It’s one cliché that Hollywood films don’t exaggerate: there’s nothing in the world quite like being properly wine and dined in the Big Apple. If your client’s heading to New York City, and you want to seal a deal — or simply keep your business relationship going strong — you face an overwhelming number of options. Do your research and choose wisely. While picking the perfect restaurant for a client power lunch or dinner won’t guarantee future loyalty, it will impress either way. And, of course, you’ll have a fabulous meal yourself.

Before you kick off your quest to choose an ideal spot, shake off any outdated notions of what a great client restaurant should be. New York City’s best power lunch restaurants, for instance, don’t uniformly conform to the old-fashioned model of steakhouses or high-end hotel restaurants (although there are plenty of those). Sushi, Italian, seafood and obscure regional cuisines are choices that play upon the city’s foodie strengths, which lean heavily not only upon what can be regionally sourced but its diverse immigrant history. And while Midtown is home to a disproportionate number of the city’s most impressive restaurants, downtown Manhattan wins out for eclectic style, international menus, and sheer fun. Remember that many clients, especially Millennials and Gen X-ers, may prefer sushi in Soho to power lunching at a 5 star hotel. (For more, see: A Financial Advisor's Guide to Millennial Clients.)

Finally, do your research. Is your client a vegetarian, Kosher, gluten-free, or simply well known for living a healthy lifestyle? Or perhaps he or she is an adventurous eater who adores exotic cuisine, preferably the spicier the better. These are questions you’ll want to suss out before you book the reservation.

The Classic

The Four Seasons

 99 E. 52nd St., Midtown

This is the city’s most iconic spot for a power lunch. The de rigueur policy of jackets and reservations speak not only to this hotel’s classic formality, but its history: the Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe designed restaurant has been entertaining the city’s elite since 1959, including more than a few presidents. While the pepper-crusted filet mignon is lunch’s most decadent offering, lighter classics like Maryland crab cakes and roasted cod with spring vegetables mean you can power lunch without needing a nap after lunch. (For more, see: How Expensive Is New York City – Really?)

Downtown Vintage Glamour

Minetta Tavern

113 MacDougal St., Greenwich Village

With an authentic vintage feel — checkered parquet floors, pressed tin ceilings and celebrity caricatures adorning the walls — you can practically imagine Ernest Hemingway and Dylan Thomas tipping back whiskey at the bar. Actually, it’s not your imagination: this Greenwich Village mainstay with its red leather booths has been going strong since 1937. Under Keith McNally’s ownership since 2009, the kitchen turns out well-executed steaks, chops, fish and to-die-for burgers in an atmosphere that’s equal parts Parisian charm and Manhattan buzz.

Celebrity Chefs, Italian Style

Del Posto

85 10th Ave., Chelsea

Yes, Italian joints in New York are as ubiquitous as hot dog stands and yellow cabs. Yet of the bunch, Del Posto in 2010 became the first Italian restaurant to garner a superlative 4 star review from the New York Times in more than 40 years. With celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich at the helm, it’s no surprise that dishes like chestnut ravioli, slow-cooked chicken, and butterscotch semifreddo all transcend your notions of what an Italian restaurant can be. From a reasonable $49 3-course prix fixe lunch to elegant options for private dining, you can entertain one client on a limited budget or a group on an unlimited one. Does your client eschew meat and dairy? Wow them with the 8-course Vegan Tasting menu in the evening. (For more, see: 10 U.S. Cities You Don't Need a Car to Visit.)

Sustainable Slow Food

ABC Kitchen

35 E. 18th St., Union Square

Sustainable, global cuisine inspired by the slow food movement shines at Michelin star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Union Square restaurant. With an eclectic, regionally sourced menu that’s free of hormones, pesticides, insecticides and antibiotics, this is a safe bet for your most health-conscious foodie client.

For Sushi Fanatics


40 W. 57th St., Midtown West; 105 Hudson St., Tribeca

When the Japanese yen skyrocketed in the 1980s and companies like Sony Corp. (SNE) and Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) ruled the stock market, sushi became the new steak as Wall Streeters embraced the craze for Japanese food. While celebrity chef-owned Nobu isn’t Manhattan’s hottest new sushi spot, its international name recognition is earned by the crucial combination of top quality and dramatic presentation. (For more, see: Dragons, Samurai Warriors and Sushi on Wall Street.)

For Bon Vivants

21 Club

21 W. 52nd Street, Midtown West

A former speakeasy built in 1929, this bucket-list restaurant oozes atmosphere. With white glove service, you’ll want to dress appropriately: jackets for men are advised. If you’re planning to go old school with a martini lunch (hopefully one, not three) or a boozy dinner, this is the place.

The Bottom Line

Manhattan is one the world's best places to wine and dine a client. These restaurants impress and cater to a variety of client types. (For more, see: Financial Advisor Client Guide.)

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