If it needed confirmation, tomorrow's -New York Times- magazine spoils Sifton's final restaurant review:
I realise we answer these questions every day on Chowhound, but I thought it might be fun (and helpful?) for punters to answer these questions themselves. Let's try to limit ourselves to the establishment name and a one sentence/phrase argument.
1. In Which to Eat Alone? ... Balthazar. Brasserie / bistro fare is my comfort food, and a man alone in the big city sometimes requires comforting.
2. To Have a Drink at the Bar? ... Maialino has a good selection of wines by the glass, the half-glass, and the quartino (flexibility is key), as well as interesting happy-hour snacks.
3. To Take My Parents for Their 50th Wedding Anniversary? ... Eleven Madison Park. Not quite 50th, but I plan to take my parents for their anniversary this autumn.
4. For Blowing the Mind of an Out-of-Town Guest? ... If they are from culinary suburbia, perhaps Momofuku Ssam Bar. If from socioeconomic suburbia, Red Rooster in Harlem.
5. Place Where I Can Be Discreet? ... A restaurant with private rooms!
6. For Vegetarians? ... There are people who eat only vegetables?
7. That's Not Actually in New York City? ... Not sure I understand this question or Sifton's answer, but I think l'Ambroisie the most beautiful restaurant in Paris. I'd quite like to visit Michel Bras.
8. Best Restaurant in New York? Period? ... Per Se for the technical accomplishment of their cuisine... but in my heart: Eleven Madison Park.
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019
Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010
Momofuku Ssam Bar
207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010
310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027