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Top 3 Tasting Menus or A La Carte


ulterior epicure
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So, to recap all the great contributions to the thread:

@ L'Atelier Joel Robuchon: Sit at the counter and order a la carte.  Langoustines are a must.

@ EMP: Try to get an "alcove" seat and, of course, take Humm's amazing-looking tasting for a run.  Also, expect for an "older NYC" feel and possibly uneven service (from what I gathered from the EMP thread).  Everyone has said it's absolutely cavernous - noise factor??

@ Bouley: Definitely do the Chef's Tasting, and if Bouley's in, try to get him to cook for me.  (And, I suppose monkeys will fly out of.... :laugh:).  I know there are two rooms - one red, and the other, not read...  any suggestions? 

@ Babbo: Preferred over DP.  Get the Pasta Tasting, or focus on the pastas. Expect uneven service on the weekends (I may have gleaned that from the Babbo thread).  Loud music-loving is a must, as, potentially, is the calamari.  Seating suggestions?

@ The Modern: Definitely get the chef's tasting as a opposed to seasonal... or was that the other way around?  Failing the dining room, visit the bar and order the... (fill in the blank, please)...? Don't sit in the lounge area next to the bar unless I'm dying to see a chiropractor.  From what I've heard and seen, it gets loud and very dark in the dining room - same with the bar??

Any other nominations?  Suggestions?

Thanks everyone!  Hope this also helps others who are ISO of fine dining.

L'Atelier: The chestnut soup (La Chataigne) I'd also call a "must". I think they may be giving it as an amuse bouche now, but ask for a bowl. Quite good.

Bouley: Definitely have the kitchen cook for you. Both rooms are, in my opinion, gorgeous. I don't think you can go wrong, but if forced to choose, red. In fact, I think that's my favorite dining room in the city.

Babbo: If solo, or with one other person, I really like the seats at the end of the bar (toward the front of the restaurant). Some room to spread out. Nobody reaching around you for glasses of wine, bumping into your back, etc. Personally I prefer these spots to sitting at a table. The pasta tasting menu is a good deal, but I personally don't think it is made of the things that are most representative of why Babbo is a great restaurant. For antipasti, the grilled octopus and the lamb's tongue are nice.

The Modern: If eating in the bar room, it seems the tarte flambee is the most recommended item I usually see here on eG. I'll recommend against the arctic char tartare if it's still on the menu. Bland and boring.

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It's looking like it may come down to a matter of last-minute reservations on a weekend night. Between EMP and The Modern, which will be an easier bet? Or, will both be impossible on a last-minute (within a couple of days) basis? Party of 2.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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  • 1 month later...

Would I paralyze either Joel Robuchon or Gabriel Kreuther if I showed up at their "Counter/Bar" in a pair of (nice) jeans? I really don't want to be starched all day and hoofing it around town...

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Jeans at either place are absolutely fine.

You just made my day... It's the only reason I *hate* going out for nice lunches... especially in the city.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I couldn't help but notice that while Babbo has no stars, Del Posto has two.  Having been to neither, can someone articulate why this might be?
Babbo has one Michelin star, not zero. Del Posto's two-star status was a definite surprise to me. I continue to see reports of inconsistency there, so I just can't explain it.
FWIW, for whatever reason, from just my impressions of EMP (also never having been), I "get" why they did not receive any stars.

Chef Humm arrived too late in the year to be fully rated, so its current status is based on the previous chef.

Obviously any rating system can't be perfect. I find it a little hard to explain that La Goulue, Etats-Unis, and The Spotted Pig have one star, but Chanterelle has zero.

humm arrived the second week of january.

michelin made an error, obv, humm got a michelin star when he was 24 back in europe.

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I couldn't help but notice that while Babbo has no stars, Del Posto has two.  Having been to neither, can someone articulate why this might be?
Babbo has one Michelin star, not zero. Del Posto's two-star status was a definite surprise to me. I continue to see reports of inconsistency there, so I just can't explain it.
FWIW, for whatever reason, from just my impressions of EMP (also never having been), I "get" why they did not receive any stars.

Chef Humm arrived too late in the year to be fully rated, so its current status is based on the previous chef.

Obviously any rating system can't be perfect. I find it a little hard to explain that La Goulue, Etats-Unis, and The Spotted Pig have one star, but Chanterelle has zero.

humm arrived the second week of january.

michelin made an error, obv, humm got a michelin star when he was 24 back in europe.

And, you are correct: "The young chef earned a Michelin star in his first executive chef position at Gusthaus zum Guph, a small country inn near St. Gallen in the Swiss Alps."

From San Francisco Chronicle.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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First, thanks to everyone's for your comments and experiences on this thread.

Feeling 20 lbs heavier, I've done my gorging and will be reporting in the coming days about my meals. Just to re-cap,

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon (lunch): Everything was very impeccably prepared and plated. But, the name says it all, the "workshop" environment is palpabale - a little too "sterile" or "clinical" for me. Service was attentive, quick and even light-hearted... until the end, when my lunch date and I waited about 20 minutes for our check - after our server said he would be presenting us our check. It was clear our server (whom we could clearly see from our bar seats) had become occupied with other guests. We had to flag down another server to request our server to get us our check.

The Modern Bar Room (lunch): I have to say that this was a disappointer. The food wasn't bad, but it was by no means special, in any way. Like L'Atelier, everything was prepared very well and plated - but lacked a sense of "soul." The food seems like the type I could get, with little variability, and easily at any dozen of restaurants in NYC. Service really became non-existent half-way through the meal.

Bouley (dinner): Decent, not transcendant, but certainly not devastating... service issues really put a damper on the experience, thought. Loved the atmosphere and the red dining room.

Babbo (dinner): Reader beware, I was VIP'ed. That being said, it has moved into my top five meals in the US, ever.

Eleven Madison Park (dinner): Between Babbo and Eleven Madison Park, I can't decide which to gush more about. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. I anticipate even greater things of Humm in the coming month and year. I was left speechless. I think whatever wrinkles Fat Guy had noted in his visit a month earlier, have been ironed out, save the desserts, which were good, but certainly not as compelling as the rest of the menu.

I will be posting about each of these restaurant experiences (yes, with pictures) in their respective threads in the coming week. Please be patient, I have a lot of catching up to do.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Lunch at The Modern Bar Room and dinner at Eleven Madison Park are now posted in their respective threads.

Next and last up to bat: Bouley.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Great photos and reports as always UE!

Your report on the Bar Room at the Modern was interesting to me as I just had dinner there about 2 weeks ago when I was in NYC. I agree with many of your thoughts that it was impeccably prepared and presented but lacked "soul". The dishes I had (white bean soup, egg in a jar, and pork belly) I thought had quite a bit of soul, though reflecting on some of the dishes you had I can see what you are saying. Of course this takes into account that this is a highly subjective area. Addionally, I personally thought the Bar Room was a great value, and while you can't compare it to the higher levels of food at places like EMP, for the price point it operates at a pretty high level.

After your report it looks like EMP has moved way up my list for "must trys" on my next trip to New York. Unfortunately on this last trip, as I was with a large group, I didn't really get a chance to experience the high end dining avaliable. But then again, it only gives me more reason to return.

"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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