New York City on a Budget

by Aaron Barker


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.

1 Central Park West
Tel: 212 299 3900

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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