The Perfect Dining Experience: Top Three Restaurants in Manhattan

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The Perfect Dining Experience: Top Three Restaurants in Manhattan

By Horace C. White

Modern Tokyo Times

Arroz Con Pato - Nuela

Dining in the Big Apple is an experience unto itself. With more restaurants per capita than almost every city in the entire world, visitors will find everything from streetside vendors to upscale restaurants with sweeping views of Central Park. If this is your first time visiting New York, it’s a good idea to come equipped with a few restaurants you know offer delicious food in just the right setting. Whether you’re a tourist taking in the sights and sounds or an executive looking to impress some clients, these three NYC restaurants should top your must-visit list.

Nuela (

Nuela, featuring South American cuisine with an emphasis on dishes from Peru, is a wonderful place to enjoy a private dinner for two. It is exquisite in its presentation and extremely sophisticated—the perfect combination to enjoy New York as it is meant to be enjoyed. Nuela is located at 43 W. 24th Street, Sixth Avenue, and dishes are reasonably priced. Under the helm of Chef Adam Schop, Nuela strives to make its guest feel at home, as if you were hosted by a South American family. Furthermore, Schop says, “I believe that South American is the next great cuisine.”

Of the many offerings on their menu, including several varieties of delicious ceviche, a Nuela specialty, another favorite of locals is the delightful, multi-course “Arroz Con Pato” duck paella that contains all of the ingredients traditionally created from this treasured waterfowl. In keeping with the restaurant’s ambiance, it is served for two on a large sized platter. 

As part of this course, you will find the confit of leg and thigh meticulously cooked under a layer of crispy skin, with the gizzard included upon request. There is also the delicious rich lobe of duck foie gras and a beautifully sliced roasted duck breast, which has seasonal vegetables arranged all around it. However, the most impressive and popular part of the Nuela dish seems to be the fried duck egg. 

In addition to the popular duck course, diners will find a variety of gourmet options and speciality cocktails designed to foster an intimate dinner between friends. Perfect after a long day in the city or to set the tone for even more activity late into the night, Nuela offers a lovely and sophisticated dining experience every time.

Takashi (

For those who enjoy a more unique dining experience, the best offal in New York can be found on the west side of Manhattan. Takashi, the provider of these incredible and out-of-the-ordinary dishes, is located at 456 Hudson Street, Barrow Street.

Takashi consistently ranks among the best restaurants in the United States for esoteric specialties. They have a wonderful selection of sweetbreads, beef hearts, kimchi, and stewed tripe. The restaurant is very polished, yet neighborly, and is classified as a yakiniku style Japanese grill.

At Takashi, you will spend the evening enjoying three varieties of grilled cow stomach, tender slices of hatsu (beef heart), and tetchan (large intestines). For an additional $22, you and your guests can enjoy a tasting explosion called the Tongue Experience. This includes slices from three parts of the tongue, including the tip. All this is served tableside, with exceptional service throughout your meal. 

For those with more traditional tastes, there are all kinds of standard preparations such as strips of rib eye (rosu) and plates of glistening, sesame oil marinated Korean style kalbi —considered by many to be the most delectable grilled short ribs in New York City.

Ai Fiori (

Ai Fiori is located at 400 Fifth Avenue at 36th Street. If you are looking for a restaurant as grand as the ones in Paris and Rome, Ai Fiori, where fine dining is an understatement, is for you.

The restaurant is known for its lamb chops, which are a recurring fine dining favorite. In all the chefs’ cooking techniques, the taste of the lamb is preserved, but in a way that delights the jaded palate. They wrap the rack of young pink, unbelievably gentle agnello in a beauty of translucently milled lamb, foie gras, and caul fat. They then roast the entire package until it is perfectly medium rare, brushing it all the while with the deliciously made lamb jus. The chefs then take a leavened pile of Swiss chard with beurre blanc and place it alongside the lamb chops to create an exquisite plating experience.  

Chef/ Owner Michael White has turned Ai Fiori into one of New York’s finest dining establishments. His food is as classic and elegant as the décor. Although you’ll be chanting I Love New York throughout your meal, Rome and Paris won’t feel far off.

People come to New York for a variety of reasons, but one thing remains the same no matter what: the food. For a unique and unforgettable dining experience that rivals those you’ll find in top culinary destinations in the world, be sure and make reservations at one (or all) of these incredible restaurants. Your palate—and your guests—will thank you.

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