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Aug 16, 2006 01:59 PM

Fancy Solo Lunch

I'm taking a few days off during the week, and wanted to hit some
nice restaurants for lunch. Possibly Jean Georges for the prix fixe I keep hearing about and haven't figured out the other places yet.
Are fancy places like Jean Georges friendly to solo diners? or do you think I should go to more laid-back environments? (if so, any recommendations?)

Any feedback is appreciated!



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  1. I don't think you should let the fact that you are dining solo stop you from going to upscale places. We haven't managed to get to Jean Georges yet, but I very much want to try that lunch prix-fixe, so it's near the top of my "go to" list.

    My recommendations would be Eleven Madison Park and Fleur de Sel. Both have delicious food, but when it comes to ambiance, they are very different: EMP's space is huge and gorgeous, while Fleur de Sel is small with sophisticated contemporary decor. Also, EMP offers bar dining though I think lunch in the main dining area would offer a more elegant experience.

    If you are looking to economize, EMP's 3-course lunch is $32, and Fleur de Sel has 3 courses for $25 and 4 courses for $42.

    Enjoy your days off and your lunches. Bon Appetit!

    1. Thanks RGR for all that great advice! I wasn't sure if I was going to get attitude (even from the best of service places) for dining alone during lunch.

      I will also definetly look into Eleven Madison and Fleur de Sel. I've seen the names all over the boards, so have been thinking of going sometime soon. I wouldn't have thought of Eleven Madison or Fleur myself! Thanks again for all that great advice!

      2 Replies
      1. re: virtualfrolic

        Hey, virtualfrolic, We have been to EMP many times, including twice (dinner and lunch) since Chef Humm arrived. Exquisite cuisine! And there is never any attitude, just the perfect service Danny Meyer is known for. We have also dined often at Fleur de Sel, including many lunches. Servers are uniformly pleasant, though they tend to be on the reserved side, and I would be shocked if you encountered any attitude. So, don't worry. Just go and look forward to some mighty fine dining.

        1. re: RGR

          Thanks again for all that great advice! I think I'm leaning towards EMP!

      2. I went to Jean Georges for the prix fixe lunch. The service is gorgeous but I didn't think the food was mind boggling. Don't get me wrong it was all very good-a creamy butternut squash soup, a light lemon saumon and fruit cake parfait with vanilla ice cream-but the flavors were all predictable. Don't go if you are expecting the greatness of their dinners.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chocolate pants

          Well if I do go, I'll make sure that I go back at some point for dinner to compare. It's good to know that you found the lunch to lack the greatness of the dinners.

        2. I have most recently enjoyed solo lunches or dinners at Sushi Yasuda and Le Bernardin. Have also entertained myself on numerous occasions at Eleven Madison, A Voce, and Veritas (actually Veritas only at dinner, don't know if they do lunch). Other favorite places to enjoy a leisurely lunch that are less grand but can feel just as decadent are Pearl Oyster Bar & Aburiya Kinnosuke. And i intend no disparagement to my companions when I remark that I have regarded solo diners at Aquavit with mild envy.

          3 Replies
          1. re: dbird

            Veritas, one of my favorites, does not serve lunch. :-(

            1. re: dbird

              How was Le Bernadin for lunch? That's also one of the places I'd like to try at some point!

              Also, great ideas for Pearl and Aburriya! I love Aburriya and that would be a great way to avoid the crowds and I've been meaning to try the lobster roll at Pearl!! Wow! All these ideas and I only have two days off!

              1. re: virtualfrolic

                Sorry to be late responding to your inquiry. Le Bernadin was quite an experience and if I can find the time I will post at greater length but the short story is that they handled a very peculiar challenge in the dining room well (as i would have expected) and the food was first rate. I had a late lunch at Pearl today myself and am reminded that this is the best time to be there. The afternoon and evening light on Cornelia is amazing this time of year and you can enjoy the glow and a relaxed pace if you pop in after say 1:30.