Molecular gastronomy—also commonly referred to as modernist cuisine—is arguably at its peak in terms of popularity. Incorporating scientifically savvy cooking techniques like liquid nitrogen flash freezing, syringe infusions, and carbon dioxide foams, many of the city’s finest chefs are creating innovative, mouthwatering menus unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. New York is home to some of the most groundbreaking (and more importantly delicious) restaurants in the country, heralded by critics far and wide.
Not sure where to start? Here are our picks for the 7 best molecular gastronomy hotspots in NYC. We guarantee you’ll never look at food the same way again.
(77 Worth St, TriBeCa)
With two Michelin stars under their belt, Tribeca’s Atera is an experience like no other. Chef Matt Lightner’s wealth of experience at some of the finest restaurants in the world (Noma, Mugaritz) creates an elegant tasting menu utilizing some of the most advanced culinary techniques imaginable. At $150 for the tasting menu, it’s certainly not cheap, but it’s one of the best, most exciting meals you’ll find in New York.
(239 E 5th St, East Village)
Degustation in the East Village is essentially a tapas-style restaurant with a focus on whimsical small plates. The restaurant takes an ingredient-centric approach, weaving bold, standout flavors between dishes that span a global influence, offering a seven-course tasting menu for $85. Expect “culinary foam” and lots of it!
3. Perry St.
(176 Perry St, West Village)
New York is no stranger to restaurants that expertly fuse unexpected combinations of cuisines, and Perry St. is a fine example. Blending both Southeast Asian and French influences, the food at Perry St. is decidedly unique, and the plating is nothing short of eye-catching. “New American” is a label some may put on Perry St., with a strong leaning towards the principles of molecular gastronomy.
(135 W 42nd St, Theater District)
The gorgeous, elegant dining room at Aureole perfectly frames the equally attractive plates that make their way to the table. Molecular gastronomy is often used to enhance and highlight flavors, and Aureole is an example of how it can also contribute to visual appeal. A fun, incredibly composed menu sets the stage for one of the most unique and varied dining experiences the city has to offer.
(11 Madison Ave, Flatiron)
Not much can be said about Eleven Madison Park that hasn’t been mentioned before by the world’s greatest chefs and food writers. Daniel Humm’s art deco space is a playground for the imagination, both within the kitchen and at the table. It’s one of the most expensive meals in the city, but its reputation exists for good reason. For special occasions, the tasting menu at Eleven Madison Park simply cannot be topped.
(1504 Lexington Ave, East Harlem)
For those who are interested in playful dishes like asparagus ice cream and foie gras fluffernutter, look no further than East Harlem’s ABV. The menu offers something for anyone, no matter how adventurous or restrained their tastes may be. Plus, there are so many different tricks going on in the kitchen, it’s worth a visit alone to see what this talented team comes up with.
(41 W 57th St, Midtown West)
There are restaurants in NYC that claim to be innovative, and then there are those which actually follow through. Betony finds itself squarely in the latter category, with each dish shattering the notions of how many people think of food and dining. Expect plays on old classics, with plenty of molecular gastronomy techniques employed. If you’re in Midtown, Betony is a solid option for a mind-expanding meal.
[Featured Image: Atera]