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Smokelaw1

Looking for leisurly, long, luxurious tasting menu

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OK, back in NYC in a little over a month and I am absolutely stuck on where to go. The only request my wife has made is that we do not hit Per Se again.

I will take the advice of the e-gulleters. One meal. No limits, no constraints as to time or price.

I want a tasting menu, long, luxurious meal. I like a ton of courses over a few hours. I like French, rich food, but am completely open to other options. (Per Se is my first choice...but see the one request from my dear bride above.)

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon? Alain Ducasse? Jean Georges? Chanterelle, Le Bernardin, Other choices? I am open, and will look very much forward to your thoughts.

Forgive the breach of etiquette if this sort of open request is frowned upon.

Many, many thanks.


Edited by Smokelaw1 (log)

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Jean Georges is a personal favorite but you might also look at Eleven Madison or take a trip north of the city to Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

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It's been two years since I've been there, but Jean Georges was the best meal I have ever had. I thought the waiters were attentive without overdoing it, the food was excellent and they accommodated all my food sensitivities with no advance notice. It was just a fabulous meal.

And for other info. I really dislike 11 Madison Park. I know it has its ardent fans, but I think the room is cold. The night I was there, the waiter disappeared at the end of the meal and no one was around and we could not get the check. My extreme dislike of the restaurant must be viewed though in light of the fact that I ate there when the restaurant was between pastry chefs, and there was not one dessert on the menu I could eat. Really either all citrus or all chocolate desserts? Nothing else? And again my visit to the restaurant was a while back, but that's not going to change because I am never going back.

Alas, I have never made it to Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

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What is it about Per Se that your bride is trying to avoid?

EMP has (by courses anyways) the longest 4 Star menu with their Gourmand at 11 courses. But they've also undergone a significant amount of persenification over the past year or two - a good thing to most people's measure, but which lead to my question above. LeB & Daniel both have French 8 course menu's, with LeB being all seafood and Daniel probably holding the lowest overall reputation on these boards historically foodwise anyways. Is all seafood a good thing? Is so, LeB is a strong choice.

For me personally the choice would come down to Jean Georges (7 courses) or Blue Hill @Stone Barns (8 courses). At JG you'll have two pre-set menus to choose from, whereas at Blue Hill there really isn't a menu (although in theory expressing your preferences to them can get you a menu suited to your tastes).

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I definitely would lean toward Jean Georges as well. In many ways, I actually like it better than Per Se, though I'm sure some would disagree.

I'd also put in a vote for L'atelier de Joel Robuchon, where I've had some great meals, but with the caveat that they were all prior to the chef change that occurred a few months ago. The atmosphere in the two places is quite different, so it's really a matter of what you're feeling like. Since I find the best experience at L'atelier is to be had sitting at the bar, it may be a weaker choice for the type of meal you describe (leisurely, pampered, private, etc.).

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I would also second either Le Bernardin or Jean Georges. I also strongly dislike EMP.

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Wow, thanks everybody. Looks like JG is taking the lead in my mind.

As for what my wife is trying to avoid, nothing really. Just wouldn't like to go back again. She is most DECIDEDLY not a foodie. Not even interested in food. Her favorite meal in the world is good pizza (which, when good, can indeed be delightful...) We were treated wonderfully at Per Se, and showing genuine interest in the food and the restaurant (as you well know) was rewarded with special attention from the kitchen. We left, and I said that it might have beent he defining meal of my life thus far. She replied that it was "mostly inedible." I don't expect her to like the food at any of these restaurants. She will order a course of two (or three) and watch me enjoy a tatsting. Much the same as I ordered tea and some lovely dark choclate andsea salt snacks while she had a 50 minute foot soak and massage a few weeks ago. We enjoy eachothers enjoyment.

When she does like food, though, it is seafood...so perhaps LeB might offer a glimmer of hope for her actually enjoying her meal???

I think my next three meals in NY (Feb, April, May) will be LeB, JG, EMP. As for which one my wife will be there for in Feb....it's looking like JG or LeB.

Thank you all for the help...but by all means, if you have more opinions, keep them coming!!


Edited by Smokelaw1 (log)

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Hmm.. I'm not sure any of the places named above will allow you to enjoy an extensive tasting menu, while your wife enjoys only "a course or two" - they all pretty much require the participation of the entire table for tasting menus.

