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olicollett

Long weekend in NYC – Which of the high end places & Japanese?

26 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I'm planning a trip to NYC & Chicago for around 10 days probably towards the end of March and I'm currently a little unsure of which top-notch places to visit

I've pretty much ruled out Per Se, myself and my friend just see it as a bit too expensive, but I like the look of the chef's table at Brooklyn Fare - although writeups seem a little thin on the ground?

I'm also wondering about visiting one of the top Japanese places, possibly sushi Yasuda - I didn't try any Sushi last time in NYC, is this still the place to go (bar Masa!)? Soto also looks interesting

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I am a huge fan of Citrus on the upper west side. It is branded as Japanese meets Latin and will not kill your wallet.

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If you're willing to consider a vegetarian restaurant, you might try Kajitsu if they have any reservations open still. Two Michelin starred shojin ryori (Japanese temple cuisine). We were here recently, and it was excellent.

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Thanks all

Kajitsu looks excellent! I usually run a mile from vegetarian food but that looks amazing :)

Sho also looks good - very reasonable prix fixe lunch should do nicely. I think those two, with some sushi, visits to momofuku, WD-50 and either Brooklyn Fare or possibly 11 madison park should just about fill us up :laugh:

May have to be a bit longer than a long weekend!

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I like the look of the chef's table at Brooklyn Fare - although writeups seem a little thin on the ground?

Well, the chef's table at Brooklyn Fare is now $225 per person, which is not quite as high as Per Se, but it's getting there.

I'm also wondering about visiting one of the top Japanese places, possibly Sushi Yasuda - I didn't try any Sushi last time in NYC, is this still the place to go (bar Masa!)? Soto also looks interesting

Sushi Yasuda just got 3 stars (again) in The Times. I am a big fan of Soto, but it's quite different. You won't do badly at either one.

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oakapple - funny you should say that, I've just come back because I'm reconsidering Per Se.

Am I right in thinking it's roughly $300 for the food, but that includes a default service? I'm just thinking, by the time you add wine and service to places like eleven madison park and Brooklyn Fare, it's going to be a close run thing.

I'm guessing with Per Se you'd probably leave a bit more than the standard tip, but even with that and a reasonable amount of wine I should be OK for around ~$500 no? :wacko:

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Olicollett,

Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare is incredible and I consider it the best meal I've ever had (both times I've been there) but the combination of another price hike and removal of the BYO does make it a very expensive proposition. That said, if you are considering something in that price range, you can't go wrong (assuming you can manage a reservation).

I have also had great experiences at Eleven Madison Park but that was prior to last year's change of menu. Everyone that I've spoken to who had been before and after was somehow disappointed in the new structure.

I would recommend against Del Posto. While my recent dinner there was much better than an earlier experience, you can do much better elsewhere for the money. For Italian, I would recommend having some pasta at the bar at Marea. I found the dining room and service to be a bit stuffy and the crudo to be disappointing (especially if you like good sushi) so I think a simple meal of pasta at the bar is the way to go. (The pasta is excellent.)

Someone mentioned SHO earlier in the thread. While I've never had an exciting meal there, I've also never had one that wasn't quite good and it is a bargain relative to other restaurants in its class. Even better is their bar, which is spacious, never crowded, and which has great cocktails.

Finally, you will not be disappointed with Sushi Yasuda. It is classic and reliably excellent. While their very strict appointment windows are a bit off-putting (90 minute reservation periods of which you are reminded about 12 times), it is plenty of time for a comfortable meal. I also really like Ushiwakamaru, which is much less well known but, I think, equally good. Very good traditional sushi, a nice room, and not as much attitude as Sushi Yasuda.

Eric

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Thanks Eric, that's great. I'm glad that several of you have warned of the price hike at the Chef's Table @ Brooklyn Fare, I'm sure it's still worth it but when it puts it up towards the Per Se mark it makes it a much more difficult choice!

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Per Se was one of the single most amazing experiences of my life thus far. So worth it.


"He was a bold man that first eat an oyster." -Jonathan Swift

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Masa is amazing but prices are in the stratosphere. I'd love to head to Yasuda next time around though.


James.

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Masa is amazing but prices are in the stratosphere. I'd love to head to Yasuda next time around though.

Yeah it's something like $400 for the food isn't it? Nuts! I think I'd rather save a bit and do Yasuda :smile:

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Masa is amazing but prices are in the stratosphere. I'd love to head to Yasuda next time around though.

Yeah it's something like $400 for the food isn't it? Nuts! I think I'd rather save a bit and do Yasuda :smile:

$450 when I was there in August, that's not including $120 for the Wagyu and Truffle upsell, or $60 for the truffle ice cream (I didn't get that one).


James.

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oakapple - funny you should say that, I've just come back because I'm reconsidering Per Se.

Am I right in thinking it's roughly $300 for the food, but that includes a default service? I'm just thinking, by the time you add wine and service to places like eleven madison park and Brooklyn Fare, it's going to be a close run thing.

