Reasonable, Delicious Midtown Lunch at Avra…

Affordable Midtown Lunch Can Be Challenging

I have always enjoyed Avra, a classic greek restaurant located near Grand Central Station.

Dining there makes you feel as if you are in Greece.

Recently, Avra, a part of the Tao Group, went upscale on the upper east side.

Avra Madison

Located in the now defunct Rouge Tomate, Avra is a lovely, sprawling 300-seat restaurant that is probably the best lunchtime deal in midtown.

Avra Madison

Lunch can be a very expensive proposition when you are looking to have a midtown meeting or hook up with a friend after shopping Fifth Avenue or toney Madison.

The latest version is situated across from Barneys New York on 60th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues.

Avra

We selected a window seat (there is outside dining) on a beautiful September afternoon.

The lunchtime special is priced at $29 for three-courses. The portions are quite generous.

As soon as you have ordered, the server brings over a platter with dip, olives and radish along with crispy wafers.

Greek Salad

We started out with a fresh and delectable chilled Greek Salad comprised of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and feta cheese.

Tuna Tartar

We also ordered a fabulous Tuna Tartar with soy-ginger dressing, avocado and  crispy shallots.

Other appetizer offerings include Spanakopita, Keftedes, Grilled Calamari, Fish Souvlaki, Spreads (assortment of tzatziki, tarama, fava and htipiti with grilled pita), Grilled Octopus and Crabcake (both $9 supplement).

Branzino

For my main, I ordered an amazing whole Lavraki, Grilled Branzino that was deboned, flaky, tender, mild and fabulous.

Arctic Char

My companion ordered Arctic Char, a moderately lean and firm fish with, steamed wild mountain greens.

Fresh Fish at Avra

Additional options are Grilled Chicken Breast with Greek Frites, Swordfish Brochette, Mediterranean Salad with Israeli couscous, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, olives, garbanzo beans and feta, Grilled Lamb Chops, Lobster Pasta and Grilled Filet Mignon with lemon potatoes and asparagus are also available for an additional charge.

Baklava
For dessert we chose the yummy Baklava with almonds and honey syrup and a fresh Fruit Plate. Chocolate-Yogurt Cheesecake was also available. Both desserts were satisfying.
Fruit Plate

We finished off the meal with a strong, freshly brewed cup of Greek coffee. You always want more as half the cup contains thick grounds.

Greek Coffee
The service lagged a bit, but the decor and food were excellent.
Avra is such a satisfying deal and a truly lovely lunchtime experience.
Avra Madison Estiatorio 14 East 60th Street New York City. Open for Lunch Monday-Friday 11:30am-4:30pm, Dinner Sunday-Tuesday 5-11pm, Wednesday-Saturday 5-12am. Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11am-5pm. Reservations on OpenTable.com.

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