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tasting menu help! what haven't i thought of?

My partner’s birthday is mid-April and I am going to take him out. I’m having a major block in where to take him this year and turning to you all for help.

Criteria: He wants a tasting menu (doesn't want to make decisions ) and a bonus if there is a beverage pairing. Also, he wants to go somewhere new where he hasn't been before. It can be fancy (& expensive) or casual, but it’s a special birthday, so something a little not-every week. However, the best food/experience is most important

This is the list of where we've been in the last few years
Ko (last year’s birthday)
EMP
Per se
Le Bernardin
Maialino
Brushstroke
Soto
Neta
*there are many others – but these come to mind or have been suggested by other

Outer borough (just as an FYI)
Chef’s Table / Brooklyn Fare
Blanca
The Dover
Battersby

For whatever reasons he’s not interested in The Nomad, Daniel, Bouley, Masa, Atera,

Some inital thoughts are: Sushi Nakazawa or Annisa (which, I know nothing about) or Jungsik. However, I’m not really sold or super excited about any of these. Could you either convince me that one of the above is great or help me overcome this block and think of additional options. Thanks!

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  1. Jean Georges
    Aquavit
    del Posto
    Babbo
    The Modern

    3 Replies
    1. re: thegforceny

      Are you saying you already did Brooklyn Fare? If not that's my top recommendation.
      I was gonna say Atera but you mentioned that's not an interest.

      I think Jungsik is certainly a good option. Or you could do the extended menu at Torrisi.
      Though, if you can snag a seat at the sushi counter at Nakazawa I'd jump at that given how hard it is to get in right now.

      1. re: Heeney

        We have been to Brooklyn Fare, however it was a while ago, maybe 2011/12 - they were still BYO. It was fantastic and loved it all. Would you think it would be worth another visit now?

        I left Torrisi of the list, but have been there too - opps

        1. re: miss_anthrope

          We have been twice, both times after they switched to not being BYO.
          So I can't speak for the difference. But it was a wonderful meal both times.
          Obviously if you are looking for something new then skip it.
          I'll also second 15 East as a good option.
          I have never actually been to WD-50 but I saw that that's absent from your list.

    2. The tasting menu at Jungsik is wonderful! Very creative and delicious; service is wonderful too.

      Juni has an excellent tasting menu (food is also very creative and delicious). You can have a 4 or 6 course tasting menu with choices (I've done the 6 course twice) or a 10 course (I believe is a set menu). Service is excellent too.

      Picholine has a wonderful 5 or 8 course tasting menu with choices. Again, service is excellent.

      Sorry to hear that Atera isn't on your list since IMO, Chef Lightner is doing amazing things. Service is also excellent.

      Please skip Blanca since IMO, it's one of the most overrated and pretentious restaurants that I've been to in the past few years.

      1. Are you planning to stay in the city? If you guys are open to going a bit out of the way and having a /very/ nice dinner, perhaps Blue Hill at Stone Barns? Definitely expensive but I believe it would fit most of your criteria above.

        Disclaimer - I haven't been so I can't speak from personal experience but man it is one of the main items on my bucket list. How I long to go!

        1 Reply
        1. re: sharebear

          I love Stone Barns! Unfortunately, since i have weekends off and he has days off midweek, i think we'll be confined to the city this time around. I am sort of embarrassed to say that we've been there a couple of times - over a number of years.

          You should (need?) to go - I loved the summer menu with all the amazing farm vegetables.

        2. Kappo @ Ma Peche
          Picholine
          Tocqueville
          15 East
          Juni
          The Gallery @ The New York Palace

          1 Reply
          1. re: kosmose7

            Unfortunately there is no more kappo at Ma Peche.

          2. 15 East - not only (one of) the best sushi in NYC, but the other seafood that comes before it makes it stand out above the other top sushi places http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/914900

            Jungsik - the menu and format have changed since my last visit, chowhound.chow.com/topics/851849 but the food was excellent and unique

            Juni - good mix of classical and creativity http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/923232

            When was the last time you went to EMP? They change the format of their tasting menu fairly frequently for a top restaurant.

            more casual but with interesting food:
            Louro
            Contra (haven't been, but just got a NYT ** review
            )Luksus (haven't been, but good reviews), beer pairing

            1. Eater also has a small collection of tasting menu videos in case any of them might interest you after seeing what's actually in them: http://ny.eater.com/tags/60-second-ta...