The New Jean-Georges Vegetarian Tasting Menu

beet carpaccio

I used to love coming to Jean-Georges for lunch because of its amazing lunch deal. Back in the day, you could get two courses for $38, which is insanely reasonable for a fine-dining, Michelin star restaurant, and you could add on a dish for just $19. But the days of the value meal is long gone. Now you have to pay a pretty penny for a seat at the table. It’s tasting menu only, which will run you $68 for the four course option or $178 for the six course option. The vegetarian versions cost $58 and $128.

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Overpriced Indulgence at The GRILL

I have a mostly hate-hate relationship with the Major Food Group, which specializes in running extravagant, overpriced restaurants like Carbone, Santina and Sadelle’s. One of the newest additions to its portfolio is The GRILL, a reboot of the famous Grill Room of the Four Seasons Hotel in Midtown. As expected, I spent a ton of money overindulging on platters that would obviously fit the bill for fat cat, expense-account dining, only I was footing the bill and I didn’t think it was worth it.

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Spanish Diner at Hudson Yards

Operating a diner serving classic Spanish dishes seems like the best of both worlds. Who doesn’t love eating fried eggs with a side of chorizo and churros? That’s the aim of the Spanish Diner at Hudson Yards, a project backed by Jose Andres and the famous Adria brothers, a Who’s Who in Spanish cooking. The all-day restaurant sits on the ground floor of Hudson Yards in a sparkling new dining space that looks like it would be the cafeteria of a well-funded tech company. The menu reads like a dream of the food you ate on your latest Spanish getaway. Unfortunately, the food probably tastes better in your dreams than the real life Spanish Diner Spanish breakfast on your plate.

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Crown Shy in Financial District

Let’s get this out of the way–Crown Shy is a horrible name for a restaurant. It sounds like one of the nonsensical names that owners like to give to their thoroughbred race horses. We stopped by for dinner over the summer at this new restaurant in the Financial District, and the server was explaining the name’s origins to the table next to us. It took too long and it still didn’t make any sense. It’s also located in an ugly Art Deco lobby that looked like the one from my first NYC apartment. Right off the bat I was a little skeptical of this fine dining Financial District newcomer.

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Bar Wayo in South Street Seaport

cocktails at bar wayo

They kept saying the South Street Seaport neighborhood was revitalized, and I didn’t believe it. I remember back when it was a sad mall occupied by third tier brands and bad food. But it really has changed a lot. High end specialty retail stores like 10 Corso Como have set up roots there, and they’ve managed to attract real restaurants to the neighborhood. One destination that is sure to draw people to South Street Seaport is Bar Wayo, the new Momofuku bar located right near the water. It’s a great place to pair fancy cocktails with fancy comfort food. There’s nary a salad or a bowl of olives in sight, and most everything is fried or smothered in mayo like sauces. They’ve perfected the preparation so that we don’t see unappealing grease stains or rings of oil marring the presentation. Bar Wayo South Street Seaport will certainly play a key role in this neighborhood’s revival.

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