HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

Best lunch for $100?

Hi - I'm a college senior who lives upstate, and will be interviewing in Manhattan next month.

I would like some recommendations for a memorable solo lunch. I have had no exposure to fine dining, but thought I would give it a try after watching Eric Ripert, Mario Batali, and Jacques Pepin on TV.

I have no food aversions, like all available cuisines in my small town, but have not travelled much. I have saved $100 for my first high end meal in Manhattan (inclusive of service and tax, I will not be drinking any alcohol). I will be wearing a suit and tie. A friend of mine recommended Delmonico's but I thought I would solicit other opinions.

Thank you for any suggestions.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I highly recommend Bouley. They have a multi-course tasting menu (with choices for each course) at $45. Although I've not personally eaten the lunch (I've only gone to dinner at Bouley), I've heard many wonderful things about the lunch. Welcome to the world of fine dining! Good luck on your interviews.

    -----
    Bouley
    163 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

    6 Replies
    1. re: ellenost

      I'd second this recommendation and also offer up Eleven Madison Park (~$90ish with tax/tip,) Del Posto (~$50ish with tax/tip,) or Le Bernardin (~$80ish with tax/tip.) Bouley is probably the best "bang for the buck" lunch in town, imo.

      http://uhockey.blogspot.com

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

      Del Posto
      85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

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

      Bouley
      163 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

      1. re: ellenost

        Bouley is fantastic. Definitely a solid option and should be high on your list. I'm going on Saturday and was there for a lunch in November.

        That said, I almost feel like EMP would be more enjoyable as a solo diner. The space has a more modern and relaxed feel, and the service is very involved with your meal. Meals at both EMP and Bouley will last at least two hours, possibly three, which could be a long time to be at a table alone. My personal feeling, for almost no real reason at all, is that EMP would be more exciting. There's a certain suspense to the meal, as you're not quite sure what will come out next.

        1. re: coasts

          i dined solo at Bouley last Saturday and couldn't have been more pleased.

          Picholine is also a stellar option.

          As would be The Modern.

          As a matter of fact, going in order of places I've eaten LUNCH solo:

          Bouley > The Modern > Gramercy Tavern > Aldea > Marea > Le Bernardin > Convivio > Del Posto > Jean Georges > Ko.

          I've only eaten at EMP with others and only had Picholine at Dinner - both were wonderful and I've no doubt lunch would compare favorably.

          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

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

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

          Del Posto
          85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

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

          The Modern
          9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

          Picholine
          35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

          Momofuku Ko
          163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

          Convivio
          45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

          Marea
          240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

          Aldea
          31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

          Bouley
          163 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

          1. re: coasts

            I was very pleasantly shocked at how reasonable EMPs lunch menus are.

          2. re: ellenost

            Last time I looked, the price had fallen to $36. Great recommendation.

            1. re: Wilfrid

              Apparently, Bouley has recently raised the price of the lunch tasting menu to $45 (or at least they've recently updated their website--wish they'd do a better job of this). Looks like there are more choices for each course, including a Dover Sole. I'm heading back to Bouley next week for dinner.

          3. Hey Tommy. You can eat almost anywhere you want for that amount of money. Maybe you should do Le Bernardin prixe fixe for $70? I would also recommend Eleven Madison Park for this special lunch. Enjoy!
            JeremyEG
            HomeCookLocavore.com

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

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

            1. Picholine also has a seven course lunch tasting menu for $58.

              My first fine dining experience many years ago was at Lutece. I was paralyzed with wonder. I hope you have a similar experience.

              -----
              Picholine
              35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

              4 Replies
              1. re: H Manning

                How is Picholine in general these days? I've never been and was thinking of doing a dinner there.
                JeremyEG
                HomeCookLocavore.com

                -----
                Picholine
                35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

                1. re: JeremyEG

                  I last dined at Picholine in December and the food was superb. You should definitely try it.

                  -----
                  Picholine
                  35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

                  1. re: JeremyEG

                    Picholine is still wonderful. If they still have the game birds (they are still listed on the website) you should take the opportunity to try one. We had pheasant last month and it was just perfect.

                    -----
                    Picholine
                    35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

                    1. re: rrems

                      Thank you. I almost order game when it's offered and I love to hear about places that do it well.
                      JeremyEG
                      HomeCookLocavore.com

                2. I highly recommend Eleven Madison Park. At lunch especially, the room is beautiful, with the light coming in the huge windows across from the park. And it is a perfect way to introduce yourself to fine dining. The service is extremely professional yet completely without pretense or stuffiness. And the food, in my opinion, is the best in NYC. Enjoy.

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

                  1. My recommendation is for Eleven Madison Park because they specifically shifted the design of their lunch menu so that it would be as close an experience as possible to their dinner experience. As a first venture into fine dining, I think this would give you the most complete exposure.
                    My complete review here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/744039

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