Lunch at Lupa

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The West 4th stop of the D train has two exits: one on Waverly Street and one on the actual West 4th, in front of the IFC movie theater. These two exits, for me, mark two very different moods, two very different frames of mind. To exit on Waverly is an act of self-denial, a focused foray into the world of bagels and coffee–a quick one up at Murray’s on 13th and then back down to Joe on Waverly where I will sit and work for hours. To exit on West 4th, on the other hand, is to embrace a world of gastronomical wonders, to ignore all the mandates of “should” and “right now” and to relax into a land of creature comforts, of lobster rolls and gourmet cheeses, of yolky gelato and crispy paninis.

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Perry Street

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If you leave a restaurant happy, does it matter if the meal itself was anything but perfect? Yesterday I had this very experience at Perry Street, Jean-George’s oft-ignored Greenwich Village outpost where savvy diners can enjoy a three-course lunch for $24. I’d been meaning to try Perry Street for a long time–ever since it opened–but an opportunity never arose. Then, yesterday, after a morning meeting, I was in the Village looking for lunch and soon I was face to face with Perry Street. The glass exterior was a bit daunting: what would it be like inside? Would I be dressed appropriately (in jeans and flip-flops)? Would it be crowded, empty, filled with nudist monks having an orgy? I took a deep breath and decided to try my luck. I’m glad I did.

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