Bringing my dear friend for a visit, her first ever. She's been indirectly involved in the food scene in Boston and in Napa but is surely more chowhound than foodie. We're staying in the East Village, but will travel for the good stuff. I've got pretty good rec's for cheap eats, Chinatown, dim sum, but I haven't done fine dining in the city for a long while. I'd welcome recommendations on:
1). Your top choice(s) for prix fixe menus
2). Suggestions for a more high-end dinner that won't completely break the bank, preferably somewhere that doesn't follow every silly trend - just solid, fantastic food with limited (or at least restrained) pretense
3). Balthazar for breakfast or are there better french pastry options?
4). Is Artisanal worth it? Would you suggest somewhere else for a fabulous cheese course?
5). *Bonus Question: Your favorite one of a kind ethnic eats that surely cannot be found in Boston?