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Dining

NYC Restaurants That Are Worth the Splurge

You have to spend your holiday bonus one way or another
Expensive Restaurants in NYC
Le Coucou | Photo: Corry Arnold

There's no bad time to dine at NYC's top restaurants, but these elite spots are perhaps best enjoyed around the holidays, when festive decorations and dishes come out and all seem to bask in the warm glow of the season. If you have an end-of-year bonus to spend, or simply want to be decadent, these are the top spots to splurge on dinner.

Le Coucou

 

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American-born chef Daniel Rose honed his skills in Paris before returning to New York to open a restaurant that feels as decadent as old-world France. What's unique about Le Coucou, though, is that it balances the old-world panache with a more relaxed sensibility than you'll find in most high-end restaurants. The pike quenelle shouldn't be missed, nor should dessert.

Blue Hill

Dan Barber pioneered the farm-to-table movement on the East Coast, and 17 years in, his Greenwich Village restaurant still offers some of the finest vegetables in the city. Those vegetables and the entire menu shift with the seasons, but the style of offerings—a four-course tasting menu and a six-course "farmer's feast"—remains constant. Tucked away in a cozy former speakeasy, Blue Hill is best visited with a date, not a party. 

Sushi Ginza Onodera

With just six locations in cities including Tokyo, Paris and Shanghai, Sushi Ginza Onodera serves a traditional and exceptionally well-executed omakase offering, which garnered two Michelin stars this year. With omakase, you're in the chef's very skilled hands when it comes to the menu, but diners can also state their preferences at the start of the meal.

Agern

Grand Central may seem like an odd place to have an elegant meal, but once you step into Agern, you'll realize it's worth reconsidering. Owned by Claus Meyer, the cofounder of noma, Agern offers a Nordic aesthetic and dishes from Icelandic chef Gunnar Gislason. While there is an à la carte menu, opt for one of the two tastings. Be certain to purchase a loaf of bread at the bakery next door to enjoy for breakfast the following morning.

Eleven Madison Park

Daniel Humm and Will Guidara closed their iconic restaurant along its namesake park this summer for a revamp of both the dining room and the kitchen. The royal blue velvet banquettes are cozy and ideal seating for the tasting menu, which Humm updates with the seasons. No matter the time of year, expect to be entertained, well cared for—and billed when you reserve your table.

For more recommendations on where to splurge, check out DINE.

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