Welcome to Ask Eater, a column from Eater New York where the site’s editors, reporters, and critics answer specific or baffling restaurant requests from readers and friends. Have a question for us? Submit your question in this form.
I’m looking for a place to take my mom for her 60th birthday present. She’s an incredibly keen and fantastic cook (British/European) but has never had a high-end tasting menu. I would love somewhere where she can see or tour the kitchen. The max budget for the two of us is $1000, but I would prefer under $700 if possible (all in). She would lean more toward European than Asian flavors, but I’m not ruling anything out other than sushi.
Help for Special Mom’s Night Out
Dear Good Offspring,
How kind you are to take your mother out for such a generous night out on the town! Now if your only ask was great food, I’d say check out Le Bernardin, the subject of my recent four-star review. But since you want some kitchen action, I’d prefer to recommend a venue where the sensory wonders of cooking — grilling, steaming, slicing, and saucing — are on full display.
The Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare gives you a stunning counter view into the kitchen of Cesar Ramirez, but the French-Japanese fare will set you back about $800 for two (before wine). For a slightly lower cost, try going for Blanca in Bushwick, the sedate and intimate sister spot to the sprawling and shouty Roberta’s. Reservations can be tough to come by, though the price is very fair, at just $198 per person, plus pairings at $98. In return for that sum, diners get a front row seat to all the smoke and sizzle of a working kitchen, and a long tasting menu whose influences can range from Italian to French to American to Japanese. A signature dish is the ‘nduja raviolo, a single bite of pasta filled with an explosion of spicy Calabrian spreadable sausage. With pairings, tax, and tip, your meal should run $763.
And for a little bonus treat, you can pick up a nice pizza or two to go at Roberta’s takeout afterwards, where you can watch all the fiery baking from just a few feet away.