I am cautious to say this cause I may sound too senile (sweat), but when I was living in NYC, which is about 25 years ago, there was no Jean Georges, no Per Se, no Bernardin, no Daniel, no Nobu. :)
Rather, there were Lutece (closed, I heard?), La Grenouille (seems it's still in business), Hatsuhana (once called the best sushi restaurant in NY), Four Seasons (I can see it's still in business), and Windows on the Worlds (gone with the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks)
Best hotels also used to be the Palace (used to be called the 'Helmsley Palace'), the Plaza, Waldorf Astoria, United Nations Plaza Hotel (it was operated by Hyatt International. Now the hotel seems to be run by some other group?), Pierre, ST. Regis, Algonquin, etc. There was no W Hotel, no Peninsula or Mandarin, no Four Seasons, no Trump Hotel (There was Trump Tower though.)..
What do you think about these restaurants or hotels now?
Just curious... :)