The 3-Martini Lunch – Best of

With the popularity of Mad Men idolizing the glamour of the advertising industry in the 1960’s, the concept of the three martini lunch is making a resurgence.

Back in the simpler days of advertising, most of the work was done by noon and you were off to lunch, rarely to return.  The industry has sobered up since then, but there is a quiet movement afoot to bring back some of the old glory.  While still frowned upon by many, the trick is to find the hidden gems where you can casually enjoy the spoils in relative anonymity.

I recognize the mere act of writing these down could make them obsolete. I do so hoping that those who do will, and those who don’t will stay away.

Here are the best places that an ad exec (or anyone) can steal away to enjoy a martini, or wine; to see and not be seen.


Gallagher’s Steak House (@ the bar)

228 W. 52nd St (b/w 8th & Broadway)

Most people won’t get past the raw meat lining the entryway to Gallagher’s.  If you’ve managed to, leaving at least half of your would be detractors behind, take a seat at the bar.  Jack will gladly pour you the best dirty martini around, but don’t dismiss the highly acceptable wine list.  Order the sliced steak sandwich with the onion soup.


The Palm West

250 W. 50th St (b/w 8th & Broadway)

Head straight for the bar, the dining room will be filled with many of your business associates, the bar is neatly tucked away to the left of the hostess.  Forgo the martini for the classic charmer manhattan, or opt for one of the many excellent wines by the glass.  Get the steakburger sliders with a side of the best creamed spinach anywhere.


Lucy’s Cantina Royal – upstairs roof deck

1 Penn Plaza (corner of 34th St. and 8th Ave.)

With a number of agencies and media companies nearby, you will run into some folks you know.  But anyone sitting up top will be there for the same reason you are, a nice cold frozen margarita.  Leaving the chaos of the street below, a couple hours on Lucy’s roof deck feels like a mini vacation.


4. The Algonquin – Blue Bar

59 West 49th St. (b/w 5th & 6th Aves)

The Algonquin was one of the originals but has been forgotten in the new century (a recent renovation is changing that so get here soon).  Here you will find the most inventive menu to accompany your martini.  The Dorothy Parker mini burgers harken back to the Algonquin’s heyday, but the asian chicken lollipops or the lobster mac and cheese are every bit 21st century.



5. Quality Meats

57 West 58th St. (b/w 5th & 6th Aves)

You will be drawn to Quality Meats during wine week, but table 56 in the corner, upstairs, in the back is perfect year round.  Twenty six exceptional wines are offered by the glass.  Excellent steaks but you could make a meal of the sides; corn creme brulee, buttered edamame and parmesan waffle fries will fill you up and soak up that wine you drank!


6. The Morgan Library


225 Madison Ave. (@36th St.)

This is anonymous martini drinking nirvana.  You will find yourself eating in the original Morgan family dining room.  Lunching amongst mainly tourists and members, order the “three martini lunch”.  Three two-ounce martinis, olive, twist and onion.  The menu changes seasonally and i

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