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Where would you go for lunch that you can't afford to splurge for dinner?

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Taking a friend from out of town to lunch. Id like to go somewhere special, a place where it's too pricey for dinner but where we'd be able to get a feel for how great the food is at lunch--for much less. I hate to go to places that have the same prices for lunch as dinner. Anyway, any suggestions appreciated.

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  1. Eleven Madison Park (EMP) prix fixe lunch is a the best deal in town. Fabulous food, beautiful setting. Search this board for recent posts.

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    Eleven Madison Park
    11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

    1. EMP, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, and Gramercy Tavern all have amazing lunches.

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      Gramercy Tavern
      42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

      Jean Georges
      1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

      Le Bernardin
      155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

      1. EMP and JG both have very affordable prix fixe lunches for less than $30.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Thanks for the suggestions. What I'm really looking for is a place in which you don't have to be constrained by prix fixe menu, but the lunch menu is less expensive. TIA

          1. re: ZooZooB

            Nearly every lunch or dinner menu at a top restaurant will be prix fixe or a multicourse tasting. However, there's generally an array of choices for each course of the prix fixe and it is nothing like those dinky Restaurant Week prix fixe menus at random, lesser restaurants. For example, Le Bernardin's lunch menu currently has a whopping 20 options for your first course and 14 options for your main course. I don't think you'll feel constrained by that at all. JG and EMP don't have quite as many choices as their lunch menus are simplified compared to their dinner menus, but there are still plenty.

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            Le Bernardin
            155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

        2. Le Bernardin is one of the best luncheon values in the city. I haven't had lunch yet at Eleven Madison Park -- I'm sure it's very good.

          I believe that *everyone* should eat at The Four Seasons once in their lives. Lunch is still on the expensive side, but will set you back far less than dinner there.

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          Eleven Madison Park
          11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

          Le Bernardin
          155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

          The Four Seasons
          99 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

          1. Le Bernardin, Jean Georges, and Eleven Madison Park would be in the first tier. IMO Le Bernardin is the best lunch from a food quality standpoint. It features a lunch menu that's nearly identical to the dinner menu, without engaging in the type of cost-cutting like JG and EMP do by offering a few lesser or simplified lunch dishes. As such, it is the only lunch which feels every bit as good as a far more expensive dinner splurge. However, EMP does have a 5 course tasting menu for lunch that I think is a clear step above their regular 2 course offering. The prices are as follows:

            Le Bernardin - 3 courses, $69
            JG - 2 courses, $29; each additional course, $14.50; dessert, $8
            EMP - 2 courses, $28; 3 courses, $42; dessert, $12; 5 course Gourmand, $68

            There are many other lunch deals out there, but these three are far and away the best. You can throw Masa ($400+) and Per Se (5 course, $175; 9 course, $275) into the mix, but those aren't deals in any sense of the word.

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            Per Se
            10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

            Eleven Madison Park
            11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

            Jean Georges
            1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

            Le Bernardin
            155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

            Masa's
            89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017