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Apr 29, 2009 01:43 PM

Delicious Sunday Lunch - E 30s or so

We will be hosting some old friends for Sunday lunch/brunch in the E.30s Murray Hill Area - or somewhere within a 15-20 minute walk, say. Would like tasty, interesting food and an atmosphere where we will be able to have a relaxed conversation. Any suggestions?

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  1. Do you prefer a breakfast-style menu with the typical suspects like omelets, French toast, pancakes, etc.? Or do you want a true lunch menu? Or, perhaps, both? What is your per person budget for food only (drinks, tax & tip additional)?

    8 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      An inventive brunch or a real lunch menu is what I would be looking for - Ive looked at a few candidates and L'Impero for example, looks too rich for my blood but most places would not be. Someplace comfortable that works for conversation (we have some silver hair in our group) and has tasty wines as well as very good food. Considering Artisanal but thinking it might be too noisy

      1. re: jen kalb

        I highly recommend Breton, on 5th Av., b/t 28th & 29th Sts.

        Now that Fleur de Sel is no more, Bar Breton is the place to partake of Chef Cyril Renaud's cuisine. Though quite different in style than Fleur de Sel's, i.e., much less haute and more rustic, BB's food is, nonetheless, delicious. We've had lunch several times and dinner once, and I have no doubt that brunch would be as fine.

        Galettes are the specialty of the house. My particular favorite is "The Flatiron" -- smoked wild salmon with horseradish cream and chives -- but there are many more to choose from on the brunch menu. There are also the usual breakfast suspects, as well as several lunch-style dishes.

        Service is friendly, the space has very attractive decor, and the noise level is conversation-friendly. You will not be rushed, so you can relax and linger.

        They accept reservations.

        1. re: RGR

          thanks - that looks like a definite possibility.

          Have you been to Artisanal?

          1. re: jen kalb

            Yes, I have been to Artisanal twice,though not recently since those less-than-positive experiences did not make me a fan. To be honest, I'd been considering trying it again until I read Andrea Strong's rant about her most recent visit there. Normally, I don't pay much mind to Strong's reviews because she rarely has anything negative to say about any restaurant. However, that's precisely why I took this report seriously.


            1. re: RGR

              Interesting, my gf and I just went for the first time last week(for late-ish lunch) and had an enjoyable meal there. Obviously we're not Artisinal authorities, as we've only had one visit, but the service we received was polite and attentive, and we both really enjoyed our fromage grilles(I had the comte with truffled honey, she had the english cheddar w bacon). We were noting that we were surprised we hadn't been sooner and were looking forward to going back. It was quiet there for later lunch, which may have played a role in more attentive service, or not.

          2. re: RGR

            I wanted to give a shout out for Bar Breton, since we took up RGR's excellent selection for our lunch on sunday. We had the gallettes and also a couple of excellent salads (green beans with tomatoes, hazelnuts and shrimp and endive withorange, as well as deserts (creme brulee and a "cake" with rhubarb puree, strawberries and whipped cream. Eveything was delicious, the service professional and friendly the restaurant cheerful and quiet enough for us to have a good talk. Neighboring table had delicious looking hamburgers, but I was really impressed by our food and would like to visit again.

            1. re: jen kalb

              Thanks for reporting back, Jen. I'm pleased to hear that your experience at Bar Breton was an excellent one. That endive and orange salad with almonds is seriously delicious!

              1. re: RGR

                try that bean and hazelnut one too - I thought it was even better. Forgot to mention that the bread they serve is really wonderful.
                It wasnt exactly full for our lunch - hope its doing a good business at other times. Thanks again for the excellent recommendation.

      2. Have you tried Prespa in Murry Hill?? It's a nice quiet dining room with a upscale decor. Food is tapas style but very inventive (not your typical options). We enjoyed everything we had very much.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Shazza

          I had dinner there last week, and it was NOT a good experience! My impression was that they're mainly trying for a clientele who likes to pay money for the sake of paying, and otherwise, to gouge tourists. My friend got a so-called "lobster crepe" that had very little lobster in it, took it apart, presented the results to the waiter, and he then got a new crepe that had appreciable amounts of lobster in it. I got something that was essentially pot roast - kind of daube-like - and when the waiter asked whether our food was alright, I compared the dish to daube, but, clearly based on his judgment, he said "The portion is too small, isn't it?", and it would have been if I hadn't already had a half portion of a duck dish. The chickpea fries were basically falafel with tzatziki, and too dry. The food is overpriced and not very good. Based on one meal - the only one I ever plan to have at that establishment - I strongly disagree with your opinion.

        2. How about I Trulli? Lovely back garden, good service. As for Artisanal, I work nearby and eat their often. On weekdays it's lovely. I had a lunch there on a Sunday recently, and while the food and service were good, the noise level would not bee good for the silver hairs!

          2 Replies
          1. re: LBNJNY

            I agree about I Trulli. In fact, we just had dinner in the garden a few days ago. Only one problem. They do not serve Sunday lunch/brunch.

            1. re: RGR

              Lots of the places I would like to try or revisit in this area are closed on Sunday., sigh.

              wondering if you have tried Casaville (same chef as Darna, which used to be in the same location) and Moroccan. I think Ive pretty much decided on Bar Breton, which sounds like a good choice whatever the alternatives.