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May 11, 2009 06:47 AM

Are there any reasonable ($$) options around MOMA?

I know the 50s is bound to be expensive, but I'm looking for a nice place for lunch this Saturday that won't blow our budget, around MOMA. Entrees max at 20 or so?

Possible cuisines:

Some vegetarian options needed...Any help?


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  1. You might want to consider eating in MoMA. In The Bar Room, almost all of the plates are priced in the teens with a few in the $20's. Also, the formal dining room is now open for lunch on Saturday. They offer a 3-course prix-fixe for $48. If you deconstruct that price, it's probably only a bit higher than your budget, but well worth it because the cuisine is sensational! There are also two other dining options in The Modern: Cafe 2 and Terrace 5. Both are good fits for your budget. You can see all the menus and prices on the website.

    7 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      One caveat I would make about the plates in the Bar Room is that some of the portions are *really* small for the price. One exception would be the tarte flambe (flambee?).

      I had lunch two weeks ago at the Aquavit Cafe, which is really only a couple of blocks North East of MOMA. They have a $24.95 prix fixe that I thought was an excellent "deal". Appetizer, main course and dessert. The desserts weren't ones that on their face sounded appealing to me, but my stepmother and I each got a different one, and they were both excellent.

      I think it is hard to link directly to a menu, but the site is

      1. re: MMRuth

        Aquavit is a great suggestion, MMRuth!

        We had lunch in the dining room at Aquavit last week, and that exact same $24.07 prix-fixe is offered there. While we all ordered a la carte, our table shared a herring sampler, and I had the same salmon offered on the prix-fixe. I adore Aquavit's herrings, and that salmon dish was excellent. Since I'd had the signature Artic Circle dessert during a previous visit, I chose a different dessert, one which is not served in the Cafe. However, there was a serious glitch with the main course of one of my dining companions, so the kitchen gifted us with the Artic Circle. It really is divine!

        P.S. And it is "flambée." :-)

        1. re: RGR

          Thanks everyone for the suggestions so far. Let me add one curveball (and why Aquavit won't work). - Ive got a picky eater in the group, so thats why i was sticking to italian/american/french.

          Any thing else you can think up to help me would be great!

          1. re: shorts

            I don't think Aquavit would be difficult with a picky eater. On the prix fixe, for example, he or she could always choose the salad to start and mains are salmon and pork loin. Not "exotic" in the least for someone who is not adventurous. Gorgeous setting and an amazing bargain.

            1. re: City Kid

              I just saw that there is one vegetarian - that might be a little tough. The Swedish meatballs - for picky eater - are great and pretty straightforward.


     - menu

              There is veg. option - SALT-BAKED CELERIAC - beets, cauliflower, sweet potato purée - though it may not be appealing. I did call, and was told they would substitute that as a main course in the prix fix - which is, as RGR says, $24.07.

              If I think of any other suggestions, will post back.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Interesting that you mention the salt-baked celeraic. The serious goof I mentioned upthread involved that dish. One of my dining companions ordered it, and when it arrived, the plate contained several different vegetable but only one tiny slice of celeriac. Of course, the plate was sent back. When it returned, there was adequate celeriac, and the person eating it said it was tasty.

      2. Nippon Soba is quite good and doesn't seem to get much attention. And for simple stuff like crepes, salads, soups and omelettes, I find the venerable La Bonne Soupe quite pleasant.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Peter Cherches

          I believe that there was a fire at La Bonne Soupe - has it reopened?

          1. re: MMRuth

            Was the fire within the last couple of months?

                1. re: Peter Cherches

                  A notice on La Bonne Soupe's website says they hope to re-open by mid- or late May.


          2. re: Peter Cherches

            Nippon is interesting - any chance the soups use a vegetarian broth?
            If not, any other ramen houses/japanese?

            1. re: shorts

              I'm pretty sure the dipping for the cold soba would be vegetarian, and that's the best way to have it anyway. The soup stocks might be made with dashi, but you could ask. Take a look at their website--lots of vegetarian choices.

          3. You might try Fig & Olive on 53rd, between Fifth & Mad. I find that they are reasonably priced for Midtown. I've never been disappointed by any of their restaurants.