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lunch for solo diner in Murray Hill area

Looking to have a light lunch between appointments in the Murray Hill area (mid 30s/Madison area).

I prefer to sit at the bar and read a book, enjoy a salad or soup & glass of wine. Any cuisine with the exception of sushi and steak...

This is my birthday "off day", so I'm trying to avoid the power lunch and business meeting set at all costs!

Thoughts on Le Halles or Artisanal.... any other suggestions would be great!

Thanks!

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    1. I thought I was going to surprise you with my recommendation but I see you are already considering Artisanal. I think that is your best choice. We always drap friends there when looking for a place to grab a meal we know we be good.

      4 Replies
        1. re: ellenost

          I hear they have a grilled cheese "bar" now (I say "now" but it may have been around for a while - we normally get a drink at the bar and then sit in the dining room). I haven't tried it yet but what a great combination, Max McCalman, Terrence Brennen, and grilled cheese!

        1. Franchia.
          34/Park
          Drink green tea and eat good vegetarian. Very zen. Nice for sit down and relax.

          1. cossette on 33rd near 3rd. small, cozy, quiet li'l french place. you've probably eaten already. and happy birthday!

            2 Replies
            1. re: agent99712

              Da Ciro on Lexington close to 34th has a nice bar where you can eat lunch. It's particularly nice on a cold day because the brick oven for pizza making etc. is right there.

              1. re: maxinem

                You can eat at the bar at Campanile and the food is excellent there (29th between Madison and Park avenue south)....I ate at Artisanal a couple of times but the stools are not the most comfortable there to eat. The food is excellent also.