Lunch at Avra Madison

Every year around the holidays I take a few hours off from work, hit up the Rockefeller Center tree and all the 5th avenue windows, then finish the afternoon with a fancy lunch.  This year I decided to stay right in Midtown and dine at the gorgeous Greek restaurant Avra Madison Estiatorio.  This sprawling spot just steps from Central Park was bustling with a large contingent of "Ladies who Lunch" enjoying some wine and chattering away about the latest NYC gossip.  

Every meal at Avra begins with a platter of rosemary dusted flatbread served alongside a thick, creamy hummus, sliced radish and black olives. It's a delightful and delicious change from the usual basket of bread.

First course Tuna Tartare with avocado and crispy shallots dressed in a soy ginger sauce.  This was exquisite, the tuna was chopped a bit more firm than most tartares giving a nice texture contrast to the fresh cut avocado while the ginger added a slightly spicy kick.

Second course Chicken Frites; a thin grilled chicken breast served with a tower of Greek oregano dusted fries.

I was a bit hesitant to order this knowing that Avra is first and foremost a seafood restaurant but it turned out to be a great decision.  I loved the delicate lemon jus on top of the chicken and the thick mound of garlic studded tzatziki sauce was the perfect pairing for the crispy oregano fries.

To finish a classic Greek Baklava layered with crushed almonds, honey and a flurry of powdered sugar on top.

This meal was absolutely wonderful and quite a bargain at just $29.50 for the three course prix fixe.  I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a fabulous midtown lunch without the expense account price tag.

14 East 60th Street
New York, NY 10022