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best fine dining in New York?

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/978637

I started a thread above about the best place to eat within a reasonable distance from where I am in Madison. Someone recommended that I just catch a flight and make the trip to New York since I have never been there before and that I should try to get reservations at Eleven Madison. It is supposedly the best restaurant in New York and the USA for that matter as well.

Well, I looked up flight prices and it is about a $400 four hour flight from Madison to New York. They said it is worth it but they also said I should try Alinea in Chicago as well. My question to you native New Yorkers is is Eleven Madison really worth the expense that I would have to go through?

If so, I was thinking fly out there and during the day eat the most exotic ethnic foods that New York has to offer that I can't find back home in Hawaii and then eat at Eleven Madison for dinner. Then head to the airport and return to Madison. What do you all think? Thank you!

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  1. While I like EMP I would not consider it the best restaurant in New York. The S. Pellegrino rankings should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. For me Per Se was a more memorable experience than either Alinea or EMP.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Scott_C

      It (Per Se) certainly is the most expensive of the bunch by far.

    2. Did you just win a lottery or are you dying?
      otherwise, i don't think it's worth the trouble.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Monica

        I'm just trying to live a little more and enjoy life. I can't take this money with me so why not spend it on good food is my current take on things for now. I would like to travel to somewhere more remote like Indonesia or somewhere in SE Asia but I can't find the time for it since its so far away.

        1. re: bloodboy

          Why travel all that distance just to eat one meal? Why not spend a few days and eat at EMP, Per Se and a few others?

          1. re: bloodboy

            Yes, live a little more and take me, a fellow Kanaka along! I'm from Kalihi and now live in da big apple!

        2. Just saw your other thread on the Chicago board...

          I can see the temptation to so this since you're on the Mainland now and not Hawaii.

          Doing this all in one day is risky especially due to traffic in and out of Manhattan, earlier luggage check in times in NYC than smaller airports, and weather related delays (esp in the summer). You could easily miss your flight home or be delayed coming to NYC.

          Are you certain your flight times will actually work out the way you want? EMP opens at 5:30pm, you'd be done with dinner at 9:30pm, and then MAYBE you'd be able to catch a 11pm flight. IF they offer NYC-Madison that late. I couldn't find flights that late just now.

          Looking at Google Flights, it looks like $800 or more total to do this in one day. Taxi fare to and from JFK, LGA, and EWR isn't cheap either.

          1. A friend of mine used to fly to Las Vegas just to dine at Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon. If you have the time, energy and resources to do both EMP and Alinea then by all means go for it.

            1. I would at least stay a night... And this way you could shower and change instead of either spending all day dressed up or going to EMP in the same clothes you put on 12hrs before...(on Air b n b you can find a place to stay cheaper than a hotel)
              You could do (smaller) ethnic eats during the day so you're still hungry for dinner, pass out for the night, and then visit a few gourmet shops or whatever the next day before leaving...

              It's your money, but yeah, you only live once....

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ttrockwood

                I agree. Why would you want to rush out to catch a flight immediately after such a memorable meal? Stick around and spend the night... relax and process the wonderful experience.