This article was originally published on Christie International Real Estate’s lifestyle blog, Luxury Defined.
From elegant silver-service dining rooms to no-reservation sushi counters, these are the restaurants to know about when it comes to taking a bite out of the Big Apple
At the iconic Rainbow Room on the 65th floor of Rockefeller Center, guests of the Michelin Guide recently ate a meal prepared by the city’s top chefs while the 2019 list of New York City’s best restaurants was revealed, answering the perennial question: Where should you dine in a city with as many great dining rooms as New York?
While no New York restaurants have been elevated to three-star status since 2012, these five have remained at the top for several years—no mean feat considering that around only 100 restaurants worldwide have earned the accolade.
After moving to East Hampton for a year-long residency, Eleven Madison Park has reopened with an elegant new look. Photograph (and banner): Jake Chessum
Starting life as a humble grocery store in Downtown Brooklyn, before expanding into Midtown Manhattan and the West Village, Brooklyn Fare is the vision of founder Moe Issa, who saw a gap in the market for a quality grocer with a neighbourly feel. Chef’s Table, the restaurant that came after the store, has maintained this air of conviviality even after its decoration from the Michelin Guide. Guests settle around a stainless-steel kitchen counter to watch chef César Ramirez at work on his tasting menu, which changes with the seasons.
Eleven Madison Park recently reopened after a considerable redesign, and today is the definition of Manhattan elegance. From the base of an Art Deco building that overlooks Madison Square Park, chef Daniel Humm oversees the kitchen’s eight- and 10-course tasting menus—a showcase of refined and innovative cooking.
Chef Thomas Keller’s famous oysters and pearls dish—a sabayon of pearl tapioca with oysters and sturgeon caviar—is always available at Per Se. Photograph: Deborah Jones
Artfully arranged plates of fine French fare emerge from the kitchen at Per Se, chef Thomas Keller’s second three-Michelin-starred property, the first being The French Laundry in California. In this serene Midtown dining room, you’ll be served nine courses, during which no single ingredient will be presented twice.
The three-Michelin-starred Le Bernardin presided over by chef Eric Ripert, is a top destination in New York for seafood lovers.
A stalwart of the Midtown dining scene, Le Bernardin makes fish and crustaceans the stars of the show in a formal room softened by towering vases of flowers, with top chef Eric Ripert deftly deploying a medley of international flavors and vegetables as accompaniments.
Meanwhile, blond hinoki wood and hand-painted calligraphy on washi paper screens provide the backdrop to an unrivaled selection of sushi at Masa, chef Masa Takayama’s omakase (chef’s choice) restaurant, located somewhat incongruously above a Midtown shopping mall. You’ll forgive the location when dinner arrives and you’re faced with some of the freshest high-grade sushi in the city.
New Two-Star Destinations
Ichimura at Uch? offers sushi from legendary chef Eiji Ichimura, with minimalist decor that recalls classic Japanese design.
The much-anticipated L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon opened in West Chelsea in 2017, alongside its more casual sibling Le Grill de Joël Robuchon, and both have made it onto the list, gaining two and one stars respectively. Ichimura at Uch?, with its 10-seat sushi bar, also moves up a notch, from one to two stars, along with Gabriel Kreuther, which serves sophisticated European cuisine from its Bryant Park address.
Noteworthy One-Star Establishments
All the plates and bowls at one-Michelin-starred Atomix are handmade in South Korea by local artisans. Photograph: Evan Sung
At Atomix, chef Junghyun Park is heralded as the leading light of new Korean cuisine in New York, and the multicourse tasting menu is a blend of modern and traditional Korean cooking. Located in Flatiron, Bouley at Home is every inch a restaurant experience—aiming to immerse diners in the most innovative use of nutritious organic and biodynamic ingredients in seven-course dinner and five-course lunch menus.
Several Japanese restaurants were awarded one star for 2019, including the theatrically designed Noda, which veers away from the typical minimalist style of sushi restaurants and izakaya (bar snacks), focusing instead on seasonal cocktails and a $285-per-person omakase menu from chef Shigeyuki Tsunoda. Also making the 2019 list are the seasonal spot Okuda; Sushi Noz, which features beautiful wooden interiors reminiscent of a Kyoto temple; and Greenwich Village sushi spots Kosaka and Sushi Nakazawa, which features a 20-course tasting menu.
Kosaka is named after its executive chef Yoshihiko Kousaka, whose signature dish is a skillfully presented selection of 15 sushi pieces.
Thomas Chen’s Tuome marries the best of contemporary American and Asian cuisine, while Jeju Noodle Bar, a Korean ramen spot in the West Village is the first restaurant of this type in the United States to gain a star—a deserved accolade for New York’s thriving modern Korean cuisine movement.
Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, two Mexican restaurants have made the biggest splash; Claro and Oxomoco are two hip additions to the scene, though neither has a Mexican chef behind the counter.
Written by, Emilee Tombs is associate editor of Luxury Defined