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Substitute for Per Se birthday dinner

Del Posto or Jean-Georges

Dec 01, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

Tasting Menu Help - Daniel or Jean-Georges (or Atera?)

Service at Daniel isn't cold, but the food just isn't on the same level as the other restaurants you've frequented (e.g. EMP and Del Posto). I made the mistake of celebrating a special occasion at Daniel this summer, and the tasting menu was terribly underwhelming. Here are photos from that meal: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8276502...

The food at Jean-Georges, however, is always delightful.

Nov 04, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

Dinner at The NoMad (Restaurant) -- Recommendations

In addition to the tagliolini, I'd add the following: grape and fennel salad, smoked trout and eggplant with Bourbon barrel-aged fish sauce.

Here are photos from my dinner at NoMad two weeks ago: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8276502...

Sep 15, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

Best dinner in the city for under $100 pp

+1 for NoMad.

The summer menu has some outstanding dishes, including the smoked trout and eggplant with Bourbon barrel-aged fish sauce.

Here's a link to photos from my meal last weekend: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8276502...

Sep 10, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

4 days and nights in Manhattan

While Eleven Madison Park is offering honey-lavender roast duck as a main course option on their summer tasting menu, you could also just pop into the bar and order it a la carte.

Sep 08, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

Trip Report: EMP (2x), NoMad and Carbone

To gild the lilly, I topped the bread with the side of mushrooms.

Sep 07, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

Trip Report: EMP (2x), NoMad and Carbone

Here are some photos of the aforementioned highlights:

Sep 05, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

Trip Report: EMP (2x), NoMad and Carbone

Below is a truncated overview from my trip last weekend:

While I noshed each day, I'll focus on my sit-down meals, starting with my hands-down favorite restaurant in the country: Eleven Madison Park.

The four-hour cavalcade of courses merits a dissertation. While animal protein is handled deftly—most notably in the Homage to the Jewish Deli and in the slightly messy but ever so enjoyable lobster boil—it was the vegetables that bowled me over. A two-part tomato course began with a vibrant tomato tea infused with lemon verbena, a dish that hasn’t been on the menu since the 2012 summer, followed by a bowl of Tri-star strawberries, variegated tomatoes, micro basil and stipples of olive oil.

But the biggest surprise came from the restaurant’s riff on artichokes en barigoule. In lieu of artichoke, the kitchen used sunflower. Topped with a brioche crust, the disc of sunflower packed an umami punch, tempered by a sharp watercress purée. And it should go without saying, but service is as cloudless as ever, making guests feel as if they are the only table in the grand palazzo of a dining room.

Day 2 featured Round 2 at EMP this time with a full embrace of vegetables. The final three savory courses would prove to be a contest of sensations, beginning with a palate-caressing peach purée atop a preternaturally sweet peach that married unbelievably well with trout roe and celtuce. Next, an almost custard-like roasted eggplant balanced with a crunchy ribbon of pickled eggplant all amid a scattering of fried quinoa. And for the main course, a puck of aioli-topped pumpernickel lay at the center of the plate festooned by slow-cooked summer beans.

And though my sweet tooth has dampened over the years, the brownie sundae finished tableside with rum caramel includes an ethereal set of textures: chewy cubes of brownie, creamy vanilla ice cream, crisp waffle cone pieces and the gossamer-thin dark chocolate edifice that houses the sundae.

For my penultimate dinner, I revisited NoMad and definitely overindulged. That said, all eight dishes I tried were delicious.The kitchen would start by sending out their take on fruits de mer, which included, inter alia, a scallop tartare spiked with jalapeno, creamy sea urchin panna cotta and a king crab custard of which I could effortlessly eat spoonfuls. Given the wide selection of the menu I sampled, it seems hard to go wrong; particularly notable were the salad of plump grapes and diaphanous slices of fennel atop a tangy yogurt, eggplant five ways with an inimitable Bourbon barrel-aged fish sauce and what can only be described as a pond of velvet: a perfectly poached egg, melting slivers of parmesan and brown butter espuma, all enhanced by nutty quinoa and bite-size pieces of tender asparagus.

And I wrapped up my trip with dinner at Carbone. To say portions are on the large side is tantamount to saying ISIS doesn’t conduce to world peace. This is hibernation food.

Because it was pushing 90 degrees outside on the day of my reservation, I started with the relatively light Caesar salad; the crisp romaine did indeed prove to be refreshing, and the croutons were unlike any I’ve ever had. And the veal parm is simply stunning, a veritable land mass interspersed with crisp edges and mountainous sections boasting a thick mozzarella carapace. It’s large enough to keep a team of geologists occupied for weeks.

This is definitely a restaurant to which I’d return, for in addition to the delicious food, charming staff and a lively dining room—the restaurant was nearly full by 6pm—made for a great first visit.

Sep 05, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

Looking for a place for anniversary

Jean-Georges (prix fixe)

NoMad (in the Parlour)

Sep 04, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

Best Dishes 2014

Jean-Georges: crispy confit of suckling pig, parmesan-crusted chicken and the fried sweetbreads

Del Posto: orecchiette

NoMad Bar: the burger

Eleven Madison Park: everything on the summer menu, but especially the (1) braised sunflower, (2) celtuce with peach and trout roe (3) slow-cooked summer beans and (4) brownie sundae

Aug 31, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan
1

QUIET restaurant, GOOD FOOD (that's it!)

