You can drop serious cash on a dinner out in the city faster than it takes to say “Manhattan”–but all that dough could go towards the best thing you ever ate or an overpriced mess. Let me save you $150+ of regret with some of these options for a upscale night out.
- Momofuku Ko Ko used to be more of a steal for the tasting menu, but now it’s about $195 for 14 courses. But if you are #blessed and can snag a reservation, this is a place where you could easily eat some of the best food of your life. One of the greatest things either of us has ever eaten and is singed into our memories is the dairy-less chowder with golden potato roll and smoked butter. It looked like butter, in your mouth it was smoke. Seems like a simple course, but it was ah-mazing and worth every penny.
- Marea Marea is Michael White’s Michelin-starred, upscale seafood restaurant. Right on Columbus Circle, it’s perfect for a fancy schancy night out for a special occasion. We opted for the $102 4-course prix fixe menu–which is a good deal considering you’ll likely spend that or more regardless. Plus, you can try items from all over the menu.
- Estela Tucked away on the second floor of a building in SoHo, and very unassuming inside, you’d never realize this was actually one of the best restaurants in the world. They serve Mediterranean small plates, and every one is mouth-watering. Save Estela for an intimate date night.
- Sushi Yasuda If you’ve watched No Reservations or Parts Unknown you may already know about Chef Naomichi Yasuda. The former karate fighter may be back in Tokyo, but his namesake sushi restaurant remains in NYC They have a menu, but (as with many sushi bars) the best choice is go for the omakase. They’ll keep bringing dishes until you ask them to stop (I think we made it through six or seven)!
- The Standard High Line This is a pre- or post-dinner fancy spot. Celeb sightings are not uncommon. In the colder months the main option is the Top of the Standard, complete with a round, gold bar and floor-to-ceiling windows almost all the way around offering some of the best views of the city. In the warmer months one can go to the outdoor part of Le Bain on the other side and lounge on astro turf while sipping pitchers of summery cocktails. Either way, the stunning city views cannot be missed–even from the bathrooms.
Lil hint: Not surprisingly, most hot spots tend to book up on weekends. Book on a weeknight–it will be easier to get a reservation and not so crowded!