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Best 3 michelin star Bar dining (no reservations)

I'll be in NYC for one night (the monday before Christmas). Planning on dining with my wife at one of the top NYC restaurants but only considering a bar option since we have no reservations except for a spot on the EMP wait list. I've eaten in the dining rooms at Per Se, Le Bernardin, EMP, and Jean Georges. Based on those experiences, EMP and Per Se are at the top of my list for potential bar options. Per Se is definitely the most convenient since we are staying near Columbus Circle. Never been to Daniel so I'm curious what people have to say about dining at the bar there. And its difficult to find any updated food menus from the bar at EMP so I'm curious what kind of experiences people have had there, especially since they switched to the multi-course $225 tasting menu in the dining room. So basically its between Per Se, EMP, or Daniel (in that order). Let me know any thoughts...

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  1. Oh, any thoughts on Picholine? Though not in the 3 star realm the menu is quite alluring and it certainly has a loyal NY following.

      1. Why is Le Bernardin not in the running?

        Both Per Se and Le Bernardin would be my choices for solo dining at the bar. And both are close/convenient to Columbus Circle.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Wow, thanks to your comment I checked their website and realized that Le Bernardin offers all of their menu options in the lounge. Might consider doing the four course there. Thanks!

          1. re: Debrouillard

            The Lounge Menu at Le Bernardin is also worth exploring, particularly the Salmon Rillette and the Warm Lobster and Truffle en Brioche.

            You can also get the full Jean-Georges dining room menu at the adjacent Nougatine bar.

            Picholine is excellent though the bar is small. I still think that it's still leagues above many Michelin starred restaurants in NYC.

            I believe that Del Posto (1 Michelin star) now serves their full menu at the bar, but call to confirm since their policy keeps changing.

            I've dined at the communal table at Per Se and enjoyed it. But if your looking to duplicate the experience of the main dining room at a fraction of the price, well, it's just not the same.

        2. I've dined at the Salon at Per Se three times this year. Loved it the first two times when I was seated at a private table and the same excellent server took great care of me both times. At the most recent dinner in the Salon I was seated at the communal bar which was both weird and uncomfortable. Food was stellar all three times. Love the bread basket.

          1. We will always have a soft spot in our hearts for EMP, we just love dining at the bar. Per Se is great but it doesn't seem like true "bar dining" to me if that's what you are looking for. Le B would be another good choice for actual bar dining.

            1. So I used the lack of advanced planning to my advantage and snagged a dinner res at Momofuku Ko. Pretty excited. I can't imagine any reason to forgo this in favor of dining in one of the bars I previously mentioned. Good plan right?

              4 Replies
              1. re: Debrouillard

                Sounds good to me. Have a great meal!

                1. re: Debrouillard

                  personally, i think anything wedded to David Chang is a sham of a plan (though i'll admit i've not bothered w/ Ko, though i've been to his others)...given the posts so far,i think Le Bernardin might suit your criteria best, though it's hard to say...

                  1. re: Debrouillard

                    Wonderful plan! Have a great time! Hope you report back.

                    1. Hope you have a lovely meal, but i'll add that i (and many other Chowhounds) consider Michelin to be sheer BS...many of their lauded places are laughable...

                      I'd say doing a search here for "bar dining" and then refining by other criteria will lead you to more interesting and tastier options than anything to do w/ Michelin...(the fact that Michelin feted the very average nothing of a pseudo-Malaysian place LAUT speaks volumes about its apathy)

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Simon

                        Simon- definitely on the same page as you. I've also been a Chang doubter since visiting noodle bar years back and have always been skeptical about the unbelievable amount of publicity surrounding the guy. That being said I've decided to put my bias aside and trust the opinions of so many who love Ko. That and I have a thing for intimate open kitchen experiences. And concerning Michelin in NYC I'm also a skeptic. For example, cant figure out how a guide could group 3 restaurants such as Danji, Yakitori Tori Shin, Gramercy Tavern, and Del Posto in the same quality category. Not to say any of these places are bad, but to give them all 1 star just doesn't make sense. I've had much better meals at Gramercy Tavern than Jean Georges, and Soto wowed me way more than Le Bernardin. At the end of the day you just can't put blind faith in any critic or guidebook.

                        1. re: Debrouillard

                          Technically the definition of a one star Michelin is "a very good restaurant in its category."

                          Not that I agree with their ratings or ratings scale, but helpful to know.

                          1. re: Debrouillard

                            cool...please report back on your meal...

                        2. Just finished a stellar 24 hours in NYC: Lunch at the Le Bernardin lounge, city harvest menu. Amazing price for amazing food. Just as good as anything I've had in the dining room. Dinner at Momofuku Ko. An exciting meal, remarkably balanced and delicious. Full pairing, 100% sparkling. A cocktail, a smoked kolsch beer, several champagnes, cider. Apprehensive about all those bubbles but it turned out to be quite perfect. Breakfast at Barney Greengrass, lunch at Totto Ramen (1.5 hour wait and we arrived 20 minutes before opening!!) Several coffee beverages at Blue Bottle Rockefeller Plaza in between all the delicious meals. I'll do a more detailed update on my blog soon and will post a link when I do. Merry Christmas!!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Debrouillard

                            Holy shit.

                            How are you still upright? And how have you not spontaneously imploded already?