The Skybox at Daniel. (Photo credit: Mark Peterson)
For a Foodie Fantasy
Skybox at DANIEL
60 E. 65th St.
The only thing more tantalizing than being on the receiving end of Daniel Boulud’s gastronomic wizardry is the voyeuristic thrill of spying on his spotless, state-of-the-art kitchen—a privilege afforded any chef-obsessed foursome who rents out the Skybox, an intimate glass-enclosed dining salon suspended above the action. Do tempers flare? Do soufflés fall? For the food-obsessed, this is the ultimate reality show, almost compelling enough to compete with dishes like ginger-almond-crusted Scottish langoustines with bacon and English peas, and pea-shoot emulsion on the eight-course tasting menu.
For a Charity Luncheon
9 W. 53rd St.
It’s a match made in philanthropic heaven: renowned art, refined food, and an exhilarating view of New York’s most famous sculpture garden. The Modern, with its 64-seat private dining room, is the logical choice for the society crowd, good-deeding it in the name of art, culture, and assorted other causes. Chef Gabriel Kreuther is there to make sure that every peckish patron gets his money’s worth, with sophisticated dishes like chorizo-crusted Chatham cod with white-coco-bean purée and harissa oil.
Lunch in the 64-seat room, from $2,000; dinner, from $5,000. Lunch in the 32-seat rooms, from $1,000; dinner, from $2,500.
To Celebrate a Deal
106 E. 57th St.
Everyone knows, any good merger or corporate coup deserves to be sanctified by steak, and lots of it. But who says a gang of Wall Street warriors can’t bond over silky sautéed Dover sole, or one of New York’s most sumptuous tuna tartares? BLT Steak is a fine French-American restaurant first, haute steakhouse second, which makes its eighteen-seat private dining room a great destination for the post-deal dinner. At times like this, a deft sommelier and deep wine list come in handy. BLT’s got both.
Lunch, from $1,000. Dinner, from $1,500.
For a Rehearsal Dinner
The Wine Cellar at OCEANA
55 E. 54th St.
The moment you’ve all been waiting for—Mom, meet Stepmom. Dad, remember Mom? The best-meaning relatives can exacerbate pre-wedding jitters, which, in an ideal world, will dissipate before the big day. There’s no more soothing, sophisticated setting than Oceana’s 24-seat wine cellar to calm nerves and celebrate the happy couple, who probably won’t eat again until they’re on their honeymoon. Chef Cornelius Gallagher, an inspired seafood specialist, will make this meal one to remember.
Lunch, from $800; dinner, from $1,500, plus wines.
For a Raging Party
The Pool Lounge at HIGHLINE
835 Washington St.
You and 79 of your nearest and dearest want to go someplace hip, trendy, and happening. Highline fits the bill. Rent out the Pool Lounge, a trippy subterranean space decked out with bubble chairs and a diving-board bar, and snack on Thai appetizers like foie gras soup fritters. Beware: No lifeguard on duty.
Room rental for 25 to 80 guests, from $500.
Food cost: from $50 per head, plus drinks.