But that pretty much just means that you will have to eat more! At JG you can order the Seasonal Tasting and your wife the Signature, giving her 14 dishes to chose what she likes from, while you eat the rest. At Le Bernardin you can chose the 8 and she can chose the 7 course tasting - giving you 15 different dishes. I think Daniel has a choice in every one of their 6 course tastings, so that would be 12 courses to chose from. And presumably you can tell Stone Barns to do different dishes for the two of you as well.

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I know that is generally the case. I have made inquiry at most of these restaurants already asking for possible accomidation, and so far that has been received favorably. Especially if one is willing to essentially (or literally, as is the case at Per Se) be charged for the full tasting for the table, they will feed the, uhhh, difficult guest.

Hadn't thought of the "order both and get to eat most of it" line. That is a really painfully good idea!!

I think she would eat most of the food at LeB, but I could be wrong.

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I will soon be in NYC together with a very good friend, who shares my passion for food and wine. As always when we are traveling together, I plan to arrange a memorable fine dining experience on our last night in town. It turns out that booking is slightly complicated due to Valentine's Day, meaning that a lot of interesting tables are already taken. Right now I am on the waiting list of Per Se, but I have managed to secure tables at L'Atelier and Corton for Saturday night. Assuming that Per Se is beyond reach, which one would you choose of L'Atelier or Corton? It should be added that we also enjoy our conversation when dining together, so we would favor a place that is not too loud.


A meal without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye. Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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Sulten, congrats on getting great reservations! Please PLEASE do not forget to cancel the one that you won't be using, so as not to deprive the restaurant of a table that they could turn. Thanks :wink:


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I'd like to tweak the question a little bit.

My friend and I are in the City for one Thursday night next month. We HAVE reservations at Per Se and will have enough time to make the concert we are going to afterwards. I WANT TO EAT THERE.

However, jackets are required and that is the deal breaker.

My question is, where can we go have a early seating dinner, at a quality place like JG or Per Se and not wear a jacket or tie ?


edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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I would opt for Corton over any of them, but that's me.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I'd like to tweak the question a little bit.

My friend and I are in the City for one Thursday night next month. We HAVE reservations at Per Se and will have enough time to make the concert we are going to afterwards. I WANT TO EAT THERE.

However, jackets are required and that is the deal breaker.

My question is, where can we go have a early seating dinner, at a quality place like JG or Per Se and not wear a jacket or tie ?

EMP has no dress code.

Also, one time 1 of our party of 4 lost his jacket in travel, and Per Se was able to accommodate him fine by lending him a house jacket for dinner.


Edited by sickchangeup (log)

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I'd like to tweak the question a little bit.

My friend and I are in the City for one Thursday night next month. We HAVE reservations at Per Se and will have enough time to make the concert we are going to afterwards. I WANT TO EAT THERE.

However, jackets are required and that is the deal breaker.

My question is, where can we go have a early seating dinner, at a quality place like JG or Per Se and not wear a jacket or tie ?

Please tell me that's not going to keep you from eating at Per Se. Please? (Btw, ties are optional.)

I will soon be in NYC together with a very good friend, who shares my passion for food and wine. As always when we are traveling together, I plan to arrange a memorable fine dining experience on our last night in town. It turns out that booking is slightly complicated due to Valentine's Day, meaning that a lot of interesting tables are already taken. Right now I am on the waiting list of Per Se, but I have managed to secure tables at L'Atelier and Corton for Saturday night. Assuming that Per Se is beyond reach, which one would you choose of L'Atelier or Corton? It should be added that we also enjoy our conversation when dining together, so we would favor a place that is not too loud.

I haven't been to Corton but have been to L'Atelier several times in NY/Paris. I really want to go to Corton - I've only heard raves - but I also have loved all of my L'Atelier meals. I think Corton would be a bit quieter. I'm going to say that you can't go wrong, I really believe that to be the case.

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The best tasting meal that I've ever had (other than Per Se) is the 11-course Gourmand menu at Eleven Madison Park. It was four hours of pure brilliance! Service was exquisite. The pacing of the courses was perfect. Although I adore Per Se, I will probably return to EMP for the Gourmand menu sooner (especially since it's $100 per person less expensive--$275 at Per Se vs. $175 at EMP).

