Power lunches in NYC transpire each and every day within the walls of some of Manhattan’s most reputable restaurants. Estiatorio Milos, Marea, and Le Bernardin immediately come to mind, but a decent list of New York’s highly rated dining spots, mostly in Midtown, cater to the martini-chugging, steak-eating business crowd. Truth be told, as a blogger, I don’t fit in too well with that circle, but that doesn’t mean I can’t splurge now and then and enjoy a grown-up lunch at some of these eloquent establishments.
I selected Quality Italian to meet my friend Heather from Boston, because I had dined at the since closed sister restaurant, General Assembly (in actuality, relocated and renamed Park Avenue Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn, depending on the seasons), so I knew the food, cocktails, and service would be stellar. Plus, the central location on West 57th makes this restaurant ultra convenient. I didn’t think much about the “power lunch” aspect, but soon after arriving, I realized that this restaurant falls into that category. Nonetheless, casually dressed for a relaxed ladies lunch, we still fit in.
We tasted whites like a Chardonnay from Languedoc-Roussillon and a Napa Valley Viognier, followed by reds such as a vibrant Bordeaux blend, and an unforgettable Argentinian Cab Sauv.
In between the healthy pours, we snuck a few bites of food. Perhaps this post should be titled ” Power Wine Drinking at Quality Italian.”
We started with the yellowtail crudo which was velvety smooth and perfectly seasoned, followed by the rich, decadent eggplant polpette with roasted eggplant, burrata, and San Marzano D.O.P. tomatoes. Meanwhile, the hearty grilled octopus with farro, black chickpea, and yogurt didn’t disappoint. We saved space for Quality’s signature rolls, which are worth the carb splurge, but we skipped dessert this time around.
Known for its steaks, Quality Meats is owned by the same restaurant group, so if you’re a carnivore, a nicely cooked rib steak at Quality Italian might have your name on it. Other dishes that sounded tempting were the chopped Roman salad (similar to a Caesar), the cracked lobster cocktail, and the lemon-charred chicken Alan.
We were among large tables of business people in the bustling dining room, but our table was far from a power lunch. I’ll just say that there was lots of gabbing and giggling, with little work-related conversation!
If you’re in need of a midtown dining spot to meet clients, colleagues, or friends, Quality Italian is delightful. The food is excellent, the scene lively, and for me, power or no power, this restaurant offers a pleasant diversion from my usual Thai food delivery in the company of my laptop. And the wine? When I taste ten wines in one sitting, each one tends to get better.
Other Fourth Wall Restaurants include Maloney & Porcelli, Quality Meats, Quality Eats, Smith & Wollensky, and Park Avenue.
The next Wine Week at Fourth Wall Restaurants will take place March 28 through April 1. Check out the vintners schedule for each day that week, and make your reservations now. Happy wine drinking and power lunching. 😉
57 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019