If you enjoy eating out–and it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t–but hate paying dinner prices–here’s a not-so-revolutionary idea: try eating lunch out. Of course lunch out in New York can mean a variety of things—the flatiron lunch, for example–
or a favorite food truck
or taking some time out to serve lunch to the needy
(Source: dailymail.co.uk) but I’m talking enjoying a regular sit down restaurant meal. While this wasn’t always feasible when you were working–although our ground-breaking friends always made time in their work week for one lunch out–it’s one of the perks of being retired.
This doesn’t mean you can never eat dinner out again, but rather that you go to those special places you have dreamed about at lunch time.
You can start out during Restaurant Weeks, which are now held twice a year, with a three-course dinner for $35 and lunches for $25 (not including drinks, tax or tips). The next one for New York will be in June/July–generally the slowest weeks of the year for business. Well, that’s fine for those of us who are in town, retired, and free for lunch. Granted, you can always have a burger for less, but this is an opportunity to taste the real thing–the best, the newest and your favorites. For example, at previous Restaurant Weeks, we have eaten at Gotham Bar and Grill,
(Source: money.cnn.com) Boulud Sud and Aquavit. To get an alert for the next Restaurant Week, go to http://www.nycgo.com/restaurantweek/ and sign up. As you would expect, some of the hottest restaurants fill up first, so be ready. Many have a special menu for the week, and some foodies turn their nose up at what they think are watered-down Restaurant Week menus but we have always gotten good meals.
Aside from Restaurant Week, lunch is always cheaper than dinner and even at the top places, you can get a two or three-course prix fixe meal for a reasonable price at lunchtime.
For something completely different, try the spin-offs from the great restaurants like DGBG, Daniel Boulud’s casual and hip Bowery restaurant where you can get a three-course prix fixe for $27 or for smaller appetites, interesting plates such as charcuterie and lamb merguez for $12-15 plus lots of beer on tap,
The 27-rated Estiatorio Milos fabulous three course prix fixe Greek menu for $25.
the 27-rated Tocqueille three course prix fixe French/New American menu for $29,
and the 24-rated Philippe three-course prix fixe Chinese menu for $24.
So plan a date and go for a great meal during the daylight hours: reservations are easier to get, the restaurants are less crowded and except for the power lunch group, dress is more casual. You will also have plenty of time to digest your meal. Enjoy!