Tag Archives: Fine Dining

Bouley (second visit) — 5 Stars

Entrance, decorated for Christmas.

Entrance, decorated for Christmas.

Sometimes, I go to a restaurant, mean to write a review, and, months later, never get around to it.  Usually, I just move on.  This time, though, even though the visit is almost a year old, I want to share with you my visit to Bouley last December.  As frequent readers know, I visited Bouley for lunch while on jury duty last summer.  The experience was, I wrote, nearly pitch-perfect.  So about a week and a half before Christmas, I went back for dinner.  The second time was even better.  The food was great, the service was fantastic, and the overall experience was impeccable.   Continue reading

Jean-Georges (second visit) — 4 Stars

Asparagus, being assembled...

Asparagus, being assembled…

If you want fantastic vegetarian food at a great good decent price, then Jean-Georges is the place to go.  The flagship restaurant is the crown jewel in the sprawling empire of celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongeritchen is the cheapest three-Michelin-star meal in New York City (at least for lunch).  Jean-Georges is quite vegetarian-friendly, too.  Jean-George can legitimately stake a claim to some of the best vegetarian food in New York. Continue reading

The NoMad (second visit) — 4 Stars

The NoMadA year ago, I wrote that The NoMad was New York’s “restaurant of the moment.”  Since then, the restaurant has garnered a Michelin star, and spent a lot of time on Eater’s list of the top 38 restaurants in Manhattan.  (By the way, does anyone know why they list the top “38”?  Why not 35? or 40?)  The restaurant started off with a bang and has really maintained its momentum since.  Around the corner, Eleven Madison Park (my reviews here and here), with the same chef-owner, Daniel Humm, is doing some pretty neat things.  My not-so-secret hope for The NoMad was that it would be a place to get food at EMP’s quality, without having to pay EMP prices, and it looks like The NoMad might hit that sweet spot. Continue reading

Norma’s — Breakfast for Lunch — 2.5 Stars

Norma's

Norma’s

You know that friend of yours who tries too hard to dress fashionably?  The one who has just a few too many colors, or accessories, or flourishes, to the point where it overwhelms?  Norma’s is that friend.

In fairness, if you are looking for the best breakfast in New York, Norma’s has to be high on your list. Located at the Parker Meridien Hotel, Norma’s is open every day until 3 pm and serves breakfast that whole time.  Norma’s is a great option on weekends, and a fantastic alternative to the usual lunch spots.  In 2002, Eric Asimov described Norma’s breakfasts as “more fairy tale than real,” and a decade later — with Norma’s serving up cheesecake-stuffed French toast, a $1000 lobster frittata (with 10 oz. of caviar), or a $5,022 Caesar salad (which, in fairness, comes with the Presidential Suite) — the description is still true, even if the prices are higher.  But in the quest to be “fairy tale,” Norma’s tries too hard, to the point where the dishes don’t quite hold together.   Continue reading

Gramercy Tavern — 3 Stars

Always bustling.

Always bustling.

Earlier this summer, I had lunch at Gramercy Tavern, a one-Michelin-starred restaurant in, well, the Gramercy neighborhood.  If you want great vegetarian food in New York, Gramercy Tavern is probably on your short list: their dinner tasting menu features a vegetarian alternative, and many of the same options are available for lunch or a la carte.  I’ve had many great experiences at Gramercy Tavern (including some fun interactions on twitter, but this was just good, not great. Continue reading

Kajitsu — Four Stars

The entrance to Kajitsu.

The entrance to Kajitsu.

Dining at Kajitsu, the Michelin-starred vegan restaurant in midtown Manhattan, is like nothing you’ve ever done before.  (Trust me.)  There’s a reason it’s been on my list of places I’d like to go, even though I don’t typically list completely vegetarian restaurants on the list. The restaurant features Japanese shojin cuisine — a style of cooking that is centuries-old and comes from Buddhist monks.  But it’s much more accurate to say that this is a place that uses ingredients you might or might not be familiar with and concocts them into incredible works of food and art.   Continue reading

Jamavar — Bangalore, India

Dinner at Jamavar

If you’re looking for the best restaurant in Bangalore, India, then Jamavar, a restaurant at the Leela Palace hotel in Bangalore, is probably on your radar.  Jamavar is located in one of the city’s nicest hotels, and in terms of quality, the restaurant could hold its own against the other top Indian restaurants I’ve been to.  But as good as the food was, it was hard to get past the expensive prices.  All in all, Jamavar was very nice, but not so nice that I want to go back. Continue reading

Alan Wong’s — Honolulu, Hawaii

Menu and wine list on an iPad!

The best restaurant in Honolulu, by most accounts, is Alan Wong’s.  And Alan Wong’s is also a great choice if you’re looking for the fantastic vegetarian food in Honolulu:  another website wrote that Alan Wong’s has the best vegetarian menu selection in Honolulu, and I’m inclined to agree.  Alan Wong’s gets great points for taste, style, and presentation. Continue reading

Butter — 2.5 Stars

A few years ago, Gossip Girl made the restaurant/nightclub Butter famous. It was, if the show was to be believed, the hangout of choice for super-wealthy New York teenagers. Whatever the truth to that assertion, Butter today is a solid restaurant with good vegetarian options. However, it’s not the kind of place that (at least on culinary quality alone) can command the kinds of prices charged. Continue reading

Aquavit — 3 Stars


A couple of months ago, I went to Aquavit, the restaurant started by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.  Marcus isn’t at Aquavit anymore, but the restaurant is still quite well-regarded; it got one star in Michelin’s 2013 ratings, and Sam Sifton gave it two stars for the New York Times.  Overall, I like Aquavit.  It’s a different experience — Nordic food isn’t all that common in New York — and, though it’s generally seafood- and meat-heavy, I haven’t had much trouble getting vegetarian food on my visits there. Continue reading