Caution–of course this will change again by the time Restaurant week is over. Someone else will be on top for the summer season. You be the judge.
Most fine dining restaurants in New York have some kind of multi-course tasting menu, but only a few truly achieve epic, once-in-a-lifetime status. Some of these are classic four-star dining experiences, proper, others are meals that impress on the level of both quality and quantity, and some are just so strange and compelling that they must be tried at least once. Here now is a map of Twelve Epic New York Meals to Try Before You Die:
47 Course Feasts! Nose-to-Tail Pig Parties! King Crab Four Ways!>>
Kaiseki Tasting at Kyo Ya
94 E 7th St
New York, NY 10009
For authenticity’s sake many of the ingredients in the the Kaiseki tasting at Kyo Ya are shipped in directly from Japan. This special $150 meal clocks in at … around eleven or twelve courses, including a series of pastries and amuse-bouches, a sashimi course, a surf and turf course, a “simmered” meat course, and a few others that involve salads, pickles, rice and soup. Requires reservations made at least two days in advance.
Read More: Law and Food’s Kaiseki Tasting, 06/22/10
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12 or 20 Course Tasting at WD-50
50 Clinton St
New York, NY 10002
A lot of people associate Wylie Dufresne’s restaurant with wacky molecular gastronomy technique and off-the-wall presentations, but the real reason to go … here, is to experience the bold flavors of his food. Order the $140 tasting menu for a sample of some of the chef’s classics, plus several new creations, or do as one blogger did, and opt for one of everything on the menu: all 20 course, for somewhere in the ballpark of $240. Some have suggested that seven years into its run WD-50 is at its peak right now.
Read more: The Ulterior Epicure’s 20 course tasting, 06/17/10.
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The Whole Shebang at Alta
64 W 10th St
New York, NY 10011
“The Whole Shebang” is one of the most sublimely decadent deals in town: a full tasting of every single item on the Alta menu, priced at … $420 (or $140 a head in a party of three). The restaurant’s mixed Mediterranean-style small plates may not impress Tapas purists, but the menu offers a wide variety of inventive, fresh, and consistently tasty dishes, and none of them are duds. Take a seat, order a pitcher or two of sangria, and settle in for a nice long 47 course meal of some of the most creative small plates in the city. [link]
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Lunch at Momofuku Ko
163 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003
Ko’s lunch special, only available on Fridays Saturdays and Sundays, is a whopping 19 courses of Japanese, Korean and French inspired dishes, with the usual … playful Momofuku twists and flourishes. There’s bit of everything: some sashimi, some charcuterie, pastry creations, cheeses, a few masterfully prepared premium proteins, and dessert. The whole thing will run you $175, and if you only have the funds for one big, over the top meal at any of David Chang’s restaurants, this is the one to save up for.[link]
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King Crab at Pacificana Restaurant
813 55th St
Brooklyn, NY 11220
The Cantonese style dim sum here is superb, but for a really unique dining experience, order a whole King Crab, priced at $30 a pound. The beast will be presented … to you table side before its brought to the kitchen, only to return in four different unique preparations: a soup with lump meat, fried legs, joint meat over noodles, and the biggest pieces mixed with custard and scallops as the main course.
Read More: Pete Wells’s New York Times Review, 03/21/07.
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Gourmand Tasting at Eleven Madison Park Restaurant
Daniel Humm’s food strikes a perfect balance between modern thinking and classic technique, and the $175 eleven course “Gourmand Tasting” at EMP … is sure to knock the socks off of anybody who likes the high-minded arty stuff, or just flavorful food in general. Things start off with five or so playful, market-centric dishes, before moving on to several courses of perfectly executed, hefty proteins, followed by an array of colorful sweets and treats to finish things off. When you consider the amount of food on offer, the casual, comfortable elegance of the dining room, and the always attentive but unobtrusive Danny Meyer hospitality treatment, The Gourmand Tasting is easily one of the best, if not the best fine dining experience in Manhattan, right now.
