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Need to cut a meal. What would you skip?

It looks like I overlooked my wife's desire to go to a show on our upcoming trip. I think that we may need to cut a meal to make it work. What would you cut and why?

Thu: Lunch - Le Bernardin; Dinner - Four Seasons
Fri: Lunch - Ko (me) JoJo (wife); Dinner - Babbo
Sat: Lunch - Bouley; Dinner - Kappo at Ma Peche
Sun: Lunch - Jean Georges; Dinner - Per Se

FYI: We will not be skipping Per Se

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  1. Could you do a Sunday matinee after lunch at JG?

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      We have an early reservation at Per Se 5:30

      1. re: 3StarsFoodie

        If you have Sunday 5:30 dinner at Per Se, I'd definitely skip JG (which I love) for lunch. Unless you're really going to stick to only two small(ish) courses and have the earliest reservation, you're just going to ruin your appetite for Per Se (which I think is the best restaurant in NYC).

        Your lunches at Le Bern, Ko, and Bouley are top choices and you can't go wrong there. FYI, Four Seasons is not a destination restaurant, at least for food.

        1. re: deepfry7

          That's a really good point re: JG. I would probably drop them for something a bit lighter for lunch. Or skip lunch, since dinner is so early, just grab a bagel and lox in the morning.

          I'd still drop Four Seasons, regardless. Maybe drop JG, do a matinee on Sunday, and replace TFS with something more interesting on Thursday. Maybe something not-French, to break it up - Japanese at Kyo Ya or Soto? Nordic modernism at Aquavit? Something avant-garde at Atera or Aska? High-end Korean at Jung Sik? So many better (and more interesting) options than TFS...

    2. I'd cut Le Bernardin since I don't like all fish meals (except sushi) or Four Seasons since I haven't heard much about it recently.

      For me, I'd definitely keep: Ko, Bouley, Kappō at Ma Peche, and Per Se since I've dined at all four restaurants in the past 3 months, and they're all terrific!

      5 Replies
      1. re: ellenost

        I don't mean to be disrespectful but if you don't like all fish meals then perhaps you shouldn't critique Le Bernardin. That's analogous to a vegetarian critiquing Peter Luger. The OP apparently appreciates fine seafood well enough to put the restaurant on his list. He deserves an informed assessment.

        1. re: Riverman500

          I discovered I didn't like all fish meals after I dined at Le Bernardin. Le B "turned me off" to all fish meals, which is disappointing since Le B should have "turned me on" to all fish meals. I have dined at Le B more than a half dozen times (mostly for business) so I am providing an "informed assessment" to the OP, Le B would not be my choice especially since the OP has so many better restaurants from which to select.

        2. re: ellenost

          I would cut LB just because I don't think it's worth it. If you have access to fresh fish and can cook at all it's not really that special.

          1. re: fara

            Ripert's preparations are quite complex even if his flavors are subtle. You can't recreate his dishes at home. I have to wonder whether you've been to Le Bernardin?

            1. re: peter j

              Yes, I went once. One meal. I also grew up in New England with fresh seafood constantly available. Fish requires subtle flavors. My meal was not in the least transcendental. Lol on your question, is that the only way someone could criticize LB? Is it possible I have a different palate than you? Is this how you react to difference of opinion in general? Try to be open-minded here.

        3. That's pretty easy... Four Seasons. They're just an overpriced tourist trap. You wouldn't have a bad meal - but they're not even remotely in the same league as the others, even if price-wise they pretend to be.

          Can't cut Ko or Kappo, who knows when you'd get a rez again. Same could really be said for Babbo, and as Babbo's the only Italian on the list I would keep it for only that fact, as you've a LOT of French on there. Really, TFS is the only strikingly inferior one (even if I'm not a Per Se fan, personally...)

          That's a hell of a line-up, though mostly a bit on the heavy side.

          3 Replies
          1. re: sgordon

            +1

            Four Seasons just seems out of place on that list.

              1. wow, do you guys normally eat a lot? It will be hard to enjoy dinner(and waste of money) after a big lunch..at least from my experience and i am a big eater. something to consider.

                1. Curious, what is the point of this lineup? Looks like it's designed less for pleasure and more to check a bunch of boxes. Obviously you know what you like, but just to add my two cents, cut half the restaurants and replace them with hole-in-the-wall joints - you'll save money, mix things up and magnify the pleasures of your remaining fine dining spots.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: JeffOverley

                    I've noticed there is a tendency for some travelers to try and pack in as many "luxury" places as they can, places they've wanted to try, etc. It's not how I would do it, personally - inevitably leads to some of them being a bit dull in comparison to others, when they might have shined were they not right next to one another.

                    Bouley lunch (which is a fantastic deal) before Kappo - they'd be very different meals, stylistically, yes, but that's a MASSIVE amount of food for one day. The Bouley lunch is five courses, the kind of lunch that's a blow-out in and of itself, where maybe for dinner that night you'd just have a little sushi or something light. To follow it with a tasting menu... it's more than I could consume in one day, unless maybe - and it's a big maybe - the lunch was the earliest possible seating.

                    Same could be said for Ko before Babbo. Babbo is not exactly light eating. They're pretty hearty. Maybe if it's a late rez at Babbo it could work, but that's still a lot of food for one day.

                    1. re: sgordon

                      Have to agree with you on this point. I've said on this board before one of the worst experiences we've ever had dining was when we did a marathon eating weekend for my b-day one year; if I remember correctly it was Le Bernardin lunch, Jean George (dining room) dinner, Per Se lunch, EMP dinner. I vowed to never do it again because it lost all meaning. Different people dine for different reasons just this is of course just my opinion.

                      1. re: Spiritchaser

                        Agree with @Spiritchaser, as I have in other threads as well about this subject. 4 days of 2 big meals a day back-to-back at high end restaurants just seems like a lot. By the 4th or 5th meal, it all just becomes a jumble and nothing is special anymore. A few years ago I realized that one big meal a day, offset with smaller quick bites at casual places was the way to go (like @JeffOverley states) while traveling/on vacation. Of course, this is what works for me and I am just putting this out there as an alternative.