I'll be visiting New York for the first time at the end of the month and am very excited about the food possibilities. I'm a big Food Network fan (esp. Top Chef and Iron Chef) and would really like to have the experience of tasting the type of food I've seen prepared on TV. I almost never eat out, and never at upscale places but I do a lot of cooking at home. Homemade bread won't impress me but sous-vide would be a total novelty.
The catch is I'll be travelling with my mom* and she has said that she thinks all this fancy food is a waste of time and money (my dad also likes these shows and has a tendency to do both because of it).
How can I get a taste of this type of cuisine in a way that will be inexpensive and worth it?
I'm willing to pay up to $100 total for both of us including tax and tip. The obvious thing is to go in and order an appetizer and a glass of water, but that seems kind of rude. Is there any way I can get this experience without being disrespectful?
*so that you don't get the wrong idea, I'm 26 and we live on opposite sides of the country