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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Momofuku Noodle Bar at the Time Warner Center

Remember when the first Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village was all the rage? It was this exciting place run by a rebel chef who made pork buns and people could not get enough, even if it meant having to endure loud music and uncomfortable seats. The Momofuku brand has really matured since then. The newest addition to the empire is a second location of Momofuku Noodle Bar, in the NYC equivalent of a suburban mall, the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle, far from the hip zip code of downtown. Read More

Cocktails as Theatre at The Aviary

the aviary nyc

The very serious-minded staff at The Aviary, the NYC branch of Grant Achatz’s famed Chicago bar, described their high-end cocktails as performance art. But I saw them more as a comedy. Because that’s what it is when you have your guests blow bubbles into a drink named How Does Snoop Dogg Use Lemongrass?. Nothing really happened other than the fizz going flat after the initial huff and the rest of us laughing. I would hope for more than just a fit of giggles after paying $24 a drink. Or maybe the joke’s on us for paying that much money.

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RedFarm Upper West Side

The server at the UWS branch of RedFarm was pretty upfront with me in describing the food there as Americanized Chinese food, which I thought was super helpful in setting expectations. You shouldn’t come to RedFarm expecting cheap plates of tasty dumplings or noodles. This is Chinese food for rich white people, so prices will be at least double, and American tweaks will be made to some traditional recipes such as putting Katz’s pastrami meat into an egg roll or adding applewood smoked bacon to scallion pancakes. Some of the mashups are actually quite good, and others will leave you wondering where your money went.Read More