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NY food guide: Best fish

New York food guide: Break the bank. Expensive restaurants in the Big Apple.

NY food guide: Best fish

Daniel

The room is set in a recessed, arched space, opulent, softly lit, comfortable and gently chic.

The
service at Daniel is in the traditional haute mode, graceful and
imperceptible but this is not your granny’s fusty old French
restaurant.

The menu is modern, built sturdily on Daniel Boulud’s enormous talent and demanding standards.

Depending
on the season, the menu may offer spring garlic soup with ethereal
ricotta gnocchi, a play or two on white asparagus or dishes built
around black truffles from Provence.

Always, a range of fish
dishes put Daniel in the league with top fish restaurants in town; sea
bass in a paper-thin potato crust is just one example.

Inventively,
offerings characteristically involve more than one variation on the
principal theme: a quartet from the pig for instance, includes a little
chop, a bit of Paris ham, a smoked rib and so on.

Boulud – with
some help from his backers – built himself a world-class kitchen and
installed a 1500-bottle wine cellar with selections from pretty much
every wine region on the globe.

You can spend a lot, or not so much. Overall, your experience will not be bettered in Paris.

60 East 65th St

212 288 0033

website

Jean-Georges

The
Jean-Georges in question is Vongerichten, one of the originators of the
fusion style that had its impact on a decade and more of restaurants
and a generation of chefs.

Jean-Georges plays with your
palate but does not alarm. Sparks of citrus here, a little heat there,
a touch of lemongrass, horseradish, some sweetness at just the right
moment invigorate great ingredients.

Overall, Asian touches
redefine classic modern Western preparations. Some play on sweet
peekytoe crab can be counted on among the appetizers along with
remarkable soups.

If you truly like short ribs, the glazed
short ribs are your entree. The elegant-modern room faces the north end
of Central Park—if it happens to be snowing, you are in great luck.

For
a similar if pared-down menu and more casual setting, there is the
adjacent Nougatine Room, perfect for pre- or post-Lincoln Center dining.

1 Central Park West

212 299 3900

website

The Four Seasons

The
custom of seasonal, not to mention daily, menus is now taken for
granted, but when it opened the Four Seasons was an innovator of the
notion.

Still today it is unique – where else do trees and uniforms, the very ambiance, change quarterly, along with the food?

In
Spring, expect white or green asparagus worked up in a delicate puff
pastry or satiny soups; morel mushrooms; shad with its roe; the
signature crab cakes; dainty heirloom potatoes and rhubarb-strawberry
crisp for dessert.

Forty years old and counting, The Four Seasons still defines contemporary style.

Phillip
Johnson, Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen and Ada Louise Huxtable,
leaders among the design geniuses of their time worked together to
create an interior space that excites even those who lunch there
weekly.

Paintings from the collection of American masters could easily be carried just a few blocks to the west and installed at MoMa.

It
is impossible to imagine such collaboration again. At lunch, the Grill
Room is the place to be, in the evening, the cool and glittering Pool
Room and in between, you can sample this great American restaurant at
the sexy bar.

At any time, you will be as special a guest as the rich, powerful and celebrated around you.

99 East 52nd St

212 754 9494

website

11 Madison Square Park

The
young chef, Daniel Humm, Swiss-born and-trained, is a master at
applying new techniques to traditional dishes and seasonal ingredients.

His Spring menu includes poached duck egg in a foamy mushroom
broth, lamb tenderloin, uniformly rosy in sauce Barigoule, deeply
flavoured with the essence of artichokes.

Suckling pig is no
big chunk of meat, but a neat, juicy rectangle topped with golden,
crisp skin and a touch of Chinese five spices in its juice.

Foie gras terrine is sweetened by rhubarb and spiked by pickled ramps.

Among
the desserts, the sweetness of a chocolate and caramel concoction is,
in the contemporary fashion, accentuated and offset by sea salt.

When
Humm came to 11 Madison he was joined by John Ragan who has assembled
one of the most impressive wine collections in town, with choice labels
representing every important wine region.

Service here is
professional and unpretentious, and the soaring space, shot with tall
flowering branches is as comfortable as it is coolly elegant.

11 Madison Ave (24th St)

212 889 0905

website

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