Diplomacy is hard work, and you can easily work up a fierce appetite at United Nations headquarters, whether you’re an actual diplomat or just there to watch.
Here are five spots — in no particular order — where you can take a break and get a good meal within easy walking distance of the General Assembly opening session.
• Sachi Asian Bistro offers a broad range of inventive Asian fusion creations in modern surroundings. Check out the dim sum, or maybe you’re more in the mood for sushi, sashimi or a Texas roll of teaming fried oysters with barbecued pork belly. How about rare duck breast with Asian greens?
Sachi Asian Bistro, 713 Second Avenue, between 38th and 39th Streets; (212) 297-1883
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 11:30 a.m.to 10:45 p.m., Sundays: 12 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
• The plaza running from East 44th Street to the back door of Luke’s Lobster is one of the nicest public spaces in the UN neighborhood. It’s an ideal setting for a lobster roll with root beer or a microbrew from Maine. Luke’s rolls, available in crab and shrimp as well as lobster, are served barely dressed and heaped high on the traditional hot dog bun.
Luke’s Lobster (Midtown East), 207 E. 43rd St., between Second & Third Avenues; (646) 657-0066
Hours: Monday-Sunday: 11 a.m.to 9 p.m. The restaurant can also be entered through the plaza on the south side of 44th Street between Second and Third.
• Masaharu Morimoto, a one-time fixture on the long-running Iron Chef TV cooking competition, has opened his 11th restaurant, Momosan, on a dull stretch of Lexington Avenue near 40th Street. And if you can forgive the crowds, it’s very good. The menu is disciplined, focused on excellent ramen and only a handful of other dishes. Prices are reasonable, the service is impeccable, and the surroundings are stylish yet comfortable.
342 Lexington Avenue between 39th and 40th Streets; (646) 201-5529
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
• Tuttles Bar & Grill, a well-concealed outdoor terrace provides a pleasant setting for a beer and a burger or a salad under the glow of neighboring office towers. The food is mainstream American but well prepared. Try the succulent sliced steak on a focaccia roll piled with Swiss cheese and sautéed peppers, mushrooms and onions; spring for the crispy sweet-potato fries, which are only a dollar extra.
735 Second Avenue between 39th & 40th Streets; (646) 422-7072
Hours: Monday-Sunday: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
• The sheer variety of dishes available under a single roof makes UrbanSpace Vanderbilt the perfect spot when you’re searching for a casual meal as part of a group with divergent tastes. Its conglomeration of individual food stands offers something for just about everyone. Try the crunchy crusted chicken breast sandwich fried up by Delaney Chicken. Or bite into Amali Mou’s gyro sandwich packing chunks of tender pork confit into a pita with tzatziki sauce, French fries, cucumber, tomato and red onion.
Northeast corner of 45th Street & Vanderbilt Avenue, Manhattan; (646) 747-0822
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• If you’re looking for a start to your day, an honorable mention for coffee and quick bites goes to Pennylane Coffee at 305 East 45th St. between 1st and 2nd Avenues.
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Irwin Arieff is a veteran writer and editor with extensive experience writing about international diplomacy and food, cooking and restaurants. Before leaving daily journalism in 2007, he was a Reuters correspondent for 23 years, serving in senior posts in Washington, Paris and New York as well as at the United Nations (where he covered five of the 10 years that Sergey Lavrov spent in New York as Russia’s senior UN ambassador). Arieff also wrote restaurant reviews for The Washington Post and Washington City Paper in the 1980s and 1990s with his wife, Deborah Baldwin.