You haven't lived until you've had the fine dining experience.
New ageism is all about living in the moment, enjoying each second and being grateful for every little thing. The fine dining experience is all about that for the foodie.
For some it may be intimidating, what with these places all requiring a jacket for men and nice shoes, but it's so worth it. The décor of these places is always grand, and you'll be thankful for that suit and tie. Also, celeb sightings? You'll be glad you're in your Sunday best when Adriana Lima and David Beckham stroll through Per Se, and even wave as you gawk at them.
The $150-$500 pp you'd spend really is worth it. In my mind, it's like telling the universe, "Yes, the effort, energy, and expertise all these people put in to make my experience wonderful is worth it. Thank you."
Imagine having a server dedicated to you and only you for the night, the way they do at Per Se. Or what about the time the servers spend integrating card tricks and magic shows into the dessert courses at Eleven Madison Park? Or how with a simple request, Chef Eric Ripert signs a copy of the night's menu for you to take home from Le Bernardin? (I'm still amazed that I saw him and have his signature!)
Have you ever had five kinds of butter, salted, unsalted, from France, from England, from who knows where else, just for your side bread? Or six kinds of salt to sprinkle on top of said bread? (which can also be sourdough, pumpernickel, baguette, apple flavored, etc.) Per Se does that.
What about the playfulness of the servers, making you feel at ease even in the third best restaurant in the world, Eleven Madison Park? Or the helpfulness of the sommeliers, making you feel as if you knew which wines went with which courses all along? The sheer brilliance in incorporating local ingredients, such as apple brandy from the Big Apple itself? Each of EMP's ten courses (not including the amuse bouche and take home goodies) is perfection. I'm such an obvious fan of this place.
Then there's the creativity and simply the love of cooking portrayed in these dishes. I brought my mother to Le Bernardin, and she said she could really feel the message the chef wanted to convey in each course. When they want you to taste the calamansi, you'll taste the calamansi. When they want to bring out certain textures of the scallop, they do that perfectly too. I will never forget the lobster lasagna with black truffle sauce. Never.
The fine dining experience really is the epitome for food lovers. I love street food, home cooked meals, and all of that. But to really be able to take your time, to enjoy the perfectly cooked and perfectly balanced courses, the fine dining experience is singular.