Budget

New York City on a Budget

by Aaron Barker

THE FRUGAL FOODIE (continued)

Midday Masterpiece
Make each meal (and every dollar) count by dining at one of the city's haute tables—for lunch. At star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's swanky eponymous restaurant (pictured), crisp soft-shell crab and velvety avocado topped with a tableside pour of ginger vinaigrette is even more delicious when you know it's part of a $40 three-course weekday lunch. Making it a three-martini lunch would double your tab, but a $9 glass of Arbois Trousseau isn't out of the question. Reserve at least two weeks in advance. Lavish new-wave Scandinavian restaurant Aquavit also slashes prices during the day: The tasting menu might include trout that's been cured, cold-smoked, and warmed in duck fat, or the Swedish staple, herring, reimagined in a corn, lime, and jalapeño ceviche, and in an apple-chive yellow curry. That's no red herring, either: Three courses ring up to a very manageable $39.

Cool Britannia
The London NYC hotel is the linchpin of your edible odyssey. Hell's Kitchen star Gordon Ramsay is at the helm of the London's fine-dining restaurant and more casual lounge (the latter worth noting for its $35 prix fixe lunch), but he's also responsible for the 24-hour room service menu. Surely some delicate sips of mushroom velouté with Périgord truffle shavings ($14) are just the thing for that 3 am hunger pang. In the past, rates for a smartly designed suite (yes, suite) have dipped as low as $299—the price of a closet elsewhere—meaning that this is can be one of midtown's best bargains.

Jean-Georges
1 Central Park West
Tel: 212 299 3900

Aquavit
65 E. 55th St.
Tel: 212 307 7311

London NYC
151 W. 54th St.
Tel: 212 307 5000

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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