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Send-off lunch in Midtown East

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As the title of my post would suggest, I am looking for ideas beyond the typical, pedestrian spots to hold a goodbye lunch for a colleague I am going to miss. We will be a table of three, as this event is the sincere/off-the-radar variety.

The challenge: Our office is in the low 50's and Park Ave, which as you Chowhounders know, is a dead zone when you want anything that falls between from-a-cart and the best-of-the-best. Ideally, since the tab will be picked up by me and one other fellow, we don't want to drop a fortune. However, we want a fun, tasteful spot where we can commiserate and raise a glass to future prospects. And before you suggest PJ Clarke's, we'd love a place that actually takes reservations.

Thank you all, in advance!

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  1. What about the cafe at Aquavit?

    1. I would've recommended Le Relais de Venise but just found they don't take reservations. Have you considered David Burke or Mia Dona?

      1. Pampano is quite a lovely, low key restaurant on E. 50 and 3rd Ave. If the weather's nice, you could raise a glass -- they have some decent wines by the glass -- out on the second floor patio. There's a $28 prix fixe lunch option available.

        1. Check out Luna Piena on 53rd between 2nd & 3rd to see if it works for you. They enclosed the back deck with a seasonal roof so that it can now be used all year. I've generally done very well there and it's been successful for the right-priced, tasteful spot you require. I don't know what constitutes "fun" for you - I'm partial to places where we can all hear each other converse. This works for that.