5 West Side Values For Mid-day Indulgence

1) Nougatine Room at Jean-Georges. Literally as close as you can get to 4-star food for this kind of money. Waiter service is hotel quality, with good intentions partially compensating for language difficulties, but food is well-prepared, the open kitchen theater is excellent (though no Café Gray) for those who enjoy such action.

2) Telepan: Taking a page from Compass on value, Bill Telepan has given West Siders, and discerning destination diners, a reason to skip dinner and splurge at lunch…and then return with the extra cash for dinner.

3) Compass: Upper West Side’s best claim to ambitious value, especially brunch. Brilliant use of fixed components–bread and pastry basket, starter selection plate and dessert sampler plate–keeps costs down while offering sensation and reality of luxuriant abundance. Weekend mid-day service not as soulful and informative as one might wish, a bit busboy-like, but such is Sunday on the West Side.

A short subway ride away

4) and 5) Double down on The Modern’s and Alto‘s prix-fixes: Feel virtuous on the low-cost subway then settle in for the ultimate Lucullan lunch–take in Midtown’s two new classics’ prix-fixes back to back. Such a feat requires discipline, but you’ll waddle forth fatter and happier than anyone else in Midtown.  As a bonus, if you finish with the Modern, you can take in some half-decent art afterwards .  Ask yourself if the renovations were worth it, that is, from a non-foodie perspective.


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