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Bouley or Betony for prix fixe lunch?

I've had lunches at both restaurants, and they are both superb. Depending upon location (whether you would prefer midtown or TriBeCa) and whether you have time constraints (Bouley 2+ hours), you will have a wonderful time at either restaurant.

5 minutes ago
ellenost in Manhattan

La Grenouille vs Bouley

Definitely Bouley! Bouley has an exquisite dining room, exceptional food, and attentive service. I found the food at La Grenouille boring and the service very stiff.

Jul 04, 2015
ellenost in Manhattan

Lightner leaving Atera on March 28th

For fans of Matt Lightner's cuisine, he'll be back in NYC on October 17 at the NYCWFF Intimate Dinner with Virgilio Martinez. Cost is $250. I've already bought my ticket.

Jul 03, 2015
ellenost in Manhattan

David Chang Fans - Fuku

Went back to fuku today for a late 2 part Momofuku lunch (part 2 was at Noodle Bar). Arrived at 2:30, again only one party ahead of me placing their order. Ordered only the Koreano with seltzer water. The sandwich is huge. I added a bit of Ssam Sauce to see if I preferred more spice. Either way is fine. The meat again was juicy and tender. Found the crust even crunchier than last week. Again, the crust did not fall off the meat. Love this sandwich. More crowded than last week at 3:30, but still found a good counter spot including a hook under the counter for my bag. I highly recommend fuku!

Jul 02, 2015
ellenost in Manhattan

Best $50 mid-week lunch

In addition to Bouley (which is wonderful), I highly recommend the 3 course lunch at Betony for $48.

Jul 01, 2015
ellenost in Manhattan

Top 5 restaurants in San Francisco...?

You will have a great time at Crenn and Benu. I agree with you about Saison: can't understand how it can be almost twice as expensive. I gave it a try (thought I would be "blown away"); and while there were some brilliant dishes, on the whole it was not twice better than (or even equal to) Benu or Crenn (or for anyone familiar with NYC restaurants: Momofuku Ko or Eleven Madison Park). Even the Innovation Menu at Guy Savoy in Las Vegas isn't as expensive as Saison.

Girls night out tasting menu

If you're willing to venture a bit further south to the LES, I highly recommend the tasting menu at Contra: 7 courses for $67. Very interesting wine list. Very friendly service.

Jun 30, 2015
ellenost in Manhattan

Wildair (from the great team behind Contra)

The main difference between Wildair and Contra is that at Wildair you can order a la carte, while at Contra the dinner is a set 7 course tasting menu. Food, service and wine are great at both.

Jun 29, 2015
ellenost in Manhattan

New York - Best Michelin 3 Star

Even though I have not yet eaten at the bar at EMP, I've heard that there are a few dishes from the tasting menu that are served at the bar. Sorry, but I don't know which ones. Maybe if you called the restaurant they would be able to tell you.

Jun 28, 2015
ellenost in Manhattan

Dinner tomorrow night - Cosme, Contra or Marea?

Haven't been to either Cosme or Marea, but Contra is terrific!

Jun 28, 2015
ellenost in Manhattan

New York - Best Michelin 3 Star

Returned yesterday to EMP for lunch with the Spring Menu, and even though I was asked whether I wanted any alternate dishes since I had enjoyed this menu 5 weeks ago, I told my captain I loved it so much I wanted to repeat it again. So glad I did since it was still amazing on a second try. Only 2 more weeks until the Summer Menu is introduced.

I was in San Francisco last week, and dined at Saison, Benu and Atelier Crenn, and EMP beats them all. FYI, Benu and Atelier Crenn are priced about the same as EMP; Saison is priced at $398. (Momofuku Ko beats the 3 of them too, and Ko is priced at $175).

Jun 28, 2015
ellenost in Manhattan
1

Saison 3.0 [San Francisco]

Here's a photo of my view of the kitchen from my table last week. Pretty close.

David Chang Fans - Fuku

Finally made it to fuku today. I arrived at 3:20 with only one party in front of me placing their order. I waited about 5 minutes for my food to be delivered to where I was standing. I ordered the off-menu Koreano that should definitely be "on menu". The Koreano has julienned daikon that adds a lovely crunch. Speaking of crunch, the breading was crunchy, stayed on the chicken for the entire sandwich. I found the thigh meat juicy, tender and with great flavor and a good amount of heat. I didn't need the Ssam sauce. I also ordered the salad that I found was a perfect foil to the sandwich. I was recognized by one staff member only after I was eating so I didn't get any special made sandwich. Felt odd being back in the old Ko space. There was plenty of room to stand and enjoy my sandwich. The under counter hooks were great to hang my pocketbook and gym bag. Left at 4:00 (no one was pushing me out the door; a few people were even placing their orders). No surprise, but I'll be back to fuku!

P.S. Ziggy: please try them again.

Jun 25, 2015
ellenost in Manhattan
1

Saison 3.0 [San Francisco]

While I haven't yet been to Noma, I much preferred Saison to Alinea. Alinea took themselves too seriously, and was more form over substance. The service at Saison was charming. I would sooner return to Saison (oh yes, I forgot--Alinea won't permit me as a solo diner).

