long as the service doesn't detract from the experience, so thinking only of the food and drinks (talking cocktails here, although will probably go to a cocktail lounge before/after so its not of paramount importance), which reservation would you pick? Thanks in advance for the help!
They're all good meals - I'm assuming the tasting at MF is his "classics" mostly (BBQ Oysters, Hiramasa Tartare, Chili Lobster, Halibut Proposal, etc)
The main thing is, it's fairly easy to get rezzies at WD & MF. Go with Ko, it might be awhile before you'll have the chance again. It's also -probably- my favorite of the three, and if you've never been before the famous foie gras dish that they can't take off the menu is practically worth the price of admission.
And decide soon - multi-booking is generally frowned on here, as it causes all kinds of problems for the restaurant - who could lose the table because someone booked & didn't cancel soon enough - as well as for other diners (i.e. someone might have had their heart set on WD next weekend and found them booked...)
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I admittedly haven't been to Forgione, but I've been to the other two a number of times and can safely say that Ko is easily my favourite of the two (and my favourite restaurant in the city). The food is the kind you think about years later, the drink pairings are interesting, and I love being able to watch the chefs. wd-50 may be at times more interesting, but Ko is just more delicious. As long as you don't mind not being able to photograph your meal, it's Ko all the way. If you're interested, my super-long write-up of my first meal there is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/741557. Enjoy!
Sorry for the late response. Ended up going to Ko, and while I certainly wasn't nearly as enthused as plumpdumpling, the food/experience was very good. The no photographs/no menu policy was annoying but not unexpected; without taking notes (which i wasn't going to do) it certainly makes remembering everything much more difficult. While the famous foie gras was admittedly different and good (although to both my and my SO's tastes a bit overly salty), it wasn't a total "Wow" and definitely not amongst my favorite ever foie preps. Our favorite dishes were a sort of deconstructed clam chowder and some sort of mini-stuffed pasta that immediately followed it. The "clam chowder" was witty, tasty, and overall a really flawless dish. We also really enjoyed the various raw fish preparations that served as most of the amuses and first couple of proper dishes. One major disappointment was dessert. While we weren't expecting much, the first dessert was actually better than expected, some sort of coconut, banana, and pineapple (i think) concoction that mixed textures, temperatures and flavors quite well. The second dessert however we realy did not enjoy. If I recall it was an earl gray ice cream with bergamot, some sort of powder and some sort of crunch. I know that's not really descriptive/exact but in all honesty it wasn't at all memorable and we each left over half of it. Unlike others I did not find the music at all overwhelming. We enjoyed the selection and found the volume not at all intrusive. The chefs, while not particularly verbose, were willing to explain/converse a bit if asked and were certainly not gruff or dismissibe as some have reported. Overall the meal was quite enjoyable although I wouldn't put it in my personal top 5 of NYC and probably wouldnt rush back. There are just too many other great places to try or revisit. Thanks again for the help deciding.