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Dinner at Brooklyn Fare
200 Schermerhorn St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Dinner at César Ramirez’s twelve seat restaurant (soon to be 18 seat) is one of the more unique dining experience in New York right now. Ramirez, an … ex-protégé of David Bouley, has both a mastery of classic French cuisine, and a great intuitive mind for pairing unusual ingredients. On a given night, the $115 fifteen course meal might include six or so tastes of things like shellfish and charcuterie, each complimented by any array of delicate sauces and reductions. Things are capped off by a few larger portions of prime meats and seafood, plus a dessert course or two. The entire meal has a highly personal feel to it as Ramirez is the sole chef and prepares every dish in an open kitchen directly across from the dining room table.[link]
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Chef’s Tasting at Le Bernardin
155 W 51st St
New York, NY 10019
Precisely prepared, extremely fresh fish dishes are the backbone of the eight course $185 Chef’s Tasting menu at Le Bernardin, but Ripert also breaks up the … courses with some less severe, but totally mind blowing smaller dishes. The chef knows how to integrate Asian flavors, without detracting from the clean taste of the fish, and the result is one of the more exciting fine dining experiences in the city.[link]
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Large Format Feast at Resto
111 E 29th St
New York, NY 10016
You need at least eight people to lock down one of Resto’s large format meals, but when you do, you will basically be guaranteeing yourself a nutzo seven or … eight course meat party. You start by picking an animal to be the centerpiece of the feast: pig, goat, lamb, or even fish (they’ve done veal too, and management tells us they’re pretty game for any animal you want so long as they can source it). The first three or four courses will be amuse-bouches, charcuterie, and lighter dishes made from some of the smaller cuts of meat (offal tacos are not out of the question), followed by three or four more courses centered around prime “thorax” cuts like the chop, the ribs, or the loin, cooked in a variety of French and American barbecue preparations. The entire meal is around $65-$75 per person without tax and gratuity, and includes a dessert of Belgian waffles and ice cream.[link]
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The Farmer’s Feast at Blue Hill at Stone Barns
630 Bedford Rd
Tarrytown, NY 10591
Many of the courses in this $135 prix fixe feature elegant and simple preparations of vegetables from the restaurant’s accompanying farm, but the menu is not … purely for veggie freaks. Barber, a chef savvy to the Manhattan dining experience, intersperses these dishes with servings of things like bone marrow with caviar, pork belly, and house cured meats. Dinner is somewhere around eight courses (sometimes more depending on the various amuse-bouches and tastes on offer), and all based around “the day’s harvest.” It’s a dining experience every bit as refined and exhilarating as any to be found at the great gourmand palaces of the city, with the added bonus of a beautiful setting and a cool day trip to the country. Read More: Behind the Burner’s Review, 08/16/09[link]
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Sushi Chef’s Tasting at 15 East
15 E 15th St
New York, NY 10003
Sit at the counter and put yourself in the hands of master chef Masato Shimizu for one of the seven course, $120 Sushi Chef’s tasting. Prior to the sashimi … course, you will be treated to an array of bites and small plates — some of these are cooked preparations that incorporate elements of French cuisine, others are simply clean, perfectly cut slices of seafood. As an added bonus, any meal here includes a hands on lesson of sorts from Shimizu: if you don’t know what kind of fish you’re eating, the man will crack open a worn sushi bible, flip to the correct page, and show it to you. Read More: Rambling$ and Gambling$ Meal, 06/23/10[link]
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Chef’s Tasting at Per Se
6 Columbus Cir
New York, NY 10023
For all the hype surrounding Per Se, the $275 Chef’s Tasting is a grand feast that’s easy to enjoy. Yes, there’s some bonkers technique and …
I have only been to ALTA so far. My wallet can only handle so many special occasions in a year. Maybe we will hit another one of these this year. Enjoy. PLEASE share if you have been to any.
SHARING IS CARING.