Tocqueville

Aug 23, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

Where to "wow" a visitor with "do NOT miss this place" recommendations

nsxtasy,

Like you, I live in the Midwest but visit LA 2-3 times a year. Some of my favorites from recent trips include the following:

Connie and Ted's
Pizzeria Mozza (you can make a great meal of their antipasti)
Din Tai Fung
Lukshon
Scarpetta
Red Medicine

Aug 20, 2014
degustingdiary in Los Angeles Area
1

Alternative to EMP

Can't go wrong with either restaurant.

Aug 07, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

Seeking Recommendations for a Three-Day Trip in December

Thanks for the suggestion; I'm leaning in that direction.

Aug 02, 2014
degustingdiary in Las Vegas

Seeking Recommendations for a Three-Day Trip in December

Ah, I see they have more flexible menu options than I remember. And I'm hoping there will be an evening free from colleagues; if so, I'll drop you a line.

Aug 01, 2014
degustingdiary in Las Vegas

Seeking Recommendations for a Three-Day Trip in December

Hey uhockey,

Thanks for the recommendations. I went ahead and checked out the Las Vegas section on your website -- you've amassed quite a repository.

Re: Robuchon, I just can't justify the price tag (same goes for Masa in New York). As for Yusho, I'm planning on moving out of the Midwest in the next year and don't know if I'll be able to squeeze a Chicago jaunt in before then.

Aug 01, 2014
degustingdiary in Las Vegas

Seeking Recommendations for a Three-Day Trip in December

Hi,

I'll be visiting Las Vegas for three days in mid-December and was hoping to get some lunch and dinner recommendations. On previous trips--the most recent of which was 2011--I've eaten at Bouchon Bistro, Alize, Picasso, Guy Savoy, Mesa Grill, Twist and Sage.

While I've had some good meals at the aforementioned restaurants, I would like to branch out and try a new set of places. Based on a cursory search, the menus at Lotus of Siam, Le Cirque, Yusho and Gordon Ramsay Steak caught my eye.

What would be some other restaurants (preferably on the Strip) to consider?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Aug 01, 2014
degustingdiary in Las Vegas

Meadowood Restaurant [St. Helena]

No, $500 is for the food (about 20 courses). If I remember correctly, pairings are around $350.

The Cheese Plate at Eleven Madison Park is Awful

Obviously there's a respectful way of notifying a server that a dish isn't to your liking.

In any case, it seems the leitmotif of your trip is that just about every restaurant you visited while in New York--from Slurp Shop to 15 East and EMP--is terrible. Thanks for the public good.

The Cheese Plate at Eleven Madison Park is Awful

No, I went the brownie sundae route. Did you let your server know you were dissatisfied with the cheese course?

Jul 14, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

The Cheese Plate at Eleven Madison Park is Awful

I'm not one to rely on n = 1 arguments, but for what it's worth, I had a fantastic eight-course dinner at EMP's bar three weeks ago.

Photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8276502...

Meadowood Restaurant [St. Helena]

Easy choice: Counter menu (in the kitchen). Outside of my meals at Eleven Madison Park, I haven't had a more enjoyable dining experience than the three counter menus I've had at Meadowood.

Here are photos from our meal last month: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8276502...

Dishes that look better than they taste?

That's an awfully thoughtful breakdown of the plating. I'm tempted to link to the other seven courses--it was an underwhelming meal from start to finish--to have you eviscerate them.

Jul 14, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

Dishes that look better than they taste?

Yes, those are potato chips (also underseasoned). And the random schmear is black pepper-vodka crème fraîche.

Jul 14, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

Dishes that look better than they taste?

Le Bernardin's Wagyu beef tartare topped with sweet shrimp tartare and osetra caviar. It was woefully underseasoned and simply fell flat as the first course of the tasting menu.

Jul 14, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan

campton place? [San Francisco]

I'd go with La Folie; it's just an over-the-top savory onslaught.

campton place? [San Francisco]

While it's probably never going to return to the halcyon days of when Daniel Humm was running the kitchen, I was very pleasantly surprised by both the food and the service.

campton place? [San Francisco]

I had a most enjoyable lunch at Campton Place last summer. The duck samoza, in particular, was delicious.

Here are the photos from that tasting menu: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8276502...

San Francisco 4 day, 3 night trip - Wine is important!

Not sure why Crenn is a definite when your other dinner options--benu, Quince, Saison and State Bird--are likely to deliver far better dining experiences.

From the sommelier's decision to serve us a warm bottle of Prosecco to the inconsistently seasoned food, I found very little to like about Atelier Crenn. Here's a short write-up of my experience there: http://degustingdiary.wordpress.com/2...

And photos from the meal: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8276502...

15 east - suffering any downturn ?

Not sure what the nature of the negative reviews is, but having had the sushi omakase about two weeks ago, I would definitely recommend keeping your reservation.

If you want to get a sense of what the omakase entails, here are photos from my dinner: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8276502...

Jul 08, 2014
degustingdiary in Manhattan