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Feb 21, 2008 10:11 AM

Great Weekday Lunch for 2, plus an 8 year old, high-end, alternative to David Burke & Donatella?

My foodie sister and 8 y/o (fussy, protein lover!) neice are going to be in town for one lunch in NYC coming up. It will be a weekday so I want to take advantage of a very good prix fix. I always go to David Burke and Donatella, which I love, but I am running out of new things to get on the menu and I want to try something new.

We're doing a small Ceci-Cela cafe and croissant for breakfast and really are centering our daily food experience around this lunch. I live near Perry St., but I also don't want to go there as I think it's a little too stuffy for an 8 year old.

Any thoughts on where to go? (Nougatine perhaps? JoJo?)


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    1. re: tennisboy

      Hi tennisboy,

      Is there any price range preference? If you do want really upscale experience, I will suggest Eleven Madison Park! You must be thinking, " Is she kidding? EMP is so stuffy! Esp. for an 8-year-old!" I kid you not. During one of my EMP's visits last month at lunch time, I was seated next to a tablel of a family of 3 with a kid of age about 6 or 7. The family was actually very causally dressed with the boy in his nice little Northface pakka. They had the prix-fixed lunches and there was not any stiffiness that I could sense. In fact, the staff couldn't be nicer and more affable to the table, and they started some cute conversations with the kid. I think they were very accomodating and my impression was that the family had a good time!

      The kid was very well behaved, so I guess that one thing that you may want to take into consideration as a courtesy to other diners. I think EMP is a great experience for kids if they are open to upscale food and not just burgers or fries (and since you bring your boy to D&D, I don't think that's a concern). Your foodie sister and yourself will most certainly be happy with the delicious food at EMP.

      Perry St, as you mentioned, isn't actually that stuffy, but I rarely see kids there, and their service isn't exactly that great, which is why I think may not be the best option.

      Another place is Fleur de Sel, which I have seen families dining there quite often. Maze at the London Hotel also serves up some great food and the service there cannot be better (and since it is the more causal dining area of the Gordon Ramsay restaurant, I don't think it will be too stuffy).

      Lastly, Craft has a fanastic prix-fixe lunch and the atmosphere at lunch time is very causal. I see plenty of people wearing just jeans and sweaters there, and the staff is also very friendly.

      I know many hounds will have different views about ambience and stuffiness, but here are my suggestions based on my experiences. Hope that helps!

      1. re: kobetobiko

        Thanks for those reccs. Actually our price range is under $30 for 3 courses, so that makes most of your choices irrelevant unfortunately.

        I did checkout Fleur De Sel and wasn't thrilled with the lunch options right now. Ditto for Gotham

        I am thinking of Telepan at this point I think...or maybe just go back to DB&D, I love it there!

        1. re: tennisboy

          Fleur de Sel is one of our favorites,and we go there quite often. If you were using the website to check on what's on the lunch prix-fixe menu, unfortunately, the website is not always kept up-to-date, so there's a very good chance that what is listed there is not exactly what will be on the menu when you get to the restaurant. Also, Chef/owner Cyril Renaud's menus are market-driven, so he sometimes changes things from day-to-day.

          If you want to consider going there, I suggest you call the restaurant and ask them to tell you what is on the 3-course lunch prix-fixe. And, btw, during the week, it is usually fairly easy to get a same day lunch reservation, especially if you are flexible about the time.

    2. Perhaps Gotham Bar & Grill? We haven't been there in ages, but it was definitely not stuffy, and reports on this board about the food remain very positive. They offer a 3-course lunch prix-fixe for $31.