Monday, August 14, 2006

A New York plate of mind!

I guess the more people I ask for recommendations for stunning New York restaurants the more differing opinions I get.

DD liked the sound of JoJo which is another Jean-Georges Vongerichten establishment and even though the description of the ‘French bordello refit’ is very intriguing, yet again I can’t lay my hands on a menu. I can’t understand why all the restaurants in the Jean-Georges Vongerichten canon seem to feel that a sample menu would just be too much information for potential diners. This scares me as they might be a totally tomato drenched restaurant and every dish is festooned with some tomato-y nastiness! I need to read the small print!
I’ve heard both good things and bad things about Chanterelle but I do like the look of the web site. I have also been advised to research Esca, Babbo, Modern and Peter Luger. I found a fabulous description for Danube at the New York Magazine site – ‘The outrageous, highly lacquered, velvet-swathed, Klimt-deckled Austrian homage is beautiful, fun, funny, and romantic’ but Adam Platt on the same site only rated it 66 out of 101 best restaurants in New York and said rather scathingly, ‘the worn, unchanging menu, the spotty service, and the perennially drab expense-account crowd make the whole production feel frozen in time, like some dated bull-market Valhalla.’ Now for some reason that has rather put me off!
I found the ‘The Platt 101’ list very interesting reading and maybe Adam can help me with my decision. As he points out this is a guide to the absolutely best restaurants in New York written by a New Yorker and though he doesn’t say it’s a better guide than Michelin’s he does admit that ‘it’s different!’
He puts Chanterelle at number 13, rates it three stars and considers the cooking to be 'pleasing in an opulent, old-fashioned way.' Babbo gets a very respectable 6/101 and four stars. And it’s great to see some a high showing for an Italian restaurant. The Modern is in MoMA and serves some interesting Alsatian concoctions. Esca is number 20, three starred and serves some stunning seafood. Peter Luger is at 43, two starred and serves stunning burgers and may be a very interesting choice for our Sunday lunch!
And the absolute pinnacle of cooking and 'almost perfect' restaurant in New York? Well according to Adam it is Le Bernardin; have I been sadly distracted by the odd picture on their website? The New York Magazine site has a better photograph of Le Bernardin which is very curious. I decided that the number one best restaurant in New York and one of only two that get five out of five stars (he only gives Per Se four stars and position 3) should be seriously considered and have booked us a table. However I have only been able to secure a table for 9.45pm so I am quietly confident that I will be relying on the fabulous company and food to keep me from snoozing in my scallops as I will be very much thinking in London time. I did this to K at Petrus so this is my come uppance.
So DD and I have a restaurant but I am sure I will still get some further excellent suggestions and I can only wish we have a month of dinners to plan!


DD said...

J, so you have booked Per Se? 10pm will be lunch time in Oz... And dinner in NY! Double hapiness! DDx

J said...

No, I couldn't get a table but according to NY mag, Per Se is only the 3rd best NY restaurant. I've booked Le Bernadin - the no. 1 restaurant.
Well nothing but the best for us!
PS - I've put their website behind the restaurant name so you can check out their website

DD said...

Oh, looks nice! I can taste it already! DDx

DD said...

What do you fancy? The lobster and the cashew tart sound heaven! DDx