Remember when lunch was a thing? If so, you would have to be a certain age, as in someone who witnessed businessmen quaffing martinis at the Beaver Club, or ladies who didn’t drink Baby Duck so much as lunch next to them at the Ritz Garden. You don’t have to go as far back as the Mad Men era to have witnessed peak “let’s do lunch,” but you do have to go back to the time when expense accounts were fatter and executives tended to do business over a steak at Moishes rather than a kale salad grabbed at their desks while discreetly checking Facebook.
For a while it seemed like none of the city’s upscale restaurants were bothering with lunch, as many chefs claim it simply isn’t financially viable. What a shame, considering lunch in a top resto is usually far less expensive than dinner. Downtown restaurants like Café Ferreira and Europea do a brisk lunch business, but otherwise, when we’re talking about the city’s best restaurants, many are shuttered midday. But slowly, slowly, that’s changing. Toqué! now serves lunch, and frugal foodies have long known that lunch at La Chronique and Milos are some of the best deals in town. Impasto serves lunch a few times a week and Tavern on the Square is busy, busy at lunch time, as is Maison Boulud, soon to open its garden and welcome back those ducks.