Lux Lunch, Probably Prix Fix
Coming to town on Monday and would like to enjoy a long, late lunch with my husband. Due to recent budget issues, we haven't been going to the most upscale places lately, but we are ready to splurge on anything that costs less than La Bernadin's $70 lunch. Should we try Jean George, Bouley, somewhere else? We do not want Italian cuisine and although we love vegetables, we would like a menu with some meat or seafood--nothing that is intensly "greenmarket-y" if you know what I mean.
Many thanks in advance to the Chowhounders who are so generous in sharing reccomendations.
Jean Georges and Bouley are probably your best options for a high end non-Italian lunch.
Tocqueville has a $29 three course lunch prix fixe but the selections are very limited.
SHO Shaun Hergatt also has a three course lunch prix fixe for $33. For what it's worth, the vibe there is very corporate.
You could also look into the Modern Dining Room but people tend to dress very casually for lunch so it won't feel as luxe.
La Grenouille is another option though the $62 three course lunch prix pixe isn't significantly cheaper than Le Bernardin.
Regarding The Modern Dining Room, I don't think I've ever seen anyone dressed casually for lunch there, at least not during the 4 times I ate there in the past 6 months.
In terms of restaurant recommendations, I agree with your great list but also add Tocqueville. They have a $29 prix-fixe menu as well as a $68 tasting menu. The room is very elegant and lovely.
I've seen jeans, shorts, cut-offs, tank tops, sneakers, and flip flops during lunch in the Dining Room, especially during warmer months (yes I know it's a separate area from the Bar Room). The Dining Room, like the Bar Room, does not enforce or even recommend a dress code for lunch and tends to draw a lot of tourists visting the museum. The relative informality doesn't detract from the food, which is quite good.
We just had a lovely, luxe, seriously delicious lunch in The Modern Dining Room. My only gripe, which is well-known on this board, is that it can be very noisy, especially if your table is opposite the wide openings at the front and back of the room. We took the latest reservation, 2 p.m. (they did not rush us in any way), and insisted on being seated in the middle of the room where it tends to be quieter. Also, at that hour, as both the dining room and the Bar Rroom empty out, the noise level subsides substantially.
We did 3 courses + dessert for $70. But they also offer 2 courses + dessert for $55.
Photos of our lunch in The Modern Dining Room: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...