Hot Chefs - Cool Budget - New York City

Vacations and conferences tend to be the times when we spend money that we ordinarily wouldn't on higher high priced meals, luxury shopping and more. On the other hand many of us who are coming to BlogHer in New York this year (2010) are trying to do so on a limited budget - but at the same time we want to be able to take in all that the city offers.

With a city FULL of celebrity chef's and 5* restaurants, who doesn't want to experience the great food? BUT,at an average check of over $250 per person (not including tips), this would BREAK the BUDGET for most of us.

Here are a couple of ways that you can still experience rush of dining out at restaurants owned by chefs like Batali and Keller at a much more reasonable price.

Mario Batali - Is there a person who HASN'T heard his name mentioned in the same breath with WONDERFUL Italian food?  It's amazing that he ONLY has restaurants in NYC, yet he's known throughout the country. While Babbo is the name that we all associate with Batali, not only is it near impossible to get reservations, but you can expect to walk away with a credit card payment that will take a while to pay off.

The alternative? Otto - just around the corner from his famous Babbo, Batali does his take on PIZZA. At only $10 a pie you can easily enjoy some of Batali's unique toppings and sauces. While it's not white table service (it's a pizzeria), your taste buds will still be jumping for joy.

Thomas Keller - If I were to empty out my wallet on ONE sitting, it would be at Per Se. Oh and if you want to know exactly HOW empty my wallet would be - the average price of the prix fixe dinner is $275, with lunch being $175 - yes that's PER PERSON. Besides his wonderful meals, he's known for the amazing breads that are placed on the table.

The alternative? - Bouchon Bakery - upstairs in the Time Warner building (the same building that houses Per Se) is Keller's WONDERFUL bakery. This is where the breads and baked goods are created for Per Se. You can stop in and get a sandwich, quiche or any one of their absolutely sinful desserts.This is the perfect spot for coffee and a croissant while you're out and about.

Anthony Bourdain - What would a post about chefs be without including my FAVORITE? Although he know longer is found as Brasserie Les Halles in NY, his presence remains. Because Les Halles is a brasserie rather than one of those "exclusive" restaurants, you'll be in for a big surprise.

NO ALTERNATIVE IS NECESSARY. - You can dine here at a reasonable price. As a matter of fact. they have a special that runs every other week (Mondays - Wednesday) that explores a difference region of France with a 2-course dinner costing only $2010. I'm not positive, but it LOOKS as though if you're still in NYC on the Monday following BlogHer, that it will be one of the ON weeks.

I'll be updating this post with MORE fabulous celebrity restaurant finds on a budget, so if there's a particular chef that you're DYING to try...keep watching because you MAY just find a cheaper alternative listed here.


Learn to live the good life for less at Champagne Living.


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