suggestions for lunch after Metropolitan Museum
can anyone give a suggestion for a wonderful lunch after we visit the Metroplitan this week-someplace uptown.
Cafe Boulud is on 76th St., b/t 5th & Madison. 4-star Chef Daniel Boulud's second-tier restaurant has first-rate cuisine; service that is polished, yet cordial; and a relatively small dining space with attractive contemporary decor. In addition to the a la carte menu, they offer a 3-course lunch prix-fixe for $38, a bargain for food of that high quality. Lunch is served Mon.-Sat.
Cafe Sabarsky is in the Neue Galerie, on the corner of 5th Av. & 86th St. The Austrian cuisine is excellent; service is friendly and efficient; and the dining room, which was probably a drawing room or dining room when this mansion was a private residence, is quite beautiful. The booths offer the most comfortable seating.
If your feet aren't sore from a morning at the museum,
you can walk across the park to Barney Greengrass on
Amsterdam between 86th and 87th.
Hard to steer you away from Bouloud, but I really think Sabarsky is your best bet. One major caveat: you can't make a reservation unless you're a member of the Neue Gallerie, and the lines build up quickly after 12.30, or so.
Also, their door staff (in the cafe, not the museum) range from utterly delightful, via coldly Austrian (Viennese, hmm) to hilariously rude. If you get the right one, you'll be fine. If you get the wrong one, laugh. It's the only antidote.
Finally, the soups in Cafe Sabarsky are special.
re: Sean Dell
We arrived at Sabarsky just prior to 11 a.m., when they switch from breakfast service to lunch, and we had to wait on line for about 15 minutes before a table became available. (Actually, we were doing it as "brunch.") I guess we got lucky because the woman who seated us was very pleasant.
That said, considering the possible negatives you have pointed to, I would say Cafe Boulud is the better choice. They accept reservations, all the personnel are very pleasant, and unless one is specifically craving Austrian food, at CB, there is much to choose from because there are several different a la carte menus in addition to the bargain prix-fixe. Plus, there are the insanely delicious madeleines at the end of the meal. Worth going there just for them!!
The last time I tried to get into Cafe Sabarsky on a weekday at about 12 noon, there was a line outside to get into the Museum and into the Cafe (one line for both) and there was a wait. I was told that when I got into the building, there was a 30 minute wait to get into the Cafe. I believe there is a smaller cafe a floor below too, but since there was no way of knowing exactly when I would get in and the gentleman at the door of the Museum just did not seem to care to be more precise in giving information, I just left. A few years ago it seemed much easier to get into the Cafe. I guess this is what popularlity plus a snobbish attitude results in.
We were there during the Klimt exhibit. Although there was a long line outside, people going to Sabarsky before seeing the exhibit did not have wait on that line. There was a separate and, at that point, much, much shorter line, inside for the Cafe. After we ate, we went directly to the exhibit without having to wait on that outside line.