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Need help with a lunch and 2 dinners!

Coming in town from Feb 28th to March 2nd with the wife. We haven't taken an adult vacation in ages and are looking for some guidance on where to eat. So 2 dinners and 1 lunch.

I am more of a foodie and she is along for the ride. I would like to do some sort of a tasting menu for one dinner but it needs to be in the $85 to $150ish range or the wife won't enjoy the food (no matter how good it is, she comes from a very frugal background and has trouble splurging).

That knocks out a lot of the top places for a tasting. Wondering what is the best in that range (new american or french type food). Would love Momofuku Ko but realize there is a slim chance of getting that res. What about The Modern?

Would like one other good dinner. I was looking at Betony but could only get a 10 PM at this point. Wide open on this front just want something good.

Was looking for something quicker for Sat lunch. Dim Sum place maybe? Red Farm?

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  1. You should try for a reservation at Ko or the Kappō at Ma Peche. Both are Momofuku restaurants, and both are fantastic! Kappō is less expensive ($95) than Ko ($125). Ko is downtown and Ma Peche is midtown. Both require reservations.

    1. If you can, do your high end meal at lunch, where prices at Del Posto, Jean-Georges, Le Bernardin, The Modern, and Bouley are much lower for the same quality of food.

      Otherwise RedFarm is great. Other suggestions for lunch:

      Mission Cantina
      Ippudo (but plan to arrive at the beginning of lunch service at either location)
      Moti Mahal
      Eataly (various food outlets)

      1 Reply
      1. re: darren425

        Note that Eataly for lunch is best during the week IMO, weekends can be nutso.

      2. No res space for Kappo at Ma Peche.

        We won't be in town for Friday lunch and I have been reading that most places only do the tasting lunch on weekdays. Also didn't want to spend the little daylight hours we have to explore the city on a long tasting lunch.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Maderan

          Kappo 'often' gets cancellations. One can reserve here a month ahead, but only 10-14 days ahead at Ko (for example). So people may reserve at Kappo and cancel if they get into Ko. Both are excellent but Ko is easier for lunch (14 days ahead) - especially Sunday (not sure if Sat is your only lunch). So look again at Kappo exactly 10 days ahead (or put yourself on waiting list).
          Sorry, can't help at your price point if you're not prepared to switch to lunch.

          1. re: MrGrumpy

            +1 for Picholine. Also highly recommend Juni. I've done the 6 course tasting menu for $120 twice (most recent two weeks ago). Juni also has a 4 course tasting menu for $90. Food is delicious and creative; service is excellent.

          2. Ok have been add to wait list at Ma Peche. Will try for Ko when it opens up.

            What should I book as back ups?

            1. No go for kappo at Ma Peche, they aren't going to offer it anymore after feb 15

              1 Reply
              1. re: Maderan

                No more Kappō at Ma Peche--that's a shame! I had a terrific Kappō dinner this past Saturday night. Lucky I got in before they ended it. Something did seem odd that their resy system was showing no availability a few weeks out.

              2. Redfarm gets really crowded (both WV and UWS) and the waits get ridiculous. Furthermore, if you stray from the dim sum, the menu is a landmine of meh food. The seating is cramped and if there are just two of you, you will be in communal tables with people almost on top of you, especially with the winter coats and bags.

                I would suggest Hakkasan, quality dim sum, larger dining room, much more appealing ambiance, no crazy waits. Also the desserts are amazing.

                Have you considered visiting some of the fantastic pastry and dessert shops in the city? Your wife might be more comfortable with that form of "extravagance" because you can get amazing sweets for under $5.

                1. How similar are Betony and Juni?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Maderan

                    Not similar at all, and I love them both! Betony gets a "high energy" crowd at the bar. Juni's bar is sedate and across the lobby from the restaurant. The food at both restaurants is delicious, and service is excellent at both, but I find Juni's food to be more innovative/complex. I've dined at Juni twice, and Betony about 4 times. Prefer the wine list at Juni. Also prefer the desserts at Juni.

                  2. $150ish including drinks / tax / tip? Per person or for both of you? ($150 before tax/tip is about $115 menu price, which would actually rule out Ko unless you can stretch it a smidge. And it would rule out most places if we're subtracting drinks from that price as well...)

                    1. Before tax tip and drinks. Per person.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Maderan

                        That's actually a pretty decent amount, you'd only be excluded from the highest of the highest end. Most shorter prix fixe menus really wind up being almost like tastings in length - i.e. the menu at Del Posto is four courses for $126, but considering that one course is really two (you get two pastas for your pasta course) plus the amuses, mignardaises, etc, you really wind up with seven or eight dishes per person.

                        As to more "tasting menu" type options - Ko is a great call if you can get in. Aquavit has been fantastic of late, and their current tasting is $135 as I recall - there's also a shorter seasonal tasting for $95 or so.

                        Recette has a few different tasting options, I think only the longest one would break your budget. Dovetail has two very reasonable tastings for $132 (regular) and $88 (vegetarian)

                        Bouley has a steal for lunch - 5 courses for $55, and you get to choose your dishes (it's not a pre-set tasting)

                        For just a smidge over your cutoff, WD-50 and Le Bernardin both have $155 menus. There's also the "Vault" menu at WD-50 for $90.