Where the Hell Am I Gonna Power Lunch Now?

Breaking down NY’s post-Four Seasons lunching scene

By Shari Gab

Bid Adieu to the Four Seasons, but Not Power Lunching
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20 April 2016

The disclaimer on the Four Seasons restaurant site currently reads:

“87 days left to party in the restaurant Zagat called ‘Manhattan’s most iconic.’”

It’s the end of an era. An era of men in pinstripes and comically wide ties making proverbial bank over Niçoise salads and a mid-afternoon Stella.

So now what?

There’s a fine roster of options still out there — ‘21’ Club, Morton’s, The Capital Grille, Eleven Madison Park, Le Cirque ...

But we have seven below-the-radar eateries in mind for your next power lunch. From prix-fixes to old-school steakhouses to a Downtown standard gone Midtown, here’s where you should be breaking bread while signing lines that are dotted.

For Keeping It Classy: The Back Room
A quiet and impressive atmosphere with views of Carnegie Hall. Newly appointed Chef de Cuisine Chad Brauze, formerly of Rotisserie Georgette, deftly executes seasonal American grill fare. It’s $32 for two courses. If we were standing over your shoulder, we’d advise you to start with the Grilled Octopus, followed by the Trout or Skirt Steak. And make sure you open the wine list.

For Keeping It Fresh: Park Avenue Spring
The interior and the menu completely transform each season, making Park Avenue Spring both reliable and refreshing. Of note on the recently turned menu: the Grilled Nueske’s Bacon with Peanut Butter and Jalapeño Jelly, Peekytoe Crab and Avocado Toast and the Lobster Salad with Beet, Avocado and Grapefruit.

For Switching Things Up: Jue Lan
Named after a 1930s Chinese art society, Jue Lan lives in the legendary Limelight building on Sixth Ave. Bi-level with 275 seats, we recommend checking out some of their private spaces for mid-sized parties. The newly launched prix-fixe lunch menu is three courses for $20.16. Order the Wagyu Beef served with Asian Pear and Smoked Oyster Crema and the Bao Buns and thank us later.

For Keeping It Classic: American Cut Midtown
The second edition of American Cut snazzes up the nostalgic steakhouse fare with a ‘70s glam-rock ambience. For lunch, the three-course prix-fixe for $28 will satiate even the hungriest client. Additionally, there’s a wide selection of a la carte offerings, from large salads to grilled fish. The made-to-order tableside cocktail cart is a nice touch. And we’ll be returning soon for dinner and their show-stopper 52 oz. porterhouse with flaming bone marrow butter — also prepared tableside.

For the Dapper Set: Ocean Prime
Swanky and lively, but neither snooty nor loud. Ocean Prime is all one would expect from a surf ‘n’ turf, yet inspired — from the White Truffle Caviar Eggs to the Blackened Snapper with Jalapeño Corn Tartar. Next-level hospitality and a wine list brimming with exclusive selects makes it a business lunch no brainer.

For Convenience: Wolfgang’s Steakhouse
We’re loath to endorse a locale with so many locations — unless, of course, we’re talkin’ Wolfgang’s. For when you need something solid but you don’t want to make going for lunch an Oregon Trail-esque expedition. Four decades of experience, a history that includes the words Peter and Luger and that insatiable 28-day dry-aged steak will consistently have us pulling up a seat, be it Tribeca or Times Square. See also: big a** lobster.

For Keeping It Real: Frankie & Johnnie’s
You’ve got an out-of-town client, you go to a 90-year-old staple. In its new 46th Street location, you can dive deep into a comfortable, perfectly prepared meat, potatoes and creamed spinach menu, while you wow ‘em with small talk. The original space once served as a speakeasy with a quasi-secret bar accessible only through the kitchen.

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