Lunch Club (Food Memories of 2011, No. 15)

Every day in December, I'm writing a short post about some food memory from 2011, mostly to be more thankful for all the great food and drink I've been lucky enough to have this year.

My post today isn't so much about one meal or dish or drink I had this year as it is about a concept. In January, I started a new full-time job, which I love, where many of my co-workers share my interest in eating good food and exploring some of New York's finer restaurants. 

Based on those simple points, I started Lunch Club.

Lunch Club is a group of people, which changes every time we meet, that dines out for lunch six times a year at one of the nicer restaurants near our office in the Gramercy or Flatiron neighborhoods of Manhattan. The average lunch costs $30 per person. We go stag. And when it comes to deciding the restaurants, the rule is you have to have participated in the most previous Lunch Club to get a vote on the next one.

Typically, about six people are interested in going out, including me, although the group has been both smaller and larger. Some of the meals were disappointing (Resto didn't live up to my expectations in quality nor service), and others were excellent, like a very long tasting menu lunch at Gramercy Tavern. My favorite so far might be Maialino (shown above; image from Zagat), mostly because I lucked out on ordering the special, a porchetta sandwich with au jus dipping sauce and broccoli rabe, that also came with minestrone soup starter.

Lunch Club started in April, but we managed to fit in five outings this year: 

  • The Breslin
  • Blue Smoke (which has an outstanding burger)
  • Resto
  • Maialino
  • Gramercy Tavern