Categorized | Restaurants

14 U.S. restaurants worth planning a trip around…

Posted on 01 November 2011


New York’s celebrated Le Bernardin restaurant has revamped its bar area for less formal, less expensive dining.

Just picked up a book called Opinionated About U.S. Restaurants 2011. It lists eateries worthy of a trip.


The results, based on an online survey, are not surprising for those who love fine dining — and it’s packed with pricey spots. A healthy helping (six) of the 14 top eateries are in New York City.


Here they are:


1. The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif.
2. Per Se, New York City
3. Manresa, Los Gatos, Calif.
4. Masa, New York City
5. Alinea, Chicago
6. Jean Georges, New York City
7. Urasawa, Beverly Hills, Calif.
8. Le Bernardin, New York City
9. Sushi Yasuda, New York City
10. Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, N.Y.
10. Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, Calif.
12. Guy Savoy, Las Vegas
12. Minibar, Washington, D.C.
14. Kuruma Zushi, New York City

Be prepared to spend $200 and up for two at most of these top-chef places. And if you’re curious about regional results of the survey and other fine points, here’s some info. The book is from Steve Plotnicki, known in foodie circles for the Opinionated AboutDining blog.


However, the very fine Le Bernardin in Manhattan (French chef Eric Ripert’s temple of fresh seafood that was just ranked No. 1 in NYC by the Zagat Survey, besting the rest on this list) recently added a lower-priced menu in its renovated lounge to meet the demand for fine food at lower prices, and customers’ desires to eat more quickly and not have to dress up. (Men don’t have to wear jackets in the lounge area.)


What can you order in the lounge?


Gin-cured salmon with mustard dill sauce for $18; oysters at $3.50 each; warm Lobster and Truffle “en brioche,” $19; and more. A spokeswoman for Le Bernardin says a popular dessert, “The Egg” ($12), is on the menu. It’s milk chocolate pot de crème served in an egg container, with caramel foam maple syrup and a grain of salt

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