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Culinary Magic: Favorite Five New York Restaurants

As the song says, “New York, New York (So Good They Named It Twice).” The Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps, the Metropolis, Gotham City—call it whatever you want, there is no city in the world quite like New York City. From the towering skyscrapers to the humble brownstones, from the shopping districts to the financial powerhouses, from Museum Mile to the Bowery, from the debutantes strutting along iconic Park Avenue to the street vendor hawking her wares near Times Square—there is never a dull moment in this iconic city which holds some our favorite restaurants.

Some of the most amazing things on the planet can be found right in the heart of this ever-changing, eclectic, driven, ambitious, and yet charming metropolis. Travelers migrate by the thousands, even hundreds of thousands, to take in Broadway plays, nightlife, tourist attractions, the Statue of Liberty, the museums, Coney Island, and all of Manhattan. And the food, oh, the food! These currently are our five favorite restaurants.

#1 Candle 79

From the moment you walk through the elegant entrance to Candle 79, you are transported to another world entirely. This establishment is renowned for its impeccable service, upscale atmosphere, and its diverse, eclectic, and sublime vegan menu offerings. The mission behind Candle 79 is to provide its guests with outstanding meals that highlight the relationships between environmental sustainability, sound vegan organic nutrition, and the physical and mental well-being of diners.

The dinner menu is nothing short of amazing, with its wide variety of starters, side dishes, entrees, and desserts. A beautiful combination is:

The starter Mezze Plate—a generously sized portion of dippable condiments, such as organic in-house hummus, baba ghanoush, and almond tzatziki, with olives and paratha bread

The indescribable wild mushroom crepe, with its savory filling that combines mushrooms, garlic truffle aioli, and a selection of fall vegetables, all accompanied by a crispy and refreshing beet arugula salad. A bottle (or simply a glass) of the Chateau Maris Syrah compliments this meal tremendously.

Finish off your dining experience with a slice of their seductively sweet and spicy Live Sweet Potato Pie, paired with a macchiato or mochaccino, for the perfect ending to this meal.

154 East 79th Street at Lexington Avenue | New York, NY 10021 Tel: (212) 537-7179

#2 Per Se

With its beautiful location—ensconced in well-tended gardens in the heart of Manhattan—and its famous, iconic blue doors, Per Se has long been a place of culinary delights and gastronomic adventures. Most people can only aspire to the privilege of experiencing this eatery. Reservations are highly recommended, although the restaurant will still provide the experience of a lifetime for the occasional walk-in clientele.

Five Favorite New York Restaurants Per SePer Se is the culmination of a lifetime of hard work by its owner and chef, the famous Thomas Keller, who’s won numerous awards for both his entrepreneurial spirit and the amazing collection of excellent restaurants and eateries that he has established. His accolades include the Society of Bacchus America’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his work and dedication to fine French cuisine. He has traveled the world working and accumulating experience in the United States and parts of France at such well-known Michelin Star establishments as Taillevent, Guy Savoy, the French Laundry, Ad Lib (temporary facility), and the Bouchant Bakery. Keller is also the author of no fewer than five bestselling cookbooks.

Please do not expect a traditional, run of the mill experience at Per Se. For your dining pleasure, two full nine-course tasting menus—with white glove service—are offered daily for guests who had the foresight to make a reservation. All accommodations are also done for those who choose to make a last-minute decision to dine here, including the opportunity to sample a five-course tasting menu and the same impeccable service in the salon.
The Shops at Columbus Circle, 10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019, (212) 823-9335

#3 Eleven Madison Park

Located in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, in the art deco Metropolitan Life North Building, Eleven Madison Park is widely considered a world-class dining experience. Nothing so blasé as the word “restaurant” would ever begin to describe this epicurean delight. As with other establishments in New York that are a cut above the rest, do not expect your typical à la carte menu here. Guests are honored with an ever-changing tasting menu that features the purest, freshest ingredients and is founded upon Executive Chef Daniel Humm’s imagination and creativity.
Eleven Madison Park not only has the distinct honor of a prestigious location; it also has been honored for both its culinary masterpieces and its service to patrons. Included in the awards are La Liste, Grand Chef Relais & Chateaux, the James Beard Foundation Award, the Wine Spectator Grand Award, and a very impressive Zagat rating of 28 out of 30. This ranking gives the establishment the highest-ranked status in the Flatiron District and marks it as one of the best restaurants in New York City. Obviously, it is well worth the visit; reservations are necessary.
Metropolitan Life North Building, 11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010, Tel (212) 889-0905

#4 Gramercy Tavern

The final, iconic crown jewel of the Flatiron District would be Gramercy Tavern. With a wonderfully rich history dating back more than two decades, the Flatiron would simply not have the same cachet it now enjoys without this historic landmark establishment.

Guests here have the option of visiting not only one of the best restaurants in the city but can choose the atmosphere they prefer to dine in. The relaxed and easygoing tavern offers coziness, hospitality, and real fellowship with the clientele. Despite the less formal setting, everyone that walks through the door can expect to be treated like a long-lost old friend by the staff.
All the employees here know they have a long and prestigious reputation to uphold, and they do it very well. While the tavern offers a more typical menu, guests should never be under the impression that standard fair is what is to be had here. Along with the exemplary service, guests can expect their meals to be taken to another level by the care and attention taken in the kitchen.

The dining room is another world; it is entirely divided from the laid-back atmosphere emanating from the tavern. The selection of menus will make your head spin in delight. Patrons can find creative and delicious selections from a primarily à la carte menu, or they can sample one of the fantastic tasting menus, including a vegetable tasting menu.
42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003, Tel (212) 477-0777

#5 Del Posto

With such renowned names behind it as Mario Batali, Jeff Katz, Mark Ladner, and Joe and Lidia Bastianich, it is no wonder Del Posto has achieved the status it has. This is far more than a simple Italian eatery; this is Italian cuisine personified —in atmosphere, elegance, personality, and in each one of the selections that make their way out of the kitchen and onto your table. Located very near the Chelsea Piers, not only will you find yourself in the best Italian restaurant you’ve ever managed to find, you’ll smell the sweet tang of the salt air and, in the evening, have the indescribably beautiful view of the lights from the Pier twinkling in the twilight sky as a lovely accompaniment to a wonderful meal.

Del Posto offers several fantastic options in the tasting menu style, all consisting of different courses, whether your visit is for a light and refreshing lunch or a beautifully intimate, lingering dinner.

Whether they are iconic landmarks, legends in the making, breathtakingly new and innovative eateries, or filled with decades-old traditions and fond memories, the restaurants of New York are as brilliant and evocative as their home city. Nothing less could be expected from the greatest city in the world, New York.
85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011, Tel (212) 497-8090

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