Note -- this only applies to those who have the time/permission/budget to have nice sitdown lunches.
On adorable, cobble-stoned Stone Street, nestled behind the Goldman Sachs building, two new restaurants opened. In the space formerly inhabited by the generic Stone Street Tavern is a french bistro called Cassis.
Right next door is a large restaurant called Ulysses that just opened today. It looks like they are going for a German beer hall look -- huge umbrellas with Pilsner Urquell emblazoned on them overhang picnic tables. I peeked at the plates of the seated outdoor diners, and spotted what looked like ghoulash. When and if it finally gets warmer, this could be a nice place for a looong Friday afternoon lunch in the sunshine with a pint or two.
As for my lunch, I grabbed a prosciutto/pesto/tomato/fresh mozzarella panini from Financier, the french bakery next to Ulysses. They are getting a little more organized there (previous experiences netted aggravating waits), and the sandwich, served on a round piece of bread, was absolutely delicious. Crusty, not too greasy, and a wonderful melding of flavors.
I know the Finanical District is a chowhound wasteland -- but it's nice to see some character introduced besides the endless supply of generic deli-sandwich-sushi-burritos-udon noodles-make-your-own-salad-hot-salad-bar-and-oh-now-panini-too type places that are over-priced and expectedly mediocre.
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