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Manhattan Lunch

Where to solo lunch, given...


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Where to solo lunch, given...

sweet100s | Jul 31, 2014 02:51 AM

For my solo lunch before everyone arrives in the evening, were should I go given...

1) Meals already planned with friends / family:

=== Breakfasts
- Russ & Daughter's cafe
- Shopsins
- Clinton St Bakery
- either Cafe Mogador or Bouhinia

=== Lunchs
- Minetta Tavern
- David Burke Kitchen
- The Mark if we're up for sit down more formal, Plaza Food Hall if not

=== Dinners
- Gato
- The Eddy
- The NoMad
- River Cafe

2) Location

Hotel = The Hotel on Rivington
Breakfast that day = Russ & Daughter's cafe

Beyond that, I'm intentionally keeping this first day less planned. I'll likely be drawn to exploring Lower East Side around the hotel - the Tenement museum and shopping options unique to that area (It's been years since I've been inside a mall; not interested in chain stores at all.)

But hopping in a taxi / bus and going somewhere for lunch is fine too.

3) Preferences

Not: BBQ, tex-mex, or interior Mexican. I'm from Austin and have those flavors all the time

Not: Too divey or food truck. I'd like to be able to sit down during lunch, and not sweat while eating.

Not: Someplace I've already enjoyed in recent years
- Mercer Kitchen (delicious shaved fennel salad and lamb sandwich)
- Spice Market (Loved the crispy cod w/ coconut rice)
- Bareburger (tasty bacon marmalade ostrich burger)
- ABC Kitchen
- ABC Cocina (beautifully plated salmon salad)
- Gotham Bar and Grill (squab with gnocchi at the bar)
- Le Bernardin (tasting)
- La Grenouille (Dover Sole with mustard sauce. Delicious. Amazing service. I was solo yet felt very 'taken care of'.
- Perry St (i crave that pea soup with tumblewood cheese foam.)
- Jean Georges (remember the evening more than that the specifics from the tasting menu. Melissa the server and garlic soup were wonderful.)
- Per Se ("")
- Boulud Sud (chicken tagine and my favorite chocolate cake)
- Plaza Food Hall (delicious fresh-made pasta)
- BXL Xoute (great endive salad, but scallops had no sear)

Beyond that, no budget limitations or strong preferences beyond delicious and interesting.

I've been craving peking duck with all the classic sides.

However, Hakkasan's peking duck seems too much food to eat solo. Also, the restaurant confirmed via email that it has seafood in it (fish sauce in the marinade), so I also can't plan that for later in the trip since 1 person has seafood allergies.

If you were me and had the above itinerary and preferences, where would you go?

Cafe Mogador,
Cafe Mogador Williamsburg,
Minetta Tavern,
David Burke Kitchen,
The Mark,
The Plaza Food Hall USA,
The Eddy,
The River Café,
ABC Kitchen,
ABC Cocina,
Gotham Bar and Grill,
Le Bernardin,
La Grenouille,
Per Se,
Boulud Sud,
Hakkasan New York,
Russ & Daughters,
Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum,
The Nomad Hotel,
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