Four upscale restaurants in New York’s Tribeca

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Recession gourmet and cheap prix fixes may be the dining trends of the moment, but a modern foodie can hardly visit New York without feeling the urge to splurge. Tribeca, abutting the booming-once-again financial district and home to chic new hotels like Tribeca Grand and Duane Street Hotel, still has one of Manhattan’s trendiest (and priciest) dining scenes. Here are four restaurants that make breaking the bank well worth it.

Nobu: This Robert DeNiro-owned sushi palace and celeb fave may strike some NYC locals as a little too ready-made-for-Hollywood, but despite the hype, few critics quibble with the food. Starting at $100, the chef’s choice “omakase” menu manages to make fusion cuisine seem hip and new, with tasty options like miso-glazed black cod, sashimi tacos, and monkfish pate with caviar. 105 Hudson St.

Matsugen: Another spot elevating traditional Japanese food to the expense account level, this eatery from French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten specializes in buckwheat soba noodles, paired here with everything from sweet duck soup to giant prawn tempura, while high-end foodie must-haves like foie gras and truffles are sprinkled throughout the menu. 241 Church St.

Marc Forgione: Only a year-and-a-half old, this young, Michelin-star chef’s eponymous restaurant — previously known as Forge until a doppelganger Miami resto threatened to sue — has a more laid-back vibe than its longer-standing neighbors, but the food is no less refined. The always-changing menu focuses on local, seasonal ingredients in creative dishes like parsnip agnolotti with braised oxtail and black truffles. 134 Reade St.

Corton: New York’s current restaurant critics’ darling gives the greenmarket-fueled locavore trend its highest upgrade yet. You may need a dictionary to decode the menu, which starts with wakame seaweed buttered bread and ends with sour plum/lemon verbana/fig clafoutis for dessert. The three-course prix fixe starts at $85. 239 W. Broadway.

–Brendan Spiegel of Endless Simmer

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