Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare

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91 Excellent

Gastronauts are flocking to César Ramirez’s latest tasting room, located in Manhattan, this time, in the back of a Hell’s Kitchen grocery.

431 W. 37th St., New York, NY, 11201


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The lowdown

Just as it was at the original fabled Brooklyn location, the kitchen is the central stage at César Ramirez’s new Manhattan tasting table, which opened a few years back in the back of random grocery store in Hell’s Kitchen. This is a much larger, more commodious stage, however, and the famously austere Ramirez seems to have mellowed over the years. If you’re someone who spends too much time crouched in the latest trendy bar restaurants around town, it’s a pleasure to watch the chef and his crack staff turn out a 20th-century-style gourmet dinner (you’ll find barely cooked lobster on the menu, truffles upon truffles, A5-grade beef flown in from Japan) with a kind of practiced, even balletlike grace. Is this elaborate show worth the reservations hassle, the extreme prices ($395 and counting), and the possible indignity of arriving at the back of some random Hell’s Kitchen grocery store only to be presented with an ill-fitting loaner jacket? As a vocal critic of the pretentious tasting rooms and omakase-style dinners that have overrun the upper echelons of the city’s fine-dining scene lately, it pains us to admit that, if you avoid the inevitable barrage of trophy wines and limit yourself to one visit, say, every year or so, the answer to the question is a hearty “yes.”

Adam Platt

What you need to know

DrinksBeer and Wine

Noise LevelCivilized