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5 Best Bang for the Buck


The nine-course tasting menu costs $105, a relatively meager sum for a taste of pickled beef tongue with fried mayonnaise, hanger steak with béarnaise ice cream, turbot in a saffron coffee sauce, and a delicate butternut sorbet for dessert.

Fleur De Sel
Your $25 at lunchtime buys chestnut-and-white-truffle ravioli, a taste of Long Island duck breast, and dessert. This is one haute cuisine French restaurant where you don’t feel like you’re throwing your money down a rat hole.

A plate of garganelli with a superior bolognese sauce costs $15 at this little place. That’s about what you pay for a middling glass of Barolo at Babbo.

Tía Pol
On a recent visit to this excellent Chelsea tapas bar, $30 purchased a mini-feast of tuna croquettes, crunchy Catalan cod salad, a pork sandwich with red peppers, plus a glass of Basque wine.

Momofuku Noddle Bar
The entire menu at this diminutive noodle-and-dumpling bar in the East Village, co-owned by David Chang (pictured), costs as much as one dinner at Ducasse. Ask the chefs who congregate there, and they’ll tell you it’s twice as good.


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