I'm guessing with Per Se you'd probably leave a bit more than the standard tip, but even with that and a reasonable amount of wine I should be OK for around ~$500 no? :wacko:

Per Se is $295 per person, and that includes an implicit 20 percent service charge. Some people leave an additional tip on top of that, but there is no need to; 20 percent is standard in New York.

Per Se's $295 is roughly comparable to a place that charges $245 without service. That's within hailing distance of the $225 price at Brooklyn Fare -- close enough that price is not likely to be the reason for choosing one over the other.

Eleven Madison Park has a $125 dinner menu that includes four courses (plus amuses), so you can eat there for a lot less than Per Se. Even EMP's tasting menu, at $195, is a good deal less.


Edited by oakapple (log)

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Per Se is truly amazing, no question, but I was recently blown away by EMP's four-course option -- as oakapple points out, there are a whole lot of amuses included -- and would almost certainly return there before going back to Per Se, given the difference in price.

There is the salon option at Per Se if you just wanted to try a few things, too. Sit in the lounge, order a couple of courses, and you still have cornets and bread service and the great wine list to play with. It isn't the same as the main room, obviously, but it's a great way to get a killer foie torchon for $40 instead of going for the all-in $295.


Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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I was actually thinking about doing EMP for lunch in addition, $70 for 4 courses seemed like good value :)

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If you are interested in Japanese Ramen, perhaps for lunch, you MUST go to Ippudo. Hand made noodles, the only other place on earth that you'll find them is in Japan. The Shiromaru Hakata Classic with thin-sliced Berkshire pork and an egg, and a side of bakudan to spice it up quite simply changed my life. Order a beer and you're in for about $20. Can't go wrong, shouldn't be missed. Have a great time!!


Edited by newbie21 (log)

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For high-end places other than Per Se, you could try:

Le Bernadin

Eleven Madison Park

Del Posto

SHO

Agree with most of these, but do have to say that I had a truly horrible/despicable service experience at SHO recently. Service there was never good, but this time what happened was beyond the pale, and their handling of it (or lack thereof) even worse. That said, the food is still good.

I'd add Corton, L'atelier de Joel Robuchon and Marea to this list.

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Thanks all

Kajitsu looks excellent! I usually run a mile from vegetarian food but that looks amazing :)

Sho also looks good - very reasonable prix fixe lunch should do nicely. I think those two, with some sushi, visits to momofuku, WD-50 and either Brooklyn Fare or possibly 11 madison park should just about fill us up :laugh:

May have to be a bit longer than a long weekend!

Kajitsu is indeed excellent. You might also take a look at Kyo Ya, which has similarities to Kajitsu but isn't vegetarian. And Bouley's new Brushstroke in Tribeca is doing a pretty nice kaiseki right now, too. And I second Newbie's suggestion of Ippudo, if you're interested in ramen.

As stated earlier, SHO's food is still good and a good deal, but their service is WAY below par for this level of restaurant. If that doesn't bother, then give it a shot.

As for sushi, I'd suggest eliminating Bar Masa from consideration. It's very overpriced for what it is, and doesn't confer any of the benefits of dining at Masa (which is amazing, but way out of most people's price range). Your best straight sushi bets are probably Sushi Yasuda and Ushi Wakamaru. Soto is also fantastic, but not quite traditional sushi. The real stars there are the specialty dishes, although the sushi itself is also excellent.

Can't speak highly enough about Brooklyn Fare, but agree that the price hike (and difficulty of actually getting reservations) has meant that I haven't been able to go back in ages. As far as the actual food on the plate goes, I personally would put Brooklyn Fare slightly ahead of Eleven Madison Park, though it's less of a fine dining experience in terms of ambience and service.


Edited by LPShanet (log)

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Masa is amazing but prices are in the stratosphere. I'd love to head to Yasuda next time around though.

Yeah it's something like $400 for the food isn't it? Nuts! I think I'd rather save a bit and do Yasuda :smile:

Beware, Yasuda can add up pretty quickly, too, if you're a big eater. It's not uncommon to spend $250-$300 per person for the food alone there.

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You might want to try Kurumazushi. Locals take it for granted now but it's fantastic. You have to sit at the bar, and I'd recommend ordering omokase.

I think Yasuda is overrated, though it wins on design points.

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Masa is amazing but prices are in the stratosphere. I'd love to head to Yasuda next time around though.

Yeah it's something like $400 for the food isn't it? Nuts! I think I'd rather save a bit and do Yasuda :smile:

Beware, Yasuda can add up pretty quickly, too, if you're a big eater. It's not uncommon to spend $250-$300 per person for the food alone there.

Yeah I figured Yasuda could get expensive, but we're only planning on a light-ish lunch there so hoping to get away without too much damage!

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If you think Yasuda can add up, don't go anywhere NEAR Kurumazushi.

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If you think Yasuda can add up, don't go anywhere NEAR Kurumazushi.

Totally agree. Just as expensive as Yasuda, if not more so, and they usually have a much less extensive selection. It's not nearly the place it was 5-10 years ago, mostly due to an unadventurous customer base, though the quality is still very top notch.

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In my experience, Kuruma is some multiple of the expense of Yasuda. In fact, my experience is that Kuruma can easily be more expensive than Masa.

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