FOOD AND DRINK
5 In-The-Know NYC Chef's Table Experiences
In any form, food is delicious. Sometimes there is nothing so perfect as a hot dog grabbed from a street vendor on the fly as you hustle from one meeting to the next. But we’ve all got that inner foodie who craves not just a lux and leisurely dining experience, but an insider one. What’s better than hand-crafted plates slipped by chefs eager to tell you all about what you’re about to put in your mouth?
New York City is a glut with amazing dining experiences. But if you’re looking to check out the inside track of the culinary world, chef’s tables are the way to go. Very often helmed by the head chefs of each establishment, not only are you guaranteed a great meal but you'll also get a glimpse into the mind of New York’s best chefs as they conjure up tasty delights that have yet to take up permanent residence on any menu. Here are a few of the city’s best chef’s tables.
Forget spending hours on the phone or playing a game of internet roulette in the hopes of savouring some of chef Marco Canora’s marinated sardines. This popular but low-key chef’s table is first come, first serve. Enjoy a cozy, laid-back atmosphere at chef’s counter that seats just four people.
403 East 12th St., 646-602-1300
EN Japanese Brasserie
On the last Tuesday of every month, eight diners are invited to sit at the chef’s counter of this delicious izakaya (pub) for 12 courses of upscale Japanese cuisine. There’s a whole lot more than sushi on offer here. Their impressive cocktail menu is designed to compliment your dining experience and the melts-in-your-mouth black cod is a must-try.
435 Hudson Street, 212-647-9196
Don’t let the name throw you off – the chef’s table experience at this Spanish-inspired West Village haunt cannot be missed. Enjoy a five- or 10-course tasting menu courtesy of chef Nicholas Licata surrounded by a handful of other diners at this twelve-seat table. Warm bread with goat’s butter? Foie Gras with almond ice cream? Bring it on.
239 E. 5th St., 212-979-1012
This mouth-watering Mediterranean restaurant provides a truly democratic chef’s table experience. There’s no fixed menu, instead you pick and choose a la carte just like your fellow diners, which might be a plus for the more control-oriented diner who is worried about missing out on specialties of the house like their Iberian ham. But fret not – it’s still an exclusive experience, with chef George Mendes making it his business to tend to every plate presented to you.
31 W. 17th St., 212-675-7223
When you think upscale dining experiences, your mind doesn’t naturally go to “grocery stores”. Because why would it? Chef Cesar Ramirez has changed all of that with his restaurant, connected to the grocery store of the same name in the heart of downtown Brooklyn. Don’t believe it? Consider his 3 Michelin stars and the 10 courses of small-plate splendor he serves up daily and then go ahead and make your reservation at this exclusive 18-seat table.
200 Schermerhorn St., Brooklyn, 718-243-0050