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Cosme – New York, NY

SO GOOD!  It’s no wonder this is supposedly President Obama’s favorite restaurant in NYC.  We were recommended this restaurant by a very trustworthy Seattle chef/friend and now I want to fly to Mexico City to try Chef Enrique Olvera’s Pujol and eno and then to Cabo for Manta.

Who knew Mexican fare could be so refined and modern?!  Stunning stunning food.  My mouth is still salivating thinking about the brown butter on the lobster and the duck carnitas.  I also have to mention how incredible the staff was.  Our server couldn’t have been more friendly and welcoming.  He has fabulous suggestions and just made the night that much more enjoyable.  You won’t regret this dinner choice.  Go for a drink beforehand and take in the cool space.

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Tuna tostada, daisy capers, yuzu, avocado

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Lobster, shiso, ginger mojo, brown butter

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Mole verde, pine nuts, chile güero, brussels sprouts, kale

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Duck carnitas, onions, radishes, cilantro

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Huckleberry raspado, cheese, coconut milk, lime

Le Bernardin – New York, NY

There’s a reason this restaurant has three Michelin stars, seven James Beard Awards and is  ranked 24 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.  Time and time again it’s impeccable.  I’ve been twice now, the first time having the Chef’s Tasting Menu and the second ordering a la carte.  Both were divine and different which was extremely satisfying.  Each dish is so beautifully composed and perfect from the presentation to the moment the flavors touch your tongue.  Mmmm…I just wanted more!  Definitely set your alarm to call two months in advance at 9am EST.  It’s worth the effort and money if you can manage it.

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Hamachi – flash marinated Hamachi, young radishes and amaranth crisp, Yuzu vinaigrette

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Langoustine – seared langoustine, fennel mousse line, spiced citrus-sambal sauce

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Snapper – crusted red snapper, pickled Persian cucumbers, green curry-goat yogurt emulsion

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Raoul’s – New York, NY

An acquaintance in NYC recommended this spot as a place that locals frequent and as a must try for all!  He was right.  We walked in at 11pm on a Friday night after seeing a Broadway show only to be greeted with a packed restaurant, energy buzzing all around and the friendliest staff.  This is a great example of why I love NYC.

Raoul’s is your classic French bistro with dishes that will leave an impression on your palette for a long long time.  Don’t skip the artichoke or Steak au Poivre (it’s been on the menu for 40 years) and be sure to get a reservation.

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Bigeye Tuna “Saisi” with avocado, blood orange & yuzu citronette

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Grilled Octopus with artichoke confit, olives, saffron-fennel purée & pomegranate

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Steak au Poivre with hand cut pommel frites

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Crispy Hampshire Pork Schnitzel “Holstein” with pea greens, sunny side egg & caper rémoulade

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Warm CasaLuker Chocolate Fondant with pomegranate & vanilla ice cream

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Navy – New York, NY

What a neighborhood gem!  So unassuming from the outside but cozy and sweet once you walk in the front door.  The staff couldn’t have been more amazing.  So accommodating and welcoming.  They truly made the experience twice as great.

Everything we ordered was outstanding.  The unique flavors stood out remarkably making each dish so interesting.  I kept taking bites trying to figure out what I was tasting.  I would order everything we had that night over and over again.  What a meal!  If only we lived there, they would surely know us by name.

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Crudo – coco-lime, avocado, pickled chili, cilantro

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Lettuces – puffed kasha, buttermilk dressing

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Smoked Mackerel – carrots, charred scallion, olive aioli

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Crispy Sweet Potato – olives, almonds, sumac yogurt

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Zucchini & Broccoli Fritters – nigella, mustard seed, dill

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Pork & Beans – smoked butterbeans, braised cabbage

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Carbone – New York, NY

Wow!  I don’t know where to start.  From the moment you walk into this restaurant you know you’ve made the right choice (actually, maybe the first clue was when the concierge at our hotel was shocked I actually got a reservation).  From the outside it’s completely nondescript.  You can’t see anything because there are drawn velvet curtains hiding what lies within.  When you open the door you feel as if you’ve stepped into an old Italian mobster hangout with some serious class.  The photos on the website do the decor and atmosphere NO justice whatsoever.

I loved everything about this meal.  The staff was great, the food was so flavorful that I had to tell myself to stop before I got too full and I loved the decor.

I have to mention that I had a little bit of order envy once I saw the woman next to me get her pasta.  I believe it was the Fettuccine con Fungi.  At first glance on the menu I assumed it was pasta with mushrooms when in fact it was fresh truffles on top…huge miss there but there’s always next time!  I highly, highly recommend the artichoke hearts.  They were the most flavorful presentation I’ve ever had and I could eat these all day long.  The Angel Hair AOP was loaded with flavor all the while being nice and light.  Tasty, tasty, tasty all around!

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Octopus Pizzaiolo

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Artichoke Hearts

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Angel Hair AOP

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Cheesecake

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Estela – New York, NY

We heard about this restaurant from our chef friends in Seattle and weren’t able to go last year so we made it a priority this time.  Definitely worth it.  Such a cozy intimate spot that makes for a relaxing dinner.

My husband LOVED the beef tartare.  There were crispy bits of sunchoke in it which gave it great texture.  I can never say no to burrata when I see it on a menu.  This one was topped on a delicious piece of grilled bread surrounded by bright salsa verde.  So good!

Our mains included the fried arroz negro with squid and romesco and the swordfish with avocado, Meyer lemon and almonds.  Both were outstanding.  Not one bit was left on our plates.  Dessert was just as incredible.  Panna cotta with vinegar and honey – perfection!

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Burrata with salsa verde and charred bread

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Beef tartare with sunchoke

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Fried arroz negro with squid and romesco

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Panna cotta with vinegar and honey

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