10 Spots For Your Next Power Lunch
This hip London-based restaurant, with additional spots in Dubai, Hong Kong, and Abu Dhabi, opened its midtown Manhattan outpost in January. The dark two-story space includes a sushi bar, a robata grill serving an excellent rice hot pot with mushrooms ($19), and an extensive sake cellar. Come with potential clients, and expect a scene: Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow are two of Zuma’s many famous fans.
261 Madison Ave., zumarestaurant.com
Laid-back: Little Park
Chef Andrew Carmellini’s newest restaurant, inside Tribeca’s Smyth hotel since November, is a quick jaunt from the media and finance hub developing around One World Trade Center. In the sleek, spacious room, you’ll enjoy a veggie-focused menu of crispy Brussels sprouts ($15), celery-root schnitzel ($14), and standout desserts such as cinnamon-toast ice cream ($8)—a great treat to celebrate a deal.
85 West Broadway, littlepark.com
Swanky: Chiltern Firehouse
The best tables here often come with sightings of Tony Blair, Bono, or Kate Moss. Good luck getting dinner reservations, though—they’re some of the toughest to score in the world. You’ll have a better shot at lunch, especially during off-peak hours, so plan in advance and bring a boss you want to impress. The food alone is worth the effort. Order the crispy duck legs ($26) by Michelin-starred chef Nuno Mendes.
1 Chiltern St., chilternfirehouse.com
Laid-back: Fischer’s Restaurant
The latest from restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King is this update of a 20th century Viennese cafe, with deco-inspired tiles, a stunning station clock, and waiters in waistcoats. It’s in the chic neighborhood of Marylebone, so expect to eavesdrop on diners who have the luxury of taking an extended break as they enjoy affordable Austrian cuisine. Opt for chicken schnitzel ($14.50) and the apple-and-cinnamon strudel ($7.50). 50 Marylebone High Street, fischers.co.uk
Swanky: The Gadarene Swine
In September chef Phillip Frankland Lee opened this tiny, vegetarian Studio City establishment, which is a 10-minute drive from Universal, Walt Disney, and Warner Bros. studios. The power move is to order his $85 tasting menu—10 courses of whatever’s in season—but a la carte dishes such as roasted mushrooms with burned sweet potato ($17) have a lighter touch. The room resembles a monastery, so it’s fitting for confidential conversations.
11266 Ventura Blvd., thegadareneswine.com
The team behind the Venice eatery Gjelina opened this spinoff bakery nearby last fall. In addition to pastries, it’s got a smoked-fish counter, a sandwich station featuring delicious housemade bread, and a coffee bar stocked with an array of nut milks. Go here with out-of-town guests, then take your feast of falafel sandwiches ($13) to the beachfront, where you can spy on surfers and L.A. actor types.
320 Sunset Ave., gjusta.com
Swanky: The Allis
Chicago got its own Soho House club last summer, complete with this nonmembers’ lounge in the lobby. With crystal chandeliers, leather banquettes, and an energetic atmosphere, it’s a nice place for executives to network. The lunch menu focuses on classics such as kale Caesar salad ($12) and onion soup with Gruyère ($8), though there’s also an afternoon tea service ($24 for finger sandwiches and other pastries) if you head in after 2 p.m.
113-125 N. Green St., theallis.com
Laid-back: Oak + Char
Rising chef Joseph Heppe is making “modern Midwestern” food in a rustic space with leather stools and charred-wood décor. Mostly, he uses an open fire and clay pots to create hearty fare; don’t miss the Cuban sandwich ($13), with braised pork, prosciutto cotto, and bourbon pickles. The food is plenty heavy, so consider clearing your afternoon schedule. If you do, try one of the barrel-aged cocktails, too.
217 W. Huron St., oakandchar.com
Swanky: Juniper Commons
Kevin Sbraga’s third Philly joint, which opened in December, pays homage to the 1980s: The menu includes American steakhouse mainstays such as peel-and-eat shrimp cocktail ($14), fried crab cakes ($23), and stuffed manicotti ($16). A clubby dining room follows suit, with newspaper as wallpaper and lots of retro plaid. Show up with co-workers in your best suits, flaunt your business cards, and channel Patrick Bateman for an afternoon. 521 S. Broad St., sbragadining.com
Mike Solomonov makes what is arguably the best hummus in the country. When Dizengoff, his fast-casual Israeli cafe in bustling Rittenhouse Square, opened in August, it was so popular it would often run out of food by the afternoon. It’s since calmed down considerably. The setting is fun—complete with a counter and picnic tables—for holding informal brainstorms or getting to know new colleagues.
1625 Samson St., dizengoffphilly.com