How about a high-end restaurant where you can have a moderately priced meal? Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's is certainly an elegantly appointed space with superior service, urbane touches like amuses bouches, mignardises and even a pretty little package of cookies to take home; but if you bring your own wine (because there is no corkage fee) and if you limit your ordering to the extensive small-plate and first-course menus, you can have a very nice dinner indeed for a very decent price.
As you enter across the dramatic glass bridge, you're confronted with a three-story wall of wine bottles and a stack of giant wine casks off to the side. The large dining room with its lofty ceiling and sleek clean lines is accented by contemporary chandeliers and tall transparent panels adorned with images of leafless trees — altogether handsome, but not at all stuffy.
Nibbling on our amuse bouche, a tiny deconstructed version of bagels and lox with a few snippets of smoked salmon and a crouton in a soupçon of thick cream, we tried to decide which tempting small plate to choose. We narrowed it down to the mussels, the duck meatballs and the truffled fried egg. Finding it too difficult to select one, we ordered them all.