"For lunch, which, for the nature of my business, is my favorite time to go around to interesting and off the beaten path restaurants in New York City, a great place with counter service on 11th St. and 2nd Ave. is Momofuku Noodle Bar -- great soup and a major hang out for chefs and people in the restaurant business. Barbuto, in the West Village, is lots of fun. If you like Italian, Lupa in the Village is definitely one of the best. For lobster rolls, try Mary's Fish Camp – fantastic, and Fatty Crab on Hudson St. – funky place, great food. I love these places because aside from great food, they represent the most innovative ideas in restaurants. So, if you have two or three hours during the late morning / early afternoon, you can try a few of the places one after the other, like we New Yorkers do."
Pino Luongo, Restaurateur & Author
Fancy on the Cheap
If you are itching to try some of the city's fine dining,
but are decidedly non-itching to pay fine dining prices,
stop by for lunch instead of dinner. Many restaurants
crammed for dinner will serve the same food to a nearly
empty room at lunchtime. Prices are often more reasonable;
for instance, Jean Georges, the well-starred restaurant right
off Columbus Circle (at 1 Central Park West), has a lunch
menu that features any two entrees for only $24. Afterwards,
take a walk through the park and splurge on a ridiculously
overpriced $4 ice cream from a cart.