If there’s one thing that’s unfortunate about fine dining, it’s the fact that its price is well beyond the budget of the average diner. These are special occasion places for sure, but for most of us no occasion is special enough to justify dropping hundreds of dollars on a dinner for two. But if you’re looking to experience a fine dining restaurant without breaking the bank and don’t want to wait until Restaurant Week and its generally second-class fare rolls around, there’s a way: Go for lunch.
While not every four-star restaurant is open for lunch and serves a reasonably-priced menu during those hours, a little research can yield some great results. In New York, for example, Mario Batali’s renowned Del Posto offers a three-course lunch for $49 (it used to cost an insane $29), a full hundred dollars less than its dinner prix-fixe. Del Frisco’s Steakhouse serves a three-course lunch (with a side of Chateau Potatoes) for $36. A five-course tasting at the legendary Bouley will set you back just $55. Babbo offers a full reduced-price lunch menu as well as a $49 tasting menu, and the three Michelin-starred Jean Georges offers a three-course lunch tasting for $38.
All things, considered, the prices of these lunches are absurdly inexpensive considering the caliber and level of renown of these restaurants. Dinner at these restaurants may be out of our price range, but lunchtime is a whole lot cheaper!