There's tough competition for those Michelin stars in New York City. The city's many upmarket restaurants have sky high prices that usually match stellar standards, so the select few graced with those coveted stars must have something particularly special to attract the attention of the fabled Michelin Brothers. Of course NYC, widely recognized as an international capital of culture and a gourmand magnet, has a big reputation to live up to. New York is a food snob heaven - as of 2014, there are well over 50 one starred restaurants in the city which will allow you to sample fine Michelin dining, some on a relative budget. But those in the big leagues of three Michelin stars have astronomical prices and even higher standards, and they're every bit as special as the stars suggest. Although there are just seven three starred restaurants in the Big Apple, we've selected the five best of them, renowned for their groundbreaking gastronomy.
The eponymous chef Daniel Boulud runs an elegant, chic ship at the three star Daniel on Manhattan's elite Upper East Side. A seven course tasting menu will come in at $220 per person, while a very reasonable three course prix fixe will set diners back just $125 at the time of writing. The stylish surroundings are complemented by highly professional but attentive and personal service. The dishes, though a little less intriguingly controversial than many three starred Michelin restaurants, are delicately and thoughtfully constructed.
The tasting menu at Eleven Madison Park is an immersive experience. Diners are invited to experience the culinary and cultural history of NYC through taste, in an inventive and distinctly experimental manner. The expansive menu requires at least a few hours to get through, but the experience is a relaxing one as diners are waited on by an incredibly conscientious and knowledgeable staff while surrounded by the old world, crisp and graceful charm to delight the classiest of New Yorkers. The menu remains undisclosed throughout your meal here, but diners can make special requests to tailor the recipes so as to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Jean-Georges is the crowning glory of world-renowned chef Jean Georges Vongerichten's restaurant empire. The restaurant, hosted by the Trump Hotel in Central Park, is heavily influenced by the French chef's expertise and experience. The seasonal menu is distinct and original, and is notably influenced by both French and Asian cuisines. A privileged view of Central Park combined with a crisp and clean ambience make for a refreshing dining experience, while the menu is pleasant but safe. In contrast to Eleven Madison Park, the wait staff here aren't renowned for their approachable and humble attitude, so it's advisable to arrive dressed to impress.
Per Se, another Michelin restaurant to grace Central Park, offers a unique tasting menu daily. Although the lack of a wine pairing menu has been known to prove vexing to some patrons, the carefully selected courses and the alchemy of flavors therein make for a hugely memorable dining experience. As one of the most reputable restaurants in the city, it's notoriously difficult to nab a reservation at Per Se so it's recommended to plan well in advance for a dinner reservation or settle for the leisurely lunch time degustation.
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Distinguished as the only eatery in Brooklyn to attain the dizzying heights of 3 Michelin stars, the Chef's Table approaches haute cuisine with the distinctive kooky Brooklyn charm. With just 18 places - all seated at the kitchen counter, where diners can watch their meal being prepared - places are at a premium and booking is required 6 weeks in advance, for parties of just 2 or 4. With such a seemingly elitist system to get through the door, is it worth the wait? Most of New York would affirm that it is. The uniquely communal atmosphere makes for a festive dining experience and each course is complex and inimitable. The price tag is justified by rare ingredients and satisfying portions.