With elegant decor, sophisticated service, and excellent food, this is simply one of the best restaurants in New York. It's garnered three Michelin stars for superstar chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's French-fusion cuisine which is executed magically and paired with (usually French) wine.
With enormous doors, carved ceilings, glittering chandeliers, and a modern sculpture in the bar area, Gilt is so visually stunning that you might suspect that cuisine takes a back seat. Quite the contrary: This is one of the few two-Michelin-star restaurants in New York, and dishes like spot prawns with avocado, coconut, and pomelo and suckling pig with olives, cardoons, and cipollini onions -- as well as a wildly popular truffled grilled cheese inspired by Gossip Girl -- are perfectly executed. The wine cellar has more than 1,400 bottles, with many selections mercifully priced under $100.
This fabulous rustic Italian spot from New York food scene darling Andrew Carmenllini is so good, most locals have forgotten that this TriBeCa restaurant used to be the unbelievably bad Ago. The demons, though, have been fully excised and now the only headache is getting a reservation. Luckily, guests get first dibs on the tables.
World-renowned three-Michelin-star chef Daniel Boulud manages food and beverage at the newly renovated Surrey, and guests receive priority seating at his perhaps-misleadingly named Cafe. To be sure, it's more casual than his Daniel, one of the city's best restaurants, but food and service here are still top-notch. The menu is broken down into four categories to help diners plot a course through the superb French-American choices: classic French (la tradition), seasonally inspired (la saison); vegetarian (le potager); and world cuisine (le voyage, frequently Asian-inspired).
The name may be lowercase but this Upper West Side sleeper serves decidedly grown-up fare -- and has notched a Michelin star for its efforts. Chef Ed Brown is a master of locally sourced ingredients and his nouveau American menu ebbs with the seasons; expect to find, if not these exact dishes, entrees like Long Island duck breast with kabocha squash, butternut squash, fennel, and kumquat or Nantucket Bay scallops with sweet potato risotto and Swiss chard.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
L'Atelier is overseen by French celebrity Chef Joel Robuchon -- though Chef Xavier Boyer is the one in the kitchen every night -- and offers French haute cuisine at very haute prices: One Oyster reporter splashed out, for example, $34 for a foie gras appetizer served in a shot glass. Nevertheless, the food is particularly excellent when it marries European techniques and Japanese flavors, as in a signature dish of sautéed tile fish in a yuzu broth.