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A good tasting menu dinner in New York City can certainly set you back a pretty penny. Coupled with a wine pairing, that bill can skyrocket to a full month’s rent check. Fuggetaboutit! Is any one meal worth all that loot? The answer, friends, is yes.

From impeccable service to innovative, game-changing dishes, we’ve put together of a list of the 5 tasting menus in NYC that are totally worth the splurge. Save up now for that special birthday, anniversary or big promotion and get ready for one of the most memorable meals of your lifetime at one of these top 5 spots:

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Eleven Madison Park restaurant | Photo by

Eleven Madison Park restaurant | Photo by

1. Eleven Madison Park

As the #3 restaurant in the world (according to the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants list produced by culinary professionals and critics), it wasn’t a hard decision to include Eleven Madison Park. From start to finish, the 3-star Michelin restaurant does it the best. High-ceilings, large windows and an open layout make it a refreshingly welcoming space compared to most NYC restaurants. As you walk in, a symphony of friendly staff glide around the grand dining room like a well- choreographed dance and you’ll be surprised to find very little, if any, hints of stuffiness. Throughout the 7-9 courses, you’ll interact with numerous restaurant staff, from sommeliers to various servers eloquently explaining each dish. Chef Daniel Humm’s ever changing contemporary America Cuisine is greatly influenced by classical French techniques. The roasted celery root braised in pig’s bladder is one of the most stand-out servings. Sitting table-side in a simmering copper pot, the inflated bladder allows flavorful steam to remain inside and cook the dish to perfection. A technique inspired by Paul Bocuse, one of France’s all time most influential chefs, Daniel Humm masters it to a tee.
Price per person: $295 (before wine paring)

Le Bernardin | Photo courtesy of Flickr CC

Le Bernardin | Flickr CC: Arnold Gatilao

2. Le Bernardin

Renowned chef (and best bud of Anthony Bourdain) Éric Ripert has been at the helm of this French eatery in Midtown for years. Le Bernardin has won dozens of awards, including the coveted James Beard Award, and has held an astounding 3 Michelin stars since its opening in 2005. The restaurant offers two tasting menu options: The Chef’s Tasting and the less pricey Le Bernardin Tasting. Both options are amazing, so it’s up to you on how many courses you’d like to eat and how much money you’re looking to spend. Chef Ripert’s menu is heavily seafood focused and includes mouth-watering dishes like White Tuna-Japanese Waygu, Crab Filled Calamari and Seafood Truffle Pasta. The wine pairings are incredibly on point too, so bottoms up!
Price per person: Chef’s Tasting $215 ($355 with wine pairing) | Le Bernardin Tasting $180 ($270 with wine pairing)

MomofukuKo-restaurant_compassandtwine 5 tasting menus NYC worth the splurge

Momofuko Ko | Flickr CC:

3. Momofuku Ko

Don’t let the unassuming façade fool you, because inside you’ll find one of the most inventive, creative, and mind-blowing restaurants in all of NYC. Famed chef David Chang has multiple successful eateries under his Momofuku umbrella, but Ko is his crown jewel. He masters American Nouveau cuisine and adds his own savory touches of Asian influence. Perhaps the restaurant has not garnered the attention it deserves from the traditional European critics because the space is understated and the service is not at all show-boaty. Ko is all about the food. The intimate setting consists of a single 25-seat chef’s counter in the middle of the room, where you watch as they prepare some of the most creative and delicious dishes you will ever feast upon. Servers quietly and succinctly explain each dish, and when you finish the course, the empty plates stealthily just seem to disappear. It’s not an easy reservation to score, but we highly recommend you keep on trying!
Price per person: $195 (before wine paring)

Brooklyn Fare | Photo courtesy of Flickr CC

Brooklyn Fare |Flickr CC: anita singh

4. Chef’s Table At Brooklyn Fare

The only 3-star Michelin restaurant in Brooklyn, reservations here are nearly impossible to snag. You may want to give up and throw your case-protected iPhone on the floor if you hear their endless ring one more time. Reservations open every Monday at 10:30am for dates that are 6-weeks out so set your alarm early and get ready to battle with your fox-like finger dialing speed. The U-shaped Chef’s Table seats only 18 people (in parties of 2 or 4) and allows for guests to watch as their meal is prepared. The 20-course tasting is influenced by both Japanese and French flavors and techniques. It’s all in the details and Chef César Ramirez’s meticulous creation of each and every bite results in one ridiculous meal. Plus, the menu changes every night, so you’re always in for a surprise!
Price per person: $306 (before wine pairing)

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Sushi Nakazawa | Photo by

Sushi Nakazawa | Photo by

5. Sushi Nakazawa

New York City is home to many amazing sushi restaurants, but the ultimate omakases—chef’s-choice tasting experiences—have tended to remain in Tokyo. That is, until Chef Daisuke Nakazawa, protege of Tokyo’s great sushi master Jiro Ono, brought his talents to the West Village and opened Sushi Nakazawa. True to his background, Chef Daisuke strives for perfection at every angle. When you have the pleasure of dining here, be sure to throw any previous ‘dislikes’ out the window. Don’t like mackerel? Wigged out by sea urchin? Think again and try it again, because every bite here is heaven, and your previous preferences will be turned upside down. Fresh and as pure as can be, these sushi pieces will literally melt in your mouth.
Price per person: $120 in the dining room; $150 at the sushi counter (before wine pairing)

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Tagged: New York, Top 10 Lists

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Compass + Twine
Sarah Driggs and Lindsay Ridenour are the story-tellers behind the NYC-based luxury travel blog, Compass + Twine. Follow along on Instagram @compassandtwine as they unearth some of the best hotels and travel experiences around the globe. From scenic landscapes to local cafés, they reveal the true character of a destination, always highlighting the best place to stay on .

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