Dining

7 Classy NYC Lunch Menus Worth Missing That Meeting For

These meals put that sad salad to shame
7 Fancy New York Lunches That Are Surprisingly Affordable
Photo: Courtesy of India Accent/Christopher Villano

For those on a budget, lunch prix fixe menus offer an affordable way to try dishes from some of New York's best chefs, set in the city's most elegant dining rooms.

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From Le Coucou's $48 lunch menu (which includes the restaurant's signature pike quenelles) to a $35 omakase at 15 East, you're going to want to clear your schedule for a midday meal at one of these top New York City restaurants.

① Del Posto

At $149, dinner at Mario Batali's elegant West Side restaurant, Del Posto, is an investment best saved for a birthday. Lunch, thankfully, is priced at a gentler $49, which includes a choice of an antipasto like warm fennel with bagna cauda and blood orange, a secondo like seared lamb chop with mushrooms and white beans, and dessert. Those hankering for the restaurant's acclaimed pasta can add a primo piatto to the lineup for an additional $10.

② Le Coucou

 

Birthday lunch with the sister at Le CouCou. Happy Birthday @jay__elle !! ❤�#dining #nyceats #foodie

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A prime-time dinner reservation at Daniel Rose and Stephen Starr's stylish Soho hot spot is one of the hardest to come by, and if you do manage to snag a table, supper for two can easily stretch into the hundreds. Lunch, on the other hand, is simpler to book and rings in at $48 for a two-course menu that can include dishes like raw bay scallops with celery, chestnuts and clementine, and the restaurant's most prized item: pike quenelles with lobster sauce.

③ Indian Accent

The New York outpost of this acclaimed Delhi-based restaurant serves a few different lunch menus. A two-course set goes for $33 and includes options like braised lamb with prune korma, and sweet potatoes with kohlrabi and crispy okra. For another $12, diners get a choice of desserts like makhan malai, a cold cream dessert made with saffron milk and rose petal jaggery brittle. For leisurely days, there's also a seven-course tasting menu.

④ Gramercy Tavern

 

Colorful first course on our Lunch tasting menu: Marinated Scallops, Potato, Burdock, Dill, Trout Roe

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Start an $85 five-course tasting affair in the dining room at Danny Meyer's celebrated Gramercy Tavern with marinated scallops served with blood orange and fennel, and end with a crunchy cream puff with Meyer lemon sherbet. The restaurant also offers a $75 vegetable menu that includes a mushroom chawanmushi with sunchokes, hazelnuts and kohlrabi.

⑤ Le Bernardin

 

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At $87 for three courses, lunch at Eric Ripert's seafood temple is one of the city's more expensive midday prix fixes, but it's assuredly money well spent. The lengthy menu lists choices like oysters, razor clam sashimi with shaved radishes and ginger ponzu dressing, and pan-roasted monkfish with squid-ink pasta and chorizo sauce.

⑥ 15 East

At lunchtime, the sushi masters at Union Square's 15 East prepare one of the most affordable omakase menus around. For $35, diners are treated to seven pieces of sushi and half of a chef's roll. As is traditional with omakase, diners simply put their faith in the chef and eat whatever the kitchen dreams up, so don't expect to dictate what appears before you (which is half the fun).  

⑦ Babbo

For those craving Batali's take on Italian a little closer to Washington Square Park, Babbo offers a $49 four-course lunchtime tasting menu centered around a delicious grilled hanger steak served with celery root fregula. The meal ends on a sweet note with olive oil cake and gelato.

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