North End Grill1/5
North End Grill
BLT Bar & Grill4/5
BLT Bar & Grill
Polish your shoes and make sure the lapels on your coat are right for the season, FiDi — our new neighbors have a keen eye. The main tenant of 1 World Trade Center, Conde Nast, publisher of everything covetable from the pages of Allure to Wired, finally moved in this week. But it’s a long way from 4 Times Square, and even models have to eat. For a quick lunch, there’s no better place to please an entire office than the Hudson Eats food hall at Brookfield Place, but what about a great cup of coffee, a sophisticated business lunch or a dinner to impress celebrity guests? We have a few suggestions for where to go (and, as importantly, be seen).
The saucer-like lamps may create the feeling of dining beneath an alien invasion, but the food is both modern — much of the market-driven menu is prepared over a wood-burning grill — and precise, as is the way of Danny Meyer (Gramercy Tavern). Scotch drinkers are encouraged to pace themselves while tackling the 150 varieties behind the bar. 104 North End Ave.
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Even the most city-loving girl can find herself fantasizing about giving it all up for the French countryside and living on wine and goat cheese. Short of running away to the Loire Valley, Maman’s adorable French cottage-style nook is the next best thing. Spend the next rainy lunch hour with your hands wrapped around a delicate blue-and-white teacup and a quiche by Michelin-starred chef Armand Arnal . Don’t leave without trying the chocolate chip cookie with French sea salt. 239 Centre St.
If there’s someone who embodies the spirit of coffee, it’s Hugh Jackman. How else do you explain his inexhaustible energy between musicals, Wolverine and never looking like he regularly shuttles between Los Angeles and his native Australia? Maybe you’ll find his secret at the bottom of a cup of coffee (or unique tea) at Laughing Man, which he co-founded. Giant doughnut optional (but recommended). 1 North End Ave.
Chef David Bouley is a New York City institution, but for this kaiseki restaurant he linked up with Japan’s Tsuji Culinary Institute for a seasonally rotating tasting menu. Cross your fingers for the chawan mushi, where the broth is served on top of the dish. But then, fashion magazine editors should be used to defying gravity. 30 Hudson St.
This tavern inside the W New York–Downtown has thoughtful details like glass lanterns and antique mirrors, making it a versatile spot that’s neither too masculine nor precious. The menu also mixes styles, with great salads (we like the Green Wheat Cobb) next to hearty cold-weather fare like the seafood hot pot. Get whimsical with dessert — go for a cereal cocktail.123 Washington St.
This charming little bistro feels like it was plucked from Williamsburg and dropped among the gray of Manhattan. Pull up one of the cheery yellow chairs and enjoy a plant-focused lunch that doesn’t forsake meat. Choose what you’re craving, or what you should be having according to the wall of ingredients (local, organic and free of hormones and antibiotics) and their benefits.73 Warren St.
Wine has fewer calories, but beer is more fun. The tap selection here is often themed, and special events are common even during the week. Pair your craft brew with any of seven kinds of wurst and six varieties of fries on the side.90 Washington St.