Luxury Dining in NYC

Julie Besonen

(Updated 12/06/2022)

Luxury dinners are epic affairs, creating memories that last—which helps justify the cost. Among the recent additions to NYC’s high-end dining scene is Downtown Brooklyn’s Gage & Tollner, a classy steakhouse worth a splurge, especially for the dry-aged heritage pork chop and baked Alaska for two. In Williamsburg, the Nordic-themed, two-Michelin-star Aska is nothing short of phenomenal, Fredrik Berselius’ tasting menu ablaze with expressions of the natural world. You may also have heard raves for the three-Michelin-star Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare—which moved back in 2016 to Manhattan’s Hudson Yards. What has remained constant is César Ramirez’s exciting, multicourse tasting menu influenced by France and Japan.

As you’d expect, Manhattan offers the lion’s share of restaurants with Michelin ratings, including Midtown’s Gabriel Kreuther, featuring Alsatian specialties, and Atomix, serving radiant Korean fare; both earned two stars. David Chang’s Momofuku Ko, in the East Village, has two stars as well, his thrilling Japanese-inspired tasting menu involving 10 courses. Two newer opulent restaurants that could get their stripes soon are Zou Zou’s, a spirited Manhattan West spot with Eastern Mediterranean cuisine, and Daniel Boulud’s Le Gratin, in Lower Manhattan, a love letter to the chef’s Lyon heritage.

Read on for nine more to add to your wish list.

Ci Siamo. Photo: Giada Paoloni

Ci Siamo

440 W. 33rd St., Suite 100, Midtown West, Manhattan

Say “CHEE-see-ahmo” when humble-bragging you got a reservation at Danny Meyer’s Italian hot spot in the Manhattan West complex. The name roughly translates as “here we are” or “we get it,” as in getting a joke. Hillary Sterling’s food might actually make you laugh with joy, it’s so good, especially her caramelized onion torta and her porky, peppery rigatoni alla gricia with guanciale and pecorino, redolent of a Roman trattoria.

Francie. Photo: David Lee

Francie

136 Broadway, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Francie inhabits a neo-Renaissance bank building in Brooklyn, but it’s so chummy it doesn’t feel stuffy in the least. Duck is the star. There’s duck mortadella with brioche and pistachio mustard, pappardelle with duck Bolognese and, best of all, dry-aged, crisp-skinned, juicy crown of duck for two. If you’re not in a duck state of mind, fear not; chef and co-owner Christopher Cipollone aces other dishes such as seaweed-buttered soufflé cakes with caviar. Do not miss the sublime cheese cart.

Le Pavillon. Photo: Thomas Schauer

Le Pavillon

1 Vanderbilt Ave., Midtown East, Manhattan

This soaring French restaurant next to Grand Central Terminal feels like an oasis, with well-spaced, linen-covered tables surrounded by greenery. Stop first for a drink at the striking square bar, a blown-glass chandelier dangling overhead. Daniel Boulud named Le Pavillon in homage to an influential mid-century restaurant in Manhattan where many celebrated chefs got their start; however, his tasting menus are modern, focused on seafood and vegetables. Highlights include creamy oysters Vanderbilt with a seaweed crust, halibut with shiitake mushrooms and a divine dessert combining milk chocolate, hazelnuts and praline crust.

Les Trois Chevaux

283 W. 12th St., West Village, Manhattan

Executive chef Angie Mar is behind this jewel box of a restaurant in the West Village, a study in elegance and a return to dressing up. Yes, jackets are required. Mar’s classic French cuisine is artistically composed and offered in four- or ten-course tasting menus, with add-ons like truffles, caviar and foie gras. An à la carte menu is available at the bar. While dishes change with the seasons, there might be truffled monkfish or perhaps a ballotine of hen with Nova Scotian lobster, chanterelles and cognac sauce.

One White Street

1 White St., Tribeca, Manhattan

One White Street occupies a townhouse in Tribeca built in 1808. The farm-to-table ethos here is no marketing gimmick. A 10-acre organic farm in New York State’s Columbia County supplies much of the produce year-round, and chef Austin Johnson runs a farmstand outside the restaurant on Tuesdays. He and master sommelier Dustin Wilson collaborate in the casual downstairs café and on the tasting menu experience on the upper floors. Look for glazed steelhead trout with roasted mushrooms, slow-cooked ratatouille and a dessert of roasted berries and lemon verbena semifreddo.

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Saga

70 Pine St., Lower Manhattan

Saga, a sparkling restaurant on the 63rd floor of a landmark art deco building near Wall Street, is overseen by executive chef James Kent, who is also behind the lovely Crown Shy, on the ground floor, and Overstory, a fabulous cocktail bar on the 64th floor. At Saga, you’ll be escorted to the outdoor terrace for an opening cocktail to be enjoyed along with awe-inspiring cityscape views. The inventive multicourse menu—served back inside—varies, but it will most likely involve flourishes of fluke, oysters, caviar, smoked trout roe, prized mushrooms, bisques, foams, shellfish, North African spices, rib eye and dry-aged duck.

Shuko

47 E. 12th St., Greenwich Village, Manhattan

For sushi and sashimi lovers, Shuko is an exhilarating omakase experience. Hip-hop songs underscore the high spirits of chefs lined up behind the counter slicing and charcoal searing the freshest fish on the market. Every seat in the house is a front-row seat. Chef-owners Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau are veterans of the Michelin-starred Masa, in the Shops at Columbus Circle, but aren’t Japanese (Kim is of Korean descent, Lau is Chinese). Expect a parade of dishes that breaks with convention, sometimes spiked with hot chiles.

Courtesy, Sushi Noz

Sushi Noz

181 E. 78th St., Upper East Side, Manhattan

Chef Nozomu Abe is from Hokkaido, Japan, where his grandfather owned and operated a seafood company. Today Abe shares his know-how at the refined Sushi Noz, on the Upper East Side. There are two rooms sheathed in intricate woodwork, one holding an eight-seat counter, the other a six seater. Reservations are hard to come by but worth it for seasonal takes on king crab, salmon roe, uni, nigiri and delicate vegetable accompaniments.

Courtesy, Verōnika

Verōnika

281 Park Ave. S., 2nd fl., Gramercy, Manhattan

Just before the pandemic shutdown in 2020, Verōnika made a splashy debut, gathering laurels for its dazzling European fare and deluxe, old-school elegance. Many feared it would never come back, but happily it returned in summer of 2022, this time operated by the people behind Fotografiska, the Swedish photography museum where it’s housed. The continental menu ranges from superb schnitzels to bluefin tuna Niçoise salad.


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