The incredible thing about living in New York is that you can have both a $2 bagelwich and a $200 seafood tower in the same day, and they will somehow be equally satisfying. But luxury is about more than just primal gluttony; it's about ambiance, attention to detail, and that feeling of "damn, I'm special right now." It's why having your parents come to town and take you out to dinner is one of the greatest glories of adult life, and it's how to prove to bae that they're more than just a side chick (or dude). Sometimes, it's worth the extra dough for an extraordinary dining experience.
When your wallet is making you itchy and you're just dying to luxuriate, New York is the world-class city that will make your gustatory dreams come true. Pop over to the MUNCHIES Guide to New York for our full list of top-tier restaurants in the Big Apple.
Sometimes you've got to grow up and swap out your scuffed Vans and vape pen for a fancier world. But don't worry; they'll be waiting for you when you get back.
Del Posto: One of New York's most prestigious Italian restaurants, Del Posto occupies one corner of the old National Biscuit Company building on Manhattan's West Side. It's the place where Italian cuisine is elegantly and playfully delivered on the same level as fancy French cuisine, the dinner experience that would even make Berlusconi blush. Co-owned by restaurateur/vintner Joe Bastianich, his mother Lidia Bastianich, head chef Mark Ladner, and Mario Batali, the fare at Del Posto reflects Batali's long-standing advocacy of Italian cuisine at any cost. Go for the five-course tasting menu, or live like Paris is burning and opt for the eight-course menu. Don't miss the desserts, either.
Peter Luger: Maybe it's because it's cash only. Maybe it's because there's no surf-and-turf bullshit here. The sides aren't bad either. Whatever the case, this is where you will experience the greatestdry-aged, mouthwatering steaks anywhere in Brooklyn. And if you can't handle an entire steak for two, the burger is equally worth the hour-plus waitlist. Just don't forget the onion rings.
Marea: If you look up the definition of"fancy" in the dictionary, you might find a pile of shaved white truffles. You'll also find those (almost) priceless little fungi on this beautiful bowl of pasta from Marea. Maestro Michael White's Central Park South temple to fresh seafood and homemade pasta serves some of the best of both in the city. Live like Action Bronson and enjoy "one of the most extravagant meals of your life" by ordering the crudo and all of the pasta—especially the homemade fusilli, which is so delicious, it makes Action want to "slap the shit out of someone's father." Or you could live like the real heathen that you are and order the 50-day, dry-aged steak that's served with a side of bone marrow bread pudding. Yes, bone marrow bread pudding.
Lincoln Ristorante: This Italian behemoth at Lincoln Center is one of New York's glitziest restaurants, the kind of place you'd go to celebrate a special occasion when you are also craving killer pasta. The massive open kitchen lends dinner a sense of theater while the food is classic high-end fine dining Italian, the kind of cuisine that doesn't get as much attention these days as New York falls back in love with old-school red sauce restaurants.
1 Or 8: Melt-in-your-mouth wagyu and fatty toro are the name of the game at this serene and sophisticated Japanese restaurant in Brooklyn. One of the more upscale sushi places in the neighborhood, 1 or 8 is our choice for special occasion omakase—chef's choice—in Williamsburg. It's not cheap, but worth every penny.
For our full list of recommendations of restaurants worth the big bucks, check out the MUNCHIES Guide to New York.