Top 5 restaurants in San Francisco...?

I actually found that both Benu and Atelier Crenn had tremendous amount of soul/heart in addition to their unique preparations and delicious flavors. (BTW, I'm a New York Hound and EMP is one of my regular favorite restaurants).

Saison 3.0 [San Francisco]

Same as my CH name.

Saison 3.0 [San Francisco]

I agree with you about premium pricing for far away sourced product; I live in NYC and won't go to Masa--I don't care where he gets his fish, and I doubt whether it's worth the more than twice the price he is charging in comparison to other top sushi restaurants in NYC.

I went to Saison to see if it was any better than than my 2 and 3 Michelin star restaurants in NYC being about twice the price; bottom line, while there were a few truly breath-taking dishes, as a whole I cannot understand why guests are willing to spend $398 per person (other than bragging rights).

I posted on Instagram photos of all of my meals. Benu was the most difficult reservation to obtain.

Top 5 restaurants in San Francisco...?

I've just finished a delicious trip to San Francisco (I'm from NYC). I had 3 excellent high-end dinners (in order of preference) at Atelier Crenn, Benu and Saison. Also had a wonderful dinner at Commonwealth in the Mission District.

Saison 3.0 [San Francisco]

I actually don't care whether they source their food from San Francisco or Japan. The food tastes better at Benu.

Saison 3.0 [San Francisco]

I'm a NYC Hound who just returned from a great food trip to San Francisco. I dined at Commonwealth, Saison, Benu and Atelier Crenn. My favorite of the four was Atelier Crenn. But if the question is to choose between Saison and Benu, my strong preference is for Benu. Many more "hits" at Benu than at Saison. Also Saison is almost 2x the price of Benu. Service was great at both. While I'm glad I tried Saison, Benu is the restaurant to which I would return.

Lunch at Per Se anyone?

Per Se does not take solo reservations via Open Table; you need to call the restaurant directly. Good luck!

Jun 20, 2015
ellenost in Manhattan

Lunch at Per Se anyone?

If you can't get a reservation at Per Se, I highly recommend the 5 course lunch tasting menu at Bouley for $55. Each course offers choices. I find the dining room at Bouley to be the most beautiful in NYC.

BTW, is it that Per Se no longer accepts solo diners at all or they had no availability for a solo diner for the day you wanted. Per Se has limited seating for solo diners in the past, but am curious as to whether the limit has become a ban like Brooklyn Fare.

Jun 20, 2015
ellenost in Manhattan

Best Bakeries/Patisseries for pastries/croissants in San Francisco

Unfortunately today (Friday) is my last day. Thanks for the recommendation.

Great trip! Thank you everyone!

Solo lunch ideas

Betony

Jun 19, 2015
ellenost in Manhattan

Choosing between restaurants… (Michelin)

+2 for Contra.

Jun 18, 2015
ellenost in Manhattan

Best Bakeries/Patisseries for pastries/croissants in San Francisco

Not very thick, but definitely not watery. Dandelion also has a thick hot chocolate called European Drinking Chocolate. Thanks for the suggests about butterscotch.

Best Bakeries/Patisseries for pastries/croissants in San Francisco

Did a mini bakery crawl (3 places) in the Mission District. Started at Dandelion Chocolate. Loved the aroma of chocolate as I entered. I ordered their Mission hot chocolate and the chocolate chip cookie. The hot chocolate had a lovely froth and a wonderful spice. The gal behind the counter asked if I would like my cookie warmed which I thought would be great. Molten chocolate which was delicious. Highly recommend this place. They have only dark chocolate items.

Next stop 2 doors away I visited Craftsman and Wolves. Lovely place. Very friendly staff. I chose the Sipping caramel that came with 2 delicious cookies that I went crazy over since I adore everything caramel. Less successful was the Chocolate croissant stack; even with a large piece of chocolate on top, I didn't find much chocolate on the interior. Would return to try other things.

Final stop for today was the madhouse known as Tartine Bakery. The only other bakery that I have seen so crowded is Dominique Ansel in NYC. Line out the door; no available seats. Staff was very nice. I ordered a plain croissant, pan au chocolat, and a morning bun. Loved both the croissant (very flakey and great butter taste) and the morning bun. Look forward to their opening in NYC.

Will try to visit the Ferry Building tomorrow before I leave.

Thank you again for all of your recommendations. I've attached some photos.

NEW: Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, SF w/ PIC

Wow! And I was in the neighborhood (Asian Art Museum) and thought about taking a walk. Perfect timing for this post.

Best Bakeries/Patisseries for pastries/croissants in San Francisco

You'll be disappointed since I haven't visited anything other than Tout Sweet for their macarons in Macy's. Hoping to visit some bakeries tomorrow and Friday morning. The salted caramel macarons at Tout Sweet were excellent. Loved their crush-proof box.

Best Bakeries/Patisseries for pastries/croissants in San Francisco

Thanks! Plan to visit the Ferry Building tomorrow.