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I will soon be in NYC together with a very good friend, who shares my passion for food and wine. As always when we are traveling together, I plan to arrange a memorable fine dining experience on our last night in town. It turns out that booking is slightly complicated due to Valentine's Day, meaning that a lot of interesting tables are already taken. Right now I am on the waiting list of Per Se, but I have managed to secure tables at L'Atelier and Corton for Saturday night. Assuming that Per Se is beyond reach, which one would you choose of L'Atelier or Corton? It should be added that we also enjoy our conversation when dining together, so we would favor a place that is not too loud.

Both are wonderful, and among my favorites in NYC. And both are certainly quiet enough for pleasant conversation. The main difference is in the presentation. While both offer fairly modern takes on cuisine, there are subtle differences between them that are somewhat difficult to describe accurately (much as it's tough to describe certain differences inherently between painters or musicians). But crudely speaking, the presentations at Corton tend to be a bit more elaborate, and many dishes are composed of multiple parts, sometimes in separate vessels. Meanwhile, L'atelier tends to SEEM a bit simpler, although there is great complexity in doing seemingly simple things well. Neither one would quite fall into the molecular category by any means, but both (and especially Corton) take some cues from that style and incorporate it into the dishes in a way that works without seeming gimmicky. You won't go wrong with either, and if possible go to both! Aside from the extremely solicitous Michelin style service at Per Se, I'd say that both compare quite favorably with it, and you won't be missing out. In fact, some of the dishes at both L'atelier and Corton are more memorable, if only because they're a little less well known and sometimes "newer". Enjoy.

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I'd like to tweak the question a little bit.

My friend and I are in the City for one Thursday night next month. We HAVE reservations at Per Se and will have enough time to make the concert we are going to afterwards. I WANT TO EAT THERE.

However, jackets are required and that is the deal breaker.

My question is, where can we go have a early seating dinner, at a quality place like JG or Per Se and not wear a jacket or tie ?

Out of curiosity, what is the reason you are so adamant about avoiding wearing a jacket? Most of the places that do require them are pretty lenient about what constitutes an acceptable jacket, and I don't find those places necessarily any stuffier than many uptown restaurants that don't require jackets, but tend to have patrons in their biz clothes. I'm surprised to hear that wearing a jacket is a deal breaker for eating a truly spectacular meal. For what it's worth, very few places anywhere (and none of the ones you mention) require ties any more, so that's not an issue.

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Thanks for the nice input, although it didn't really make my choice any easier:-)

Judiu: Sure, I will cancel the remaining one (or as LPShanet suggests, try to get into L'Atelier on the Friday)

To give you a comparison, I could mention that over the last 12 months I have shared a table with the very same friend at WD-50 and at Sergio Arola's restaurant in Madrid (full tasting menus both places). Quite a span of style and techniques, although Sergio also has a modern take on his food. Both occasions were very enjoyable, but very different. While WD-50 was amazing, soemtimes challenging, and partly very tasteful, the meal in Madrid was a pure and extravagant pleasure from the first amuse to the last dessert. As far as I can see from reviews and forum posts, both Corton and L'Atelier would be closer to Sergio Arola than to WD-50 in food style and ambience. Any additional comments, anyone?


A meal without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye. Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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I'd like to tweak the question a little bit.

My friend and I are in the City for one Thursday night next month. We HAVE reservations at Per Se and will have enough time to make the concert we are going to afterwards. I WANT TO EAT THERE.

However, jackets are required and that is the deal breaker.

My question is, where can we go have a early seating dinner, at a quality place like JG or Per Se and not wear a jacket or tie ?

Out of curiosity, what is the reason you are so adamant about avoiding wearing a jacket? Most of the places that do require them are pretty lenient about what constitutes an acceptable jacket, and I don't find those places necessarily any stuffier than many uptown restaurants that don't require jackets, but tend to have patrons in their biz clothes. I'm surprised to hear that wearing a jacket is a deal breaker for eating a truly spectacular meal. For what it's worth, very few places anywhere (and none of the ones you mention) require ties any more, so that's not an issue.

Bob is coming from a business convention in Texas and I from one in Orlando, meeting up for the day in NYC. I don't think either one of us were planning on packing a dress jacket. We are going to MSG right afterwards, to a Rock n Roll concert and well......

We don't want to be mistaken for the yuppies we really are :cool:


Edited by Aloha Steve (log)

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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Very simple. Go to Corton. It will also take care of the jacket issue.

