Features 2 minutes 19 December 2023

The MICHELIN Guide to the New York Power Lunch

Where to go and what to have in the Big Apple.

New York City by The MICHELIN Guide

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Power lunching in New York is a longstanding tradition that’s as much centered on people watching as it is on titans of industry brokering deals and breaking bread. This favorite city pastime—often the topic of gossip pages in local newspapers- all but disappeared during the pandemic. Today, it's back and as thriving as ever.

Earlier this year, we broke down where the power set dine in the morning where they wheel and deal as the sun rises. However, what has changed, is where the business bigwigs choose to dine for their midday meal. The four MICHELIN restaurants below are on top of the list as the “in” places to eat come noon. Scoring a good table at these spots is no easy feat.

The Grill

If there’s a more iconic restaurant in New York for power lunching than The Grill, we’re hard-pressed to find it. Located in the historic Seagram Building in Midtown, the institution and chophouse is now run by The Major Food Group and is a who’s who scene on weekdays between noon and 2 p.m., according to co-founder Jeff Zalaznick. The banquettes are the seats that everyone vies for, but landing a reservation is a privilege that you need to earn, he says. “We don’t just put anybody there,” says Zalaznick.

Popular dishes include the hearty and off-the-menu roast beef sandwich, house chopped salad with chicken paillard and the Dover sole. In winter, pasta with white truffles is another top item and a splurge that business honchos order again and again.

Adrienne Gaut/The Grill
Adrienne Gaut/The Grill

Avra Rockefeller

The rush to eat lunch at this sleek three-level Greek seafood boite, designed by the notable architect David Rockwell, starts at 11:30 a.m., according to general manager Orlando Santana, and continues well into the early afternoon. It’s a time when the dining rooms are a sea of suits, and regulars include C-Suite executives from companies located within the same building or nearby such as Blackrock, Bessemer Venture Partners and the law firms White & Case and Latham & Watkins.

While the three-course prix-fixe menu is a mainstay for value seekers, Santana says that the power crowd gravitates to the lamb chops or shares a whole fish flown (fagri perhaps?) in from the Mediterranean that morning. Teetotaling is the norm though the occasional executive might order a glass of white wine.For serious business deals, the quieter downstairs room is the place to sit, but see-and-be-seen types command a perch in the main space. Here’s an insider tip: the tables numbered in the 20s and 40s are hot commodities.

Photo: Courtesy of Avra Rockefeller
Photo: Courtesy of Avra Rockefeller


When it first opened in 1837 in the Financial District, Delmonico’s was reportedly the first fine-dining establishment in the country. Shuttered during the pandemic, the steakhouse reopened in September in its original location and is booming during lunch. Owner Dennis Turcinovic says that CEOs and executives at major companies such as Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are repeat diners, and the restaurant also doubles as something of a cafeteria for high-ranking employees in the New York Stock Exchange.

Signature menu items include the prime rib sandwich, the eye of Delmonico- center cut of ribeye- and the wedge salad with grilled salmon. The best table in the house, he says, is 10. Located near the exit door in the rear of the main dining room, it overlooks the entire space. The bar area is also popular. “Table 30 seats eight and is the center point of the bar. It’s where larger parties request to sit,” says Turcinovic.

Photo: Courtesy of Delmonicos
Photo: Courtesy of Delmonicos

Ci Siamo

Located in Manhattan West, restauranteur Danny Meyer’s Italian spot Ci Siamo sees a chic lunch crowd of executives who work at companies within the vicinity such as the NHL, Peloton, Ernst & Young, and Skadden Arps. The dining room buzzes with energy as of noon and sees diners who are eager to mingle as well as try chef Hillary Sterling’s wood-fired cuisine.

Menu staples include the pesce fritti or fried seafood that’s a combination of oysters and cod, any of the pastas and chicken Milanese with caraway, arugula and lemon, available only during lunch. General manager Asher Russem says that the best seats in the house face the open kitchen and hearth. “You’ll be able to watch the kitchen team at work and see Chef Sterling working the line,” he says.

Read McKendree/Ci Siamo
Read McKendree/Ci Siamo

Hero image: Read McKendree/Ci Siamo


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