If your rendezvous is an intimate one, Kai (Japanese for “gathering”) is a good place for it. The minimal, bamboo-accented design makes the tight quarters bearable; a hushed atmosphere allows for quiet conversation and concentration on the food. Delicate Japanese fare—mushroom ohitashi simmered in dashi broth and served with bonito flakes, or gorgeously marbled Wagyu—is artfully presented on slate slabs. Expect a palate-titillating experience, if not a filling one: Tidy portions mean you may need to splurge on several courses.
822 Madison Ave
|Cross street:||between 68th and 69th Sts|
|Opening hours:||Tue–Sat noon–3pm, 6–9:30pm|
|Transport:||Subway: 6 to 68th St–Hunter College|
|Price:||Omakase: $150–$200. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|