Eric Finkelstein, 34, embarked on a gut-busting mission to eat at 18 of the acclaimed eateries within a 24-hour period back in October.
It took the healthcare IT consultant 14 months to plan his eccentric feat, not least because he had to secure bookings at so many of the city’s finest establishments.
“The planning was more than half the challenge, just to get restaurants to agree to do it and then finding a logical route that worked,” he told CNN in a telephone interview Tuesday.
The idea, which last month was officially recognized by Guinness World Records (GWR), came to him during the pandemic, when he moved out of the city.
The dish called “Everything Brioche” at Red Paper Clip was one of his favorites.
After temporarily moving back in 2021, Finkelstein compiled a list of top spots he planned to eat at. He also joined an online food group, which is where he first heard about the challenge.
Having two other world records under his belt — both related to table tennis, a sport he formerly competed in — his interest was immediately sparked.
“I loved the idea,” he told GWR. “It combined my loves of eating interesting food, working towards a checklist, and working towards something.”
Completing the challenge
Finkelstein initially contacted more than 80 restaurants, but only heard back from 10. Unfortunately, four of those lost their star when the Michelin Guide announced its 2022 picks — just 20 days before his official attempt.
He frantically contacted other restaurants and luckily managed to secure enough reservations for his official attempt on October 26.
The day began with a $36 grilled avocado salad at Le Pavillon in Midtown. That was followed by caviar, blini and crème fraiche for $25 at Caviar Russe.
Other highlights included grilled scallops dressed with grapefruit and chrysanthemum at Tuome; a $15 bowl of lingonberries at Aquavit; a $24 steak tartare at Oiji Mi; and oysters for $26 at The Modern.
His final mouthful was at Noda where he sampled a uni- (sea urchin) and caviar-topped chawanmushi.
The overall bill came to $494, excluding tax and tips. The Michelin-starred binge amounted to around 5,000 calories, Finkelstein estimated, and was completed in 11 hours.
The rules meant that Finkelstein could only walk or travel by public transport between the restaurants.
He told CNN his nickname growing up was…