• Chef and seafood master Eric Ripert uses flawless French techniques and a global pantry to create bold juxtapositions of flavor and texture. Thinly pounded tuna is served with foie gras and toasted baguettes, and escolar pairs with seared Wagyu beef and a soy-lemon emulsion. The simple, elegant restaurant, with its wooden beams and a triptych of ocean waves, is a prime power lunch and dinner spot.

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  • At the back of pizza mecca Roberta’s, chef Carlo Mirarchi offers an exclusive tasting menu to diners lucky enough to get one of the 12 counter seats. Seduction might begin with fried Lilliputian soft-shell crab and continue with perch with asparagus and leafy greens or agnolotti stuffed with Italian pork sausage. In the Italian style, courses feature minimal ingredients but intense flavors.

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  • Little comes between farm and table with chef Dan Barber’s American cuisine de terroir. Served in an old Hudson Valley barn with pastoral views, his menu highlights "grazing, pecking, rooting" and features an onslaught of small bites, medium plates, big dishes, and myriad desserts. Barber often improvises according to each table’s interests to create memorable meals easily traced to their roots.

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  • A collaboration between David Bouley and the Tsuji Culinary Institute of Osaka, Japan, here head chef Isao Yamada presents modern kaiseki cuisine, including his signature steamed egg custard with Dungeness crab and black truffle sauce. Sushi master and co-chef Eiji Ichimura offers à la carte dishes as well as the Edo-mae style of sushi at an eight-seat bar.

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  • Chef Cesar Ramirez entices diners to a slightly seedy Brooklyn neighborhood for 15-plus courses of American nouveau cuisine, served at a stainless-steel bar. Cameras, phones, and note-taking are forbidden, so don’t expect to snap pics of the astonishing hot and cool layered soup, sea urchin with brioche and truffles, or madai with risotto wreathed in the briny scent of uni with coconut and garlic.

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  • Chef Jean François Bruel channels Daniel Boulud’s style, philosophy, and use of the best ingredients at this stately Adam Tihany–designed room adorned with Boulud’s art collection. The simultaneously traditional and modern menu might include chorizo-wrapped swordfish or Imperial Farms Wagyu beef rib eye with black trumpet mushrooms and tomato marmalade. Service is always formal but warm.

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  • Swiss chef Daniel Humm’s high-end tasting menu features reimagined American cuisine with a sense of humor and a respect for classic New York dishes and producers. Here, for example, black and white cookies are a savory appetizer. Located in the dramatic art deco–era Metropolitan Life Building, the destination restaurant makes the most of the grand windows that overlook Madison Square Park.

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  • Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten spices up French cuisine with dynamic signature dishes that are never fussy or overdone, served in a dining room featuring picture windows and cinematic city and Central Park views. Lobster on toast is surrounded by a seafood sauce that's been seasoned with fenugreek and lemongrass. Seared scallops pair with caramelized cauliflower and a raisin-caper emulsion.

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  • Masa Takayama presides over exceptional omakase meals that change daily but always feature many courses, plenty of sushi, and regular use of rare and lavish ingredients. (For example, white truffle tempura or shabu shabu with foie gras, lobster, and Kobe beef.) The minimalist, soothing interior boasts a few tables and a sushi counter made from a single piece of rare Hinoki wood.

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  • Chef Sotohiro Kosugi’s 42-seat spot draws uni lovers for remarkable kaiseki dishes. His goma tofu—in black and white chiaroscuro with wasabi soy and soy foam—is a cooling, palate-cleansing course between under-the-sea indulgences such as deep-fried uni tempura sprinkled with house-made uni powder and a presentation of live lobster sashimi with fresh ginger and caviar.

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