Where to go for Chef’s Table in NYC
Looking for a dining experience like no other? By booking a Chef’s Table at a quality restaurant, you get to enjoy star service and watch the chef at work. Appreciate the artistry of great cooking, enjoy an intimate setting with your dinner guests, and get access to dishes and tasting options not on the main menu – just some of what you can expect from a Chef’s Table.
Join Your VIP Pass as we run through some of New York City’s best Chef’s Table options.
What is a Chef’s Table?
Before we begin, let’s establish what you are likely to experience during a Chef’s Table experience.
Once upon a time, a Chef’s Table was something only to be enjoyed by those in the know. Unless you had a direct connection to a restauranteur or head chef, you were unlikely ever to hear about the practice. Today, Chef’s Tables are offered in major cities across the globe.
The original Chef’s Table simply consisted of a chef inviting family, friends, or associates into their kitchen for a personalized dining experience. However, with the international flourishing of foodie culture in recent years and a string of hit food-focused TV series (including – you guessed it – Chef’s Table), unique culinary experiences have become all the rage.
When you book a Chef’s Table, you can expect to be seated in a restaurant section that provides intimacy and is close to the chef at work. Sometimes the seating will be in the kitchen itself. At other times, it may be at a bar adjacent to an open kitchen or at a dedicated spot in the restaurant that allows for tailor-made service.
The food served at a Chef’s Table will often feature dishes not featured on the establishment’s standard menu. These events are designed to showcase the chef’s personality and particular specialties and often feature a range of plates ideal for sampling and sharing.
When done well, you can be assured of magnificent cuisine in a superior setting.
This cozy Italian has been a favorite among New Yorkers since 1994. Located on NoHo’s Bond Street, Il Buco offers a cozy atmosphere and classic Italian dishes built upon fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Rubbing shoulders with regular locals, you might get to spot the occasional celebrity as you dine in Il Buco. This atmospheric restaurant has been a trendy, dependable choice for longer than many businesses last. Alongside the delicious pasta, risotto, and servings of smoked meats and fish, you’ll be able to explore a rich list of Italian wines.
Il Buco’s Chef’s Table is in a semi-private dining area next to the kitchen. Accommodating up to 18 guests, the long, rustic table offers diners the chance to watch the artistry of Il Buco’s chef up close.
Chef’s Counter at Brooklyn Fare
Given that Chef’s Counter at Brooklyn Fare has been awarded no less than three Michelin stars, you can be sure you’re in for a night of unparalleled deliciousness when dining here! Established 13 years ago by head chef César Ramírez, the Downtown Brooklyn restaurant seats just 18 diners at any one time.
When eating at Chef’s Counter at Brooklyn Fare, you will find that the decision-making is swept out of your hands. Instead, the restaurant serves you a selection of Japanese dishes “all about the ingredients, the freshness, and always very simple.” As the plates come out, César Ramírez oversees everything, interacting with guests throughout the evening.
Of course, with a reputation for being among not just New York’s best restaurants but the entire world’s, dinner at Chef’s Counter at Brooklyn Fare can be costly. However, we’re sure it’s a Chef’s Table experience you’re unlikely to forget. Note that waiting times for a reservation can be up to six weeks.
Blanca NYC is another restaurant that places great importance on intimacy, with reservations accommodating a total of just 12 guests. The minimalist setting at Blanca allows for no distractions: this Chef’s Table is all about the tremendous food.
Guests will enjoy an expertly curated tasting menu that often involves around 20 individual dishes. Chef Carlo Mirarchi specializes in creations of simplistic beauty. Expect small, delicate dishes that are a feast for the eyes and pack worlds of flavor. Blanca does what all the best Chef’s Tables do: it takes you on a culinary journey.
Blanca currently holds two Michelin stars.
Worth St.’s Atera is all about honoring the “poetry of nature and creativity”. Atera is remarkable for what its Danish head chef Ronny Emborg calls sensory dining. The smells, tastes, and appearance of the dishes one is served here really capture something essential and in touch with its origins. The beauty of each perfectly prepared dish first lies in the careful sourcing and selection of its ingredients.
The menu is constantly evolving, but you can expect flavors deeply connected to the seasons and a series of plates that go together harmoniously. The entire team at Atera seems to be invested in Emborg’s vision, and the whole thing comes together wonderfully.
Atera’s main dining room features a chef’s counter looking into the open kitchen and a high-top table adjacent to the counter. The Library room offers even more intimacy, seating groups of up to eight.
The world’s first Shabu-shabu Omakase restaurant! Shabu-shabu is a type of Japanese hotpot where fresh vegetables and meat are boiled and served with a range of dipping sauces – the name is onomatopoeic, inspired by the swishing sound produced as ingredients are stirred in the pot. Omakase, meanwhile, means “I’ll leave it up to you” and often refers to restaurants and eateries where the diners entrust the chef to select their dishes for them.
Shabushabu Macoron is staffed by an entirely female team led by head chef Mako Okano. As you sit and joyfully receive dish after dish of delicious food, you’ll feel more like you’re in Mako Okano’s home rather than a restaurant. The steaming cauldrons cooking a colorful array of choice ingredients and the sight of a fantastic team working creatively and perfectly in synch make this a stand-out choice when going out for a Chef’s Table.
This brings a close to our list of just some of the best places to go for a Chef’s Table in New York City. We hope we’ve left you feeling inspired.