Throughout its colorful history, New York has been home to the influential and entertained the rich and powerful, and the city's preeminent Haute Cuisine restaurants have played an elementary role in defining high society of the day. Today, New York is still home to some of the world's most renowned, fashionable and exclusive dining establishments. The Four Seasons, for instance, is globally acclaimed, and presents an infinitely diverse epicurean scene that perfectly personifies New York's multiplicity, inimitable energy and diverse cultural influences.
New York's dining scene is a deliciously complex extravaganza offering something to satisfy even the most obscure gastronomic desires. This delightful study in contrasts presents everything from the ultimate in sophisticated French cuisine and scores of neighborhood hangouts to countless hidden culinary treasures. New York's vast food landscape is also home to an abundance of fusion foods which blend modern French technique with just about every flavor sensation and blend of cuisines imaginable.
Kalustyan's Masala Cafe is a fine example of the gourmet fusion fare on offer, presenting Chef Geetika Khanna's delectable Indian-inspired dishes with a definitive French elan, and serving as a showcase for the delightful range of ingredients available at Kalustyan's famed market.
New York offers exemplary fine dining, with exclusive, sometimes exorbitantly expensive eateries catering to the ‘see-and-be-seen' set and offering great opportunities for ‘Star Spotting.' In fact, a number of New York restaurants have celebrity names behind them and attract their share of paparazzi-luring patrons.
Tribeca Grill, owned by Oscar-winning actor Robert DeNiro in partnership with noted restaurateur Drew Nieporent, is a New York City restaurant landmark and famed more for its exceptional food than for the celebrity connection. Reputed to be a popular dining spot for a number of famous names, "The Grill" is an upscale social gathering place which hosts benefit events and movie premieres and boasts a delightful menu offering a selection of grilled and sauteed dishes with inventive cross-cultural influences.
The quintessential New York dining experience is, however, perhaps best encountered through the wealth of small ethnic eateries spread throughout the city that offer a rich diversity of cuisines from authentic Romanian fare, Hungarian goulash or traditional Korean right through to authentic flavors of Tibet.
Some of New York City's most exquisite – and affordable – cuisine is often found in the most unlikely places. Small, undiscovered ‘BYOB' restaurants often lack the swanky decor of the more exclusive dining spots, but with delightfully refreshing food that remains true to culinary traditions and is far more flavorful than the fare on offer at more popular venues, which is frequently watered-down for wider appeal to Westernized palates.
Funky Nassau, located on East 7th Street, is small, low-key BYOB venue that typifies New York's undiscovered gastronomic paradise, presenting a tantalizing – though limited - eclectic menu with a hint of international flair, meticulously prepared from organic ingredients.
Cafe culture – along with Sunday brunch – has become a New York tradition, with an astounding array of cafes and bakeries in every neighborhood that span the full scope of the city's vast cultural diversity. Italian, French, Jewish and American cafes are dotted throughout this immense asphalt jungle, offering coffees, pastries, light snacks and lunches. Traditional Jewish cooking has had a remarkable influence on New York's casual dining scene. So much so that Jewish specialties such as bagels, cream cheese and lox have come to symbolize classic New York fare.
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