If it’s good enough for Entourage’s Ari Gold to close his deals here, then it qualifies as a power spot for us. But seriously, the Beverly Hills steakhouse is more than just a pretty setting for TV shows. The restaurant, dark and intimate downstairs, and more raucously old-school (complete with piano bar) upstairs, is a great place for a special-occasion dinner. Combine this with precise, yet warm service, excellent food (bone-in ribeye and lobster mashed potatoes anyone) and frequent celeb sightings and you have the makings for a great night out.
COST: About $100 per person plus drinks, tax, and tip.
The San Francisco institution, known for its made-to-order Caesar salads and brick oven roasted chicken with bread pudding, is one of the city’s go-to special occasion restaurants. Not because it’s a paragon of fine dining, though the food and service are very, very good. But the cozy, unpretentious space—try to score a first-come, first served bar table if you can’t snag a reservation—is the perfect venue to toast a new deal without feeling like you’re disturbing the table next to you…as everyone else seems to be celebrating something as well.
COST: Appetizers are $6.50 - $14.50; entrees are $25 - $48 plus drinks, tax, and tip.
Eric Ripert’s temple to seafood has been wowing diners since it opened in 1986, and it’s easy to see why: Gorgeous atmosphere, impeccable service and dishes that are as flavorful as they are beautiful—seared langoustine with shaved foie gras and tagliolini with caviar and sea urchin were featured on a recent tasting menu. But Le Bernardin (named after an order of monks that liked to eat, drink and be merry) isn’t so serene that you can’t celebrate properly: after a certain hour, the volume in the room goes considerably higher and the sophisticated patrons start to have more and more in common with the restaurant’s namesake.
COST: Tasting menus are $115 - $190 per person plus drinks, tax, and tip.
Yes, it’s been around awhile, and yes it may seem less edgy than some of its scrappier fine dining counterparts (if three-figure tasting menus can be considered scrappy). But Tetsuya Wakuda’s restaurant, housed in a lovely, art-filled building overlooking a Japanese rock garden, is the place for a celebratory meal Down Under. From the luscious truffle butter that accompanies the fresh-baked bread to their silky signature ocean trout confit to the artful desserts, a meal at Tetsuya is consistently luxurious, delicious—and if you opt for the wine/sake pairings—can be quite the party.
COST: $210 per person plus drinks, tax, and tip.
The city may be stubbornly casual, but foodies can still get their fine dining fix here. Chef David Bull’s set menus feature items like short rib ravioli with burrata, white lobster bisque and veal sliders (albeit sliders made with sweetbreads and black truffle jus). The restaurant’s elegant décor couldn’t be further from the town’s usual barbecue and Tex-Mex joints, but that doesn’t mean it’s stuffy: Bar manager Adam Bryan specializes in “implementation of pre-prohibition drink history into modern beverage menus.” Translation: a good time can definitely be had by all.
COST: Tasting menu is $75 - $115 plus drinks, tax, and tip.