There are plenty of places to grab a bite in New York City. But for a special occasion or a private dining experience, not just any place will do.
We asked the restaurant pros at The Infatuation to compile some of the best private dining rooms and chefs’ tables in the city.
You’ll definitely want to consider these spots the next time you’re charged with planning a birthday dinner or client lunch.
Located in a garage in the West Village, Barbuto offers both a private dining room and a chef's table in the kitchen, where guests can watch their 3- or 4-course meals prepared before their eyes.
The seasonal menu changes often, but it's always top-notch Italian cuisine.
At Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, the whole restaurant is a chef's counter. It seats 18, and is connected to the Brooklyn Fare market. Meals, according to our friends at Infatuation, are just shy of TWENTY courses, including multiple amuse-bouches, four entrees, and two desserts.
Of course, at $US255 a person (excluding beverages), you need to have a fat wallet or fat expense account to pick up the tab at this Michelin three-star restaurant.
94 E. 7th St., Manhattan
Kyo Ya isn't just any Japanese restaurant -- it's an underground culinary mecca for those in the know, specializing in kaiseke meals (served during traditional tea ceremonies). Tasting menus range from $US95-$US150, but you can also choose to order à la carte.
The best spot in the house is the 'amazing share table' in the middle of the restaurant, according to the Infatuation's Andrew Steinthal.
Not your Nonna's Italian restaurant, Hearth serves award-winning farm-to-table cuisine. Also in the East Village, Hearth's private dining room holds up to 28 people and offers 3, 4, or 5 course menus. There's also a small chef's table, for those interested in a more intimate dining experience.
Chef Marco Canora has made waves recently by selling gourmet 'bone broth' out of a window next to the restaurant, so you may want to pick up a cup before you head in.
L'Artusi is another Italian favourite, and in the words of The Infatuation's Chris Stang, 'It's the kind of Italian cooking that's not afraid to go heavy on big flavours like garlic, lemon, olives, chiles, and fat to win your favour.'
They also boast an extensive wine list and a special cheese menu.
Private dining options include a wine room dinner for 16, a full mezzanine dinner for up to 55 guests, a Sunday brunch option, or a full restaurant buyout (for up to 120) guests). On a Friday or Saturday, that last option will cost you $US30,000.
Bar Bolonat is an Israeli restaurant with modern Mediterranean food. Head chef Einat Admony started her NYC career with a falafel joint in the West Village called Taïm. Now she owns and runs Balaboosta in Nolita and both Taïm restaurants.
Bar Bolonat is the newest addition -- it opened in March 2014. The private dining room downstairs seats 20 people.
The Infatuation gives Charlie Bird a 10/10 for both service and wine. The restaurant itself is informal and relaxed, but the staff are 'five-star.'
The food is American with some Italian influence. One specialty is their oysters -- fresh and, according to The Infatuation, 'perfectly shucked.'
Private dining is available for up to 14 people, or you can rent the entire restaurant out for special events.
il Buco started out as an antique store in the '90s and still has an authentic 'rustic country vibe,' according to The Infatuation's Andrew Steinthal.
The 18-person chef's table is described on il Buco's website as 'a cozy, semi-private dining nook at the back of the restaurant opposite the kitchen.'
But the REAL private dining experience is downstairs in the wine cellar: legend has it that Edgar Allan Poe used to visit, and was inspired by the 200-year-old wine cellar for his story 'The Cask of Amontillado.'
The Breslin specialises in large-format dining, with several private dining options, including a mezzanine for 25-35, a 'boardroom' for 25, a loft for 20, and the chef's table, for 8-12 people.
At the chef's table, groups can choose between roasted duck, prime rib, curry, or, *drumroll* a whole roasted suckling pig.
At Momofoku Noodle Bar, you dine at the same tables as everyone else, but the private treat is their large-format fried chicken meal, which you need to reserve in advance.
The same goes at Ssäm Bar with their bo ssäm, rotisserie duck, and ribeye dinners.
At $US125 for 4-8 people, the fried chicken meal includes two whole fried chickens (one southern style, one Korean style), mu shu pancakes, and a bunch of veggies.
The bo ssäm meal costs $US225 per table and includes pork shoulder (cured overnight and slow roasted 6-8 hours), 12 oysters, Korean kimchi and barbecue sauce, and bibb lettuce for wrap-making.
Check out Momofuku's website for dinner slots and the best times to call to make reservations.
Like The Breslin, this bar is also run by The Spotted Pig's Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield, but this one is a seafood joint.
It's also not their first fish foray. Their first attempt, called simply 'The John Dory,' shut down after mediocre reviews, according to The Infatuation.
But the new John Dory, the oyster bar version, is a heck of a lot better. The menu includes a raw bar and seafood small plates.
A chef's table can be set up in the kitchen or the main dining room and seats 8-10 people.