Business lunches are where deals are made and contracts are signed, but impressing with a limited expense account is a challenge. These restaurants will exceed expectations, without breaking the bank.
1. Cecconi’s, Los Angeles, California
Photo courtesy Cecconi’s West Hollywood
Situated on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood—nestled between the business epicentres of Beverly Hills and Hollywood—Cecconi’s is the place to hold lunch or dinner meetings. Many of the dishes on the Northern Italian-inspired menu fall in the US$20 to $40 range, but one item worth splurging on is the lobster spaghetti which features handmade pasta and Maine lobster.
Newf’s Poutine with East Coast lobster, photo courtesy Mat Tanner/Briggs Kitchen + Bar
Set inside of an old wooden warehouse, Briggs Kitchen + Bar produces big flavours from its charcoal oven. The menu features something for everyone, but it’s the sharing plates—try the $20 Newf’s Poutine with East Coast lobster—that set the “power lunch” tone. The exposed brick and polished metal create a serene environment where you can buckle down the details of your next big contract.
Photo courtesy Parq Vancouver
Ever since Parq Vancouver opened—housing two hotels, a casino, spa and more—the complex has become a major destination to effortlessly mix business with pleasure. Located on the sixth floor, the D/6 Bar & Lounge is