If there's any chef in NYC associated with an over-the-top attitude from classic French cuisine masters, it's Alain Ducasse. With Adour, which opened at the beginning of 2008, this legendary restaurateur adds to his legend with a plush, intimate environment perfectly suited to his reputation. Design guru David Rockwell has unveiled a grand, aesthetic ambience that equals Ducasse’s gastronomical vision.
Employing various baroque affectations of "le restaurant classique" as envisioned in classic cinema, the back-to-basics menu themes are embodied in Adour's look and feel. Executive Chef Joel Dennis is particular in using the finest ingredients in his seasonal menu. Foie Gras Ravioli makes for an ever-rich starter. The succulent Duck Breast or tender Pork Loin, are excellent entree choices. Pear Clafoutis, embellished with honey ice cream, is perfect to satisfy the sweet side of the palate. Expect to be pampered with the impeccable service.
Named after the Adour River which flows near Ducasse’s hometown in southwestern France, just as the best wines flow here as well, with over 600 fine selections.
At the St. Regis Hotel, 2 East 55th Street 212-710-2277
If any place represents a New York food experience, then the Four Seasons tops the list. Designed by architects Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, this restaurant is a modern classic that has been redefining American cuisine since 1959. The Grill Room at lunchtime is the single greatest room to see members of the city's power elite gather along the banquettes as part of their daily ritual.
The Four Seasons has long attracted New Yorkers with such menu items as whole roasted pheasant, saffron aoli bouillabaisse, and filet of bison with foie gras and truffle sauce. Everything on the extravagantly priced menu—$55 for a steak, $48 for crab cakes—tastes much better when you're on an expense account. And without a doubt when you sit back and enjoy the spectacle, order the sturdy bison burger ($34) and a Bloody Mary or two.
99 East 52nd Street b/w Park and Lexington Avenues 212-754-9494