Good place for lunch near Grand Central?
I love these boards... they have always been so helpful! I'm spending president's day weekend in Manhattan with my boyfriend for our anniverary. We will be staying at the Barclay Hotel on 111 East 48th Street. We will be leaving Monday afternoon and I was hoping to find a good, inexpensive lunch place in that area. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!!!
On a side note, if we had to pick 2 of the following for dinner on Sat and Sunday, which 2 would you suggest?
-Cacio e Pepe
-Knife and Fork
Alot of great lunch options near Grand Central. If you are looking for something nice and moderate, the suggestions above are good (although the Grand Central Terminal can be a little overpriced for what it is). If you are looking for something truly cheap (to save up for your expensive dinners) here's my recs:
Oms/b for Japanese Rice Balls (45 btw. Lex & 3rd)
Pampano Taqueria (in the food court below Pampano, which was recommended above)
Menchanko-Tei, awesome ramen (45th btw. Lex & 3rd)
you can see pics of all these places @ www.midtownlunch.com
For an inexpensive (relatively) lunch, go to Grand Central at eat a burger at the bar at Michael Jordan's. Not only do they have an incredible burger for about 12-14 bucks but its located on the balcony of Grand Central so you can't beat the atmosphere. Or if you like spicy sichuan chinese food there is a branch of grand sichuan in the lower 50's and 2nd ave.
There used to be (I think its gone now) a place in Brooklyn down by Fulton's Landing called Five Front Street. It was the same owners as 12th Street Bar and Grill in Park Slope and was similar new american un-fussy fare. It was a nice place, with a great garden out back underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. As I said, I think its gone now, but I could be wrong.
Babbo is head and shoulders above the other places on your list and that should be your #1 priority. I stopped going to Crispo about a year ago since I think it has gone downhill since opening, and I used to love it there. The past two times I'ev been to Barbone its been really good.
As for food near Grand Central Sushi Yasuda has some of the best sushi in the city.
On your list, Babbo would be the first choice, if you are able to get a reservation. If not, I would second Crispo over anything on your list. Five Points is very good if you are looking for brunch on Sunday. As far as the immediate Grand Central area for lunch, you may want to pick someplace within Garnd Central Terminal. You may also want to search chowhound for Grand Central since there are a lot of threads on the subject.
I've been to everywhere on your list except for Esca. I would definitely do Babbo. I don't think the others are worth going out of your way for. I prefer Cacio e Pepe and Barbone to Five Points and Knife + Fork, but you probably don't want to do Italian 2 days in a row. If you do, I'd recommend going to Crispo instead. Instead of Five Points and Knife + Fork, I'd go to Little Owl or Red Cat for well-prepared American cuisine.
The correct name for # 2 on your list is Five Points. I've never been so I can't advise you about it.
As for the others, I've only been to Esca and Cacio & Pepe. I'm not a fan of Esca and, while I thought the food was o.k. at Cacio & Pepe, I think there's much better Italian to be had.
My recommendation for Italian would be L'Impero. Delicious food and the kind of lovely ambiance that's appropriate for a celebration.
Re: lunch on Monday afternoon. Pampano is on 48th St., b/t 2nd & 3rd Avs. Excellent modern Mexican cuisine. Very nice ambiance. They offer a 3-course lunch prix-fixe for $25.