I'll be passing through NYC for 24 hours in late December (the 23rd, so I imagine some restaurants may be closed that day). The next day I'll be flying out to Israel.
In any case, I have plans to spend my day with a friend from college, whose apartment I'll also be crashing at.
Being that I live in a city with a particularly depressing food scene, I want to make the most of my very brief time in NYC and fit in an excellent lunch and dinner, possibly a good breakfast the next day.
My natural impulse, at least for one meal, would be for tasting menus. The thing is, my friend isn't nearly as into food as I am. He'd go along and order a la carte at a place with a tasting menu while I ordered a tasting menu, but I don't think I could convince him to actually go for a full tasting menu anywhere. Naturally I realize this rules out some of the places I'd absolutely love to go, like Eleven Madison Park or Per Se (assuming I could even muster a reservation for either), and I'm fine with that.
But my problem is that it seems every place I find with both tasting and a la carte options require that the whole table do the tasting menu if anybody at the table wants it.
Are there any worthwhile exceptions? Manhattan preferred, but Brooklyn, Bronx, or Queens are fine.