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May 12, 2009 07:47 AM

Quick, quiet sit-down lunch for 4 near Grand Central?

My boss and I are having lunch with two web designers, and we need to take them to a place where we can sit and talk comfortably. We're looking for the sweet spot of semi-nice but not super expensive. We're both new to our jobs and this area (on 42nd Street and Park, right across from Grand Central Station), and it seems to be full of grab-and-go joints and super expensive corporate sit-downs. What is there that's in the middle?!

I was thinking maybe Chiyoda sushi, but the guy on the phone warned me that they were guaranteed to be mobbed at 1pm.

I know that quiet, good, inexpensive, and midtown is a hell of a combination to ask for...but I could use any ideas.

Thanks so much.

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  1. Cibo is close by. I like the ambiance and prix fixe selections.

    767 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017

    1. I like Cibos too, another good choice would be Byblos 0n 39th and 3rd Ave. which is more inexpensive and has good lunch specials. Went there a few weeks ago to catch up with a friend and we sat for a while with no problems. Good ambiance there as well.

      1. It would be helpful to know your per person budget for food only (drinks, tax & tip additional). Also, in addition to sushi, what are your cuisine preferences?

        4 Replies
        1. re: RGR

          One of our party is a vegetarian.

          As far as budget goes...I guess we'd like under $20 per person, after a beverage and tax and tip and all that.

          Thanks for the thoughts so far.

          1. re: toomuchkatherine

            If you are saying that you want your *out-the-door* cost -- food, beverage, tax & tip -- to be less than $20pp, that severely limits your options. Presuming you will not be ordering any alcohol, just soft drinks, that still only leaves you less than $15 for food.

            While I agree with Trish and G3B's suggestion of Cibo, the lunch prix-fixe is $25, *not* including beverage, tax & tip. On the a la carte menu, only two items -- the turkey club and the burger @ $15 -- are close to your budget.

            If you are willing to have just a plate of pasta, there's Fagiolini, on the corner of Lex & 39th St. The cost for pastas are in the low to mid-teens. I've never eaten there, but Hounds who have say the food's fine but nothing to rave about.


            1. re: RGR

              Thanks. Yeah, maybe $20 is unrealistic.

              Man, I wish there were something like Eisenberg's up here.

              1. re: toomuchkatherine

                You can sit *comfortably* and chat away at Eisenberg's?!

        2. Tenzan (2nd btw 52 and 53) is delicious and very reasonable.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LeahBaila

            Oh, Tenzan sounds good! Thanks.

            My boss decided to go with Cibo, but I'm writing all these down for future reference.