If you're stumped about where to arrange a business meal in New York City, I've got the advice you're looking for.
I hate to go to business meetings, and I hate to eat at places where everyone else is talking business. So I try to combine these two "hates" into one "like" -- the eat-meet.
Here's the dilemma: you don't want to just recommend a decent restaurant that everyone else is eating at. I ate at a nice, upscale, midtown Manhattan restaurant the other day and everyone there was talking about hedge funds, carbon credits, Fed yields, etc.
There's no point in doing an eat-meet there. Even if the food is great, there's nothing really special or interesting about it.
When doing an eat-meet, you want everything to be unique, a little offbeat without being grungy. A little special -- from the menu to the other patrons, to the owners and location (without being so far off that it's difficult to get to).When people, particularly investors or other visitors from out of town, want to do an eat-meet with me, I try to surprise and delight with the choice. Maybe even make it a little hard to get to or find.
For instance, if someone wants to do a breakfast meeting, the perfect place is the Diamond Dairy on 47th street. It's Kosher fare -- good, solid breakfast food.
Even if you know the exact address (4 W. 47th Street, right in the heart of New York's Diamond District), it's actually very difficult to find, since it's tucked away inside the building and doesn't seem overly welcome to newcomers.
If you want the absolute best breakfast in town, a little off the beaten path (zero hedge fund managers will be there, other than maybe me), check out the Clinton St. Baking Company on the Lower East Side.