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Thanks for the nice input, although it didn't really make my choice any easier:-)

Judiu: Sure, I will cancel the remaining one (or as LPShanet suggests, try to get into L'Atelier on the Friday)

To give you a comparison, I could mention that over the last 12 months I have shared a table with the very same friend at WD-50 and at Sergio Arola's restaurant in Madrid (full tasting menus both places). Quite a span of style and techniques, although Sergio also has a modern take on his food. Both occasions were very enjoyable, but very different. While WD-50 was amazing, soemtimes challenging, and partly very tasteful, the meal in Madrid was a pure and extravagant pleasure from the first amuse to the last dessert. As far as I can see from reviews and forum posts, both Corton and L'Atelier would be closer to Sergio Arola than to WD-50 in food style and ambience. Any additional comments, anyone?

Having been to Arola's restaurant in Madrid myself, I can tell you that there isn't really anything comparable in New York. While we have a great food scene here, and more good restaurants than almost any other city in the world, modern/molecular cuisine isn't our strong point. So the places in NY that are most comparable to Arola's place in terms of service and extravagance aren't particularly adventurous in terms of their food. And the few places with more forward-leaning food (i.e. WD-50) aren't really trying to offer the same level of experience that the Arolas and Berasateguis of the world offer. However, I think the closest you'll come in NYC may be Corton. It's certainly more flamboyant in terms of service and presentation than WD-50, and while not as cutting edge, definitely offers a modern interpretation of cuisine. It's a really good restaurant, and well worth your checking out. L'atelier will be a little more traditional than Corton, and while delicious, probably less eye opening in terms of adventure.

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I'd like to tweak the question a little bit.

My friend and I are in the City for one Thursday night next month. We HAVE reservations at Per Se and will have enough time to make the concert we are going to afterwards. I WANT TO EAT THERE.

However, jackets are required and that is the deal breaker.

My question is, where can we go have a early seating dinner, at a quality place like JG or Per Se and not wear a jacket or tie ?

Out of curiosity, what is the reason you are so adamant about avoiding wearing a jacket? Most of the places that do require them are pretty lenient about what constitutes an acceptable jacket, and I don't find those places necessarily any stuffier than many uptown restaurants that don't require jackets, but tend to have patrons in their biz clothes. I'm surprised to hear that wearing a jacket is a deal breaker for eating a truly spectacular meal. For what it's worth, very few places anywhere (and none of the ones you mention) require ties any more, so that's not an issue.

Bob is coming from a business convention in Texas and I from one in Orlando, meeting up for the day in NYC. I don't think either one of us were planning on packing a dress jacket. We are going to MSG right afterwards, to a Rock n Roll concert and well......

We don't want to be mistaken for the yuppies we really are :cool:

As suggested upthread, I think Corton may be the place for you, too. Great food, and they're not as picky on dress code. Another way to go might be to check out EMP or The Modern.

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I'd like to tweak the question a little bit.

My friend and I are in the City for one Thursday night next month. We HAVE reservations at Per Se and will have enough time to make the concert we are going to afterwards. I WANT TO EAT THERE.

However, jackets are required and that is the deal breaker.

My question is, where can we go have a early seating dinner, at a quality place like JG or Per Se and not wear a jacket or tie ?

Out of curiosity, what is the reason you are so adamant about avoiding wearing a jacket? Most of the places that do require them are pretty lenient about what constitutes an acceptable jacket, and I don't find those places necessarily any stuffier than many uptown restaurants that don't require jackets, but tend to have patrons in their biz clothes. I'm surprised to hear that wearing a jacket is a deal breaker for eating a truly spectacular meal. For what it's worth, very few places anywhere (and none of the ones you mention) require ties any more, so that's not an issue.

Bob is coming from a business convention in Texas and I from one in Orlando, meeting up for the day in NYC. I don't think either one of us were planning on packing a dress jacket. We are going to MSG right afterwards, to a Rock n Roll concert and well......

We don't want to be mistaken for the yuppies we really are :cool:

As suggested upthread, I think Corton may be the place for you, too. Great food, and they're not as picky on dress code. Another way to go might be to check out EMP or The Modern.

Thank you Vivan and LP, I have reservations now at Croton also. I'm seeing Bob during our monthly poker game Friday night and will ask him which of the two he thinks would should go. I'l cancel the other one and make a point to try the one we don't go to, another time.


edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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We are going to MSG right afterwards, to a Rock n Roll concert and well......

We don't want to be mistaken for the yuppies we really are :cool:

Ah, my work place! Seeing Clapton/Beck? Or John Mayer? :laugh:

Yeah, I wish there were one killer place near the Garden.

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