Cheap eats for every occasion
Thu Jul 10 2008
Opt for the $28 three-course lunch (Wednesday through Friday) at Bill Telepan’s seasonal Upper West Side restaurant, and you’ll get a chance to sample the Niman Ranch burger, recently rated by TONY as one of Manhattan’s best. 72 W 69th St at Columbus Ave (212-580-4300)
Photograph: Shani Bar-On
Dig into chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s world-class cuisine for a Jackson and change. At lunchtime (daily except Sunday), $24.07 gets you three courses—with dishes like chilled asparagus soup and slow-roasted hake. Trump International Hotel & Tower, 1 Central Park West at Columbus Circle (212-299-3900)
Upscale Indian is the order of the day at this ornate dining palace. The $25 three-course weekday lunch can include delicacies such as the signature Indo-Chinese cauliflower in a spicy-sweet tomato-garlic sauce, and tandoor-grilled lamb chops. 8 E 18th St between Fifth Ave and Broadway (212-691-1300)—Gabriella Gershenson
The Baltic grub at this midtown newbie comes plenty cheap. Hit the spot at lunch when a $9.95 prix fixe means a choice of appetizers (go for the creamy, garlicky cacik) and smoky grilled kebab. 1071 First Ave between 58th and 59th Sts (212-888-0809)
A treasure on an otherwise bleak pocket of Soho, this French eatery offers a $19 prix fixe of competent bistro basics. Start with a soup or mesclun salad and progress to classic eats like a hangar steak frites or grilled salmon with ratatouille; the price also includes a glass of wine. 155 Grand St at Lafayette St (212-274-8859)
David Burke’s psycho-aquarium offers an unbeatable-for-the-hood Sunday night deal: three courses for $20.09. On the lineup: shrimp-and-sea-urchin risotto served in a hollowed-out urchin shell and grilled squid over loop-shaped mac and cheese. 135 E 62nd St between Park and Lexington Aves (212-754-1300)
Cha-An Tea Room
Tea service at some of Manhattan’s grander salons can set you back a lofty sum, but the spread at this zen teahouse is just $18. Your bills buy a pot of expertly steeped leaves, with two varieties of sandwiches, scones and housemade sweets like green-tea macaroons. 230 E 9th St between Second and Third Aves (212-228-8030)
Le Veau D'Or
French food has a decadent rep, but you’d never know it at this long-standing UES eatery where dinner can be had for a paltry $20. Three courses include your choice of app (among them creamed herring and pate) and entre (chicken livers in Madeira sauce, lamb stew). Desserts skew classic too: go for the apple tart.
You won’t get your savory fix at this EV dessert bar, but their sweet prix-fixe is a bargain any way you slice it. The $12 deal starts with an “amuse,” proceeds with a choice of dessert (steamed quince pudding, brown sugar panna cotta) and concludes with a slightly redundant but no less appreciated plate of petits fours. Add wine pairings for $7. 203 E 10th St between First and Second Aves (212-995-9511)
The $35 price tag is a leap above our other options, but the value of this mini omakase makes it one of the city’s best deals. The six course cross-section of the restaurant’s Zen cuisine includes your choice of hot or cold soba. The rest of the food—spicy kampachi sashimi, tuna and salmon sushi, crispy fried shrimp, vanilla custard with caramel—is selected by the chef. 241 Church St between Leonard and Worth Sts (212-925-0202)
* Less than $10 a course—score!