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Apr 25, 2007 08:23 AM

Quick! I have the day off today- treating myself to a great lunch but where?

So I have been working like a maniac lately and decided I needed a break today. Where should I go to get a great lunch that I wouldn't be able to afford at dinner time? Thinking maybe Gotham Bar or somewhere in the Time Warner building? Any ideas?

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  1. Definitely David Burke and Donatella for their $24 price fix lunch.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tennisboy

      I just found out about this place last night because Donatella was on the Iron Chef America, and I didn't know who she was. The food on the website is really beautiful.

    2. Oh and I will be dining alone if that makes any difference.

      1. I will go to Jean Georges for the lunch prix-fixe. Fleur de Sel also has a great prix-fixe lunch!

        2 Replies
        1. re: kobetobiko

          Does JG have a nice bar I could sit at and not feel weird alone?

          1. re: roze

            The outer naughton (sp?) room at JG is low key enough to not feel weird alone (there is also a bar there). It is a great deal for great food. I wrote a review of my lunch at Fleur de Sol a few weeks ago. I recomend it too, The room is mellow and more formal but I did see a few people dining alone and they semed comfortible.

        2. As long as you don't feel uncomfortable dining alone at a table, why limit yourself to places with a bar?

          I agree that Fleur de Sel would be an excellent choice. Two prix-fixe options: 3 courses for $29 and 5 courses for $46.

          Devi's Indian cuisine is superb, and the 3-course lunch prix-fixe for $24.07. Lots of choices all taken directly from the dinner menu.

          Tocqueville also has a 3-course lunch prix-fixe for $24.07.

          Gramercy Tavern has a 3-course "Market Lunch" for $36. Also, a more splurgy "Spring Tasting Menu" for $55.

          Also more splurgy is Eleven Madison Park's 5-course Gourmand menu for $58.

          Wherever you end up, I hope you have a wonderful day off and a delectible meal.

          3 Replies
          1. re: RGR

            >Also more splurgy is Eleven Madison Park's 5-course Gourmand menu for $58.

            Is this only available for lunch?

            1. re: maria_nyc

              Yes. At dinner, there are three options: 3 courses for $82, 4 courses for $96, and the 11-course (+ amuses) Gourmand for $145.


            2. re: RGR

              Wow so many great choices. I need to decide now! Thanks everyone!

            3. Probably too late for you, but I would say Tabla.
              The service and food are sooo good and you never feel rushed.

              3 Replies
              1. re: maria_nyc

                Thank you thank you for all of your recommendations. I ended up going to Gramercy Tavern a it is literally 3 blocks away and i haven't been there since the new chef.

                I was planning to sit in the tavern room at the bar since I do feel a little uncomfertable alone at a table (since you asked RGR). But when I got there I looked at their menu and the Spring tasting listed a cashew chocolate tart with cashew ice cream. I asked if I could get this in the tavern room and they said no so I went out of my comfert zone and decided to get a table in the main dining room. (the things one does for a good soundng dessert!)

                I got there about 1:30 and the dining room was completley filled. I think there was maybe one other open table. They put me between 2 tables where 2 people were at each. Now this is why I feel a little weird dining alone. I always feel like those people think I'm lisitining to them. I was a little nervous but forged ahead dedictaed to enjoying my day and meal.

                I decided to do the Market menu which was a little different than it said on their website. I started with the Artic Char hamachi. It came with a pickled tomato and seafood topping and was delicious! Yum! It was seriously light and tasty.

                For my main I decided to get the Black Grouper with mushrooms. Okay here's the little bump in the road. The fish wasn't cooked so well. In fact, it was so tough that I struggled to cut it with a fork and knife. While the sauce and mushrroms to complement it were amazing they just didn't make up for the poor fish preparation.

                Now I know I should have sent it back- and please don't yell at me for not- but I just didn't feel like dealing with anything today. I just really wanted to relax and enjoy myself. Sending something back just didn't fit into the mood I was in so I kept it and ate some. Honestly I was really full from the awesome char so it didn't really matter. I was just so happy to not be working it made up for the bad fish!

                Not the dessert--awesome. The chocolate cake was dark chocolate with cashews inside. This was super rich. It was good but the ice cream stole the show. It was creamy and tasted like honey with cashews thoughout. I could have ordered seconds honestly. The waiter told me it was their first day with this dessert and they were trynig things out. I don't think they need to change a thing. It was delicious. I also got the cookie plate as an added bonus. Everything was enjoyable but nothing earth shattering. It's just always nice to get something a little extra.

                Anyway, so what made my experience the nicest was the service. My waiter was friendly and really made me feel comfertable. I had a nice discussion with him about the vintage beer they offer and then when I got a glass of amaxing New York Sauvingon Blanc we had a another talk about surprising good New York wineries. Now the only other place I have ever dined at a table alone was Eleven Madison during restuarant week last year. While the food was great I always felt the waiter was nervous around me. He never made eye contact and honestly I felt he was happy when I left. Like he didn't understand why some young (28 is young!) girl was dining alone. Here I really felt like the waiter got my state of mind and just really wanted me to enjoy mysef and made evry effort so that I do. Even the hostess said on my way out " it's nice to treat yourself right". And I hadnt even mentioned to her my reason for coming!

                Anyway it was thouroughly enjoyable. On my way home the Gramercy Park had a truck pulling out so I dashed in and got to walk around he park a little as an added bonus. Too bad the some sprinkles of rain started to come down or else I was thinking aout going to Casa Mono for some churros. My body will probably thank me tomorrow for the rain!

                Anyway I just had a lovely day and it really got me thinking about how service can sometimes "make the meal" almost. I mean the fish was really pretty bad but I left with a smile and feeling accomplished. GT is impeccable in this way and I can't wait to go back again! I have been eating out A LOT this week and will post my full weekend reveiw in a moment. It may be one of my last for a while as my SO and I are planning a budget tonight to rein ourselves in. So thank you all for your recs and what may be my final meal out for a while.

                1. re: roze

                  BTW sorry for the spelling errors. Two glasses of wine mid-day really got to me!

                  1. re: roze

                    Thanks for reporting back, roze. I'm glad you overcame your reluctance to dine solo at a table. And if it took a delicious cashew chocolate tart to get you there, then good on you! My husband and I shared a wonderful dessert when we ate in the Tavern Room in January, and I think the new pastry chef is doing a sensational job. Sorry to hear about the grouper. How a restaurant of G.T.'s caliber lets something that poorly cooked leave the kitchen is a mystery to me. While I would have sent it back, I can fully understand why you didn't. You did get lucky with your waiter. When we had dinner in the dining room at G.T. several years ago -- the last time under the old regime -- our waitress had such an over-the-top manner (we figured she was a frustrated actress) that it got really annoying after a while. As for the two people going at each other at the adjacent table -- hey, if they want to do so in public, I say, other diners should not feel embarrassed to take it all in as entertainment. lol