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On my most recent extended (3 month) visit to New York, I have begun to notice a decline in quality of many of the top dining establishments, namely: Per Se, Jean-Georges, Daniel, and Le Bernardin. (only EMP continues to dazzle)
Per Se is one of my favorite restaurants in the country, but sadly my meal there ~3 months ago was rather staid and unexciting. There were a few delightful dishes (Oysters and Pearls, Lobster), but the desserts, fish course, and beef/rabbit were very pedestrian. Nothing was bad, and service was excellent, but I was not as impressed as I thought it would be. Very expensive also, all said and done (with supplements) about twice the price of EMP. (7/10 meal)
Daniel was another disappointment, the menu barely changed at all from my last visit, and execution was of slightly lower quality. Some of the dishes had too many things going on and the beef dish was not as heavenly as I had recalled. Again, nothing was terrible and service was commendable but not impressed. (6.5/10)
The biggest disappointment of all was Jean-Georges. The signature tasting menu hadn't changed at all in 8 years, and some of the dishes really needed work. Scallops just tasted off, and desserts were all over the place. The squab was overseasoned and overcooked as well. Service was curt but efficient. (5/10)
I think Eleven Madison Park is the leader of a new generation of restaurants that will eventually come and overtake these restuaurnts which are getting tired.