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Oct 25, 2009 06:56 PM

Friday fancy lunch? Cost not important.

Coming into NYC from New Orleans - been to Jean-Georges and EMP for lunch on a Friday in November and was looking for something similar (doesn't have to be price fix). Staying in Murray/Curry Hill area and willing to travel pretty much anywhere for something delicious. Cost is not a factor. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance! It's just me so I'm hoping it will be easy to get a res for a party of one.

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  1. have you been to Le Bernardin or Per Se?

    ETA: other thoughts - Aquavit or the Dining Room at the Modern

    7 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I thought it was too late for Per Se, but I'll give it a shot - I have been to the Salon at Per Se, it was un-freaking-believable, so good! I wonder if I could walk into the Salon for lunch as well............Thanks for Le Bernadin suggestion - might be a little too seafood-heavy for my liking, but I know it is supposed to be so good!

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        no luck at Le Bernadin on opentable, darnit!

        1. re: pizzajunkie

          Restaurants do not give all their reservations to OpenTable. Best to call directly as there could be an opening.

          1. re: pizzajunkie

            Try calling them directly. Nearly every restaurant holds some reservations from Opentable.

            I've also walked in without a reservation and dined solo at Le Bernardin's bar. I've found the service to be just as gracious and accommodating at the bar as it would be at a table (in fact, I got a couple rather pricey glasses of wine comped). Per Se's Salon should be open for Friday lunch, so that's certainly a good option too if you want to try walking in.

            1. re: hcbk0702

              Yes -- it's actually a lot easier to walk into Per Se as a single diner, dining at the bar, than to get a reservation for a group of any size. Pizzajunkie, I think you have a very realistic shot of eating lunch there -- but I'd also arrange for a backup plan just in case.

              True, too, about many seats not being available through OpenTable. The only times I've ever scored a reservation at Per Se, I've had to call in. For some reason, OT never seems to have open seats for this particular restaurant.

              1. re: hcbk0702

                thanks hcbk! maybe I will try Per Se for lunch - If I get there when the doors open - I need to call and figure out when that is exactly!

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I don't think the Modern or Aquavit are so great if you're on your own. I'd go to Gramercy Tavern - great food and a very cosy atmosphere.

            3. My favorite lunch in NYC is Le Bernardin (three course $68 prix fixe). Unlike JG and EMP, the Le Bernardin lunch menu is pretty much identical to the dinner menu (three courses vs. four courses at dinner) and it is every bit as stellar. The JG and EMP lunches are cheaper, but they aren't as good as their respective dinners, as there are several pricier dinner items that aren't available at lunch. In fact, my most recent, leisurely lunch at Le Bernardin may have been the best meal I've had in NYC, easily beating out Per Se despite the price difference. I think the black bass, braised celery, Iberico ham-green peppercorn sauce dish with parsnip custard is exceptional and it shouldn't be missed. Langoustine preps also tend to be outstanding. The current prep has shaved foie gras and it's hard to complain about that. Lunch is on the light side in terms of portion size, but I think the subtlety and balance on display is peerless in the city.

              Another high-end seafood choice is Marea. They have a nice two course $34 prix fixe and a five course $75 tasting menu. The food doesn't quite reach the highs and refinement of Le Bernardin, but if you're in the mood for pastas and/or something heartier, this is a great choice.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hcbk0702

                i knew i forgot to add one to my list! Marea seems to be the new darling of the NYC restaurant scene...although i just realized the OP said LE B might be too "seafood-heavy" for his/her preferences, so Marea probably is as well.

              2. You could also try for the crazy blow out lunch tasting menu at Momofuku Ko.

                1. Dining Room at The Modern, fantastic.

                  1. if you have a few hours to spend, i suggest Masa. you should be able to get a seat at the bar for lunch.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: tkm616

                      thanks for all the great suggestions! I will try calling some places directly - I had thought about the Modern - I have been to GT for dinner and loved it. I didn't even think about Momofuku Ko for some reason - that would definitely be a blowout! Thanks again for all the help - I like to maximize my restaurant time when I'm in NYC! ;)