Make Your Reservations Now: New York City Dining Splurges To Consider During BlogHer ‘10

BlogHer Original Post

Cheese course at Eleven Madison ParkIn my admittedly biased opinion, there is no area of the country with better food than the San Francisco Bay Area. But New York? Along with Chicago, it definitely gives the Bay Area a run for its money, and that’s why it’s worth giving some thought now to where to eat during BlogHer ‘10.

In the weeks leading up to next month’s conference, I’ll give you some of my ideas on where you ought to consider eating while you’re visiting the Big Apple, and I hope you’ll share your own ideas (particularly those of you who live in the region!) in the comments. Today, we’ll take a look at worthy splurges: restaurants where you ought to consider making a reservation now so you’re guaranteed a stellar (albeit expensive) dinner in New York during your trip.

Aquavit

I’m going to start with my perennial favorite: Aquavit, which serves up a modern and traditional blend of creative Scandinavian food. Back in a former life, while on a business trip to New York, I had time and budget for an expensive lunch for one, and it remains, to this day, one of the highlights of my dining career. That paced, lovely meal -- marked by gracious service, delicious, creative food and a feeling of peace that carried me through the rest of the trip -- stole my heart away.

Aquavit recently installed executive sous-chef Marcus Jernmark as the head chef, and according to Naomi Shulman of Slashfood, “Jernmark is expected to coax the menu back to the sort of recognizably Scandinavian fare the restaurant was known for when it opened more than twenty years ago.” I am hoping to be able to squeeze in a trip to the dining room while I’m there in August because I’m curious to see how the menu has changed.

Eleven Madison Park

Friends who have recently visited New York have raved about Eleven Madison Park, where 2010 James Beard Award-winner Daniel Humm is at the helm of the kitchen. Julian of Jewelz includes some amazing photos and interesting video in his post about his dinner at Eleven Madison Park.

“There is a precision to the EMP staff that was fun to watch. Whether it was the specific routes they took through the dining room, the table side preparations, or the ironing of the table linens, the movements and actions of the staff were like a carefully choreographed performance.”

Jessica of FoodMayhem experienced the two-course fixe prix lunch menu, which she describes as “an incredible steal.” Perhaps this is a way to get a visit in without breaking the bank?

“Two courses doesn’t sound like that much, but add the gougeres, amuse, fresh breads, and macarons (all complimentary), and you will be full and smiling.”

Le Bernardin

New York’s venerable Le Bernardin is a can’t-miss dining experience that will blow your mind, according to those who have eaten there. In her review of a dinner there on I Flip For Food!, Angela recommends sticking with seafood dishes, which are a specialty of the house.

“While I may have had (one, two) better overall meals food-wise (IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!), dining at Le Bernardin was just a phenomenal and breathtaking experience.  If I ever get I chance to dine at the "Temple of Seafood" again, you better believe I will take it.”

Jaded Fork of The Jaded Fork agrees with the evaluation of this stellar restaurant as the place to order fruit of the sea. “To call it a seafood restaurant seems a bit pedestrian, but that’s exactly what it is,” she writes in her photo-laden post. “Except that it’s New York’s finest.”

Molyvos

Molyvos , a nouveau-Greek restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, has long been on my need-to-check-it-out list, and I was reminded by a New York friend that it’s one of her favorite splurges. Though it won’t quite be the Easter season when BlogHer attendees hit the city, check out Stephanie Tefarikis’ write-up on Joonbug’s Cultivated New York about a midnight dinner Molyvos hosted to break the Easter fast -- your mouth is guaranteed to water.

Minetta Tavern Restaurant

If you’re looking for a splurge but feel like a burger, Minetta Tavern Restaurant should be your choice. At $26, their Black Label Burger would not appear at the typical backyard barbeque, but -- by most reports -- just might be the best burger you’ll ever eat. Made from a selection of prime dry-aged beef cuts, topped with caramelized onions and served with pommes frites, it is reported by those in the know to be outrageously good.

Momofuku Ssam Bar

One last recommended, though less pricey, option is Momofuku Ssam Bar, which Fatemeh Khatibloo of Gastronomie wrote up after a visit in 2008.

“The menu here is super-eclectic ... and we didn't have any trouble finding things we wanted to try. In fact, the bigger problem was narrowing down our choices to a manageable number ... We loved the service, and we loved the openness of the restaurant. And maybe more than anything, we loved the fact that the following sentence was printed on the menu: 'We do not serve vegetarian friendly items.' While I'm sure that sentence pisses off a lot of patrons, we kind of love the fact that chef Chang is unapologetic about his menu and his choices.”

Here are two more round-ups that might be helpful in planning your over-the-top dining while in New York City:

Restaurants Listed in This Post


Aquavit
65 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022
212-307-7311
info@aquavit.org
Directions located here

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010
212-889-0905
Find it on Google Maps

Le Bernardin
155 West 51st Street
New York, NY
212-554-1515
Find it on Google Maps

Molyvos
871 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10019
212-582-7500
Find it on Google Maps

Minetta Tavern Restaurant
113 MacDougal Street
New York, NY 10012
212-475-3850
Directions located here

Momofuku Ssam Bar
207 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Find it on Google Maps

Boquería
53 West 19th Street
New York, NY
212-255-4160
Find it on Google Maps
or
171 Spring Street
New York, NY 19912
212-343-4255
Find it on Google Maps

Genie blogs about gardening and food at The Inadvertent Gardener, and tells very short tales at 100 Proof Stories. She also tells stories with photos at 5x52.

Photo Credit: Photo by djjewelz, shared under an Attribution-No Derivatives 2.0 Generic Creative Commons License.

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