Soooo much good food in New York City. So, so many great restaurants. I am most definitely on a quest to eat at them all! But let’s face it. Some of the really good ones are also really expensive. So. I know I didn’t want to miss out! I researched and lo and behold, not only are their bar menus more affordable, but it’s also easier to get a table (not all bar menus are exclusively served at the bar itself). If you’re a foodie-foodie, you need to read this!
Eleven Madison Park
This is not just a great restaurant. Eleven Madison Park has been roaming around the World’s top 50 restaurants for a while now. It is currently the 4th best, and just last year ranked at #1. It dons three Michelin Stars, has earned seven James Beard Awards, and is on everyone’s top of the lists of food writers, magazines and newspapers. Daniel Humm, co-owner and executive chef, born Swiss man, has taken New York to a new level in the culinary scene. Of course this is going to be pricey. This restaurant has been on my bucket list for a few years, and finally my awesome kids got me reservations for the bar area for Christmas. Nope, it’s still not cheap, But I still consider it a bargain. $175 per person gets you 5 courses of the most breathtaking food you will ever taste and lay your eyes on. It will be accompanied by the most amazing bread basket, you will receive a little parting gift, all taxes and gratuities are included in the price. That to me is a bargain. The staff is beyond awesome, the experience is heart warming and unforgettable from hello to good bye.
Our dinner included Caviar with a clam, leek and potato soufflé’, Foie gras with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, butter poached lobster wit celery root and apple tart, dry aged veal with greens and pear, duck, Harbison (washed rind cheese fondue with mustard and pear), a lovely chocolate dessert, and as a bonus a chocolate covered pretzel. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how great this meal was, let me just tell you I cried a little…
For more info on Eleven Madison Park click here
The Office NYC
If you are knowledgeable about the 50 best restaurants in the world, you surely have heard of Alinea and its owner, chef and cancer survivor Grant Achatz. He lives and operates out of Chicago, which always has me nervously tapping my foot, because I want to go there so bad. But then he was kind enough to open The Aviary right here in NYC, and even though it feels like a consolation price, it’s nevertheless award winning dining. Can I afford it? Maybe some day. But for now I opted to visit The Office NYC. This lovely little spot is located right behind the Aviary restaurant itself, in a speakeasy type of environment. No windows, dark and cozy, comfortable. The bartenders are awe inspiring, looking like straight out of a movie, while maintaining helpful and dashing. My friend and I ordered three cocktails and three dishes, and we ended up spending about $100 per person, which is (again) a bargain, considering where we were dining. Everything was so unbelievably delicious, I couldn’t contain myself.
Our dishes were Fried Pickles (yes fried pickles) with Everything Cream Cheese and smoked salmon, to die for; a Fondue with truffled mushroom duxelles, just outstanding; and Mussels with smoked bacon, leeks and roasted garlic, which was the star of my evening, I could NOT get enough. It’s making me tap my foot even harder, because I just can’t wait to dine at Alinea, the mother ship.
For more info on The Office NYC click here
The last name is German, he was born in Strasbourg, France, I read a lot about his Alsacian background. In other words: I feel a kinship. I was born in Germany, my grandfather was from Alsace. His restaurant on 42nd Street now has two Michelin Stars, has numerous prestigious awards, including a James Beard Award for Best Chef in New York City. Yes, it’s been on my list! Of course this beautiful restaurant is a little pricey, and deservedly so. But I opted for the bar area, scanning the bar menu, and to no surprise, it was exceptional. I had one cocktail, and four small plates including a dessert, and I spent less than $100. I feel like I got away with something! It was an incredible meal.
The Crispy Potatoes & Harissa Aioli are surely something you will be served in heaven once you make it there. Crispy, loaded with flavor with the most amazing aioli, I wanted more. Tartes Flambées are thin crust pizzas if you will, I had one with bacon, onion, and crème fraîche, very tasty. The Kugelhopf is traditionally a little cake, but Chef Kreuther made it into a savory dish, and I just loved it. I closed out with a White Chocolate Soufflé with yuzu sorbet and lemon confit. This great meal was matched by an equally amazing staff. I was spoiled with some chocolates on the house (do visit their chocolate store next door!). It’s a must-try.
For more info on Gabriel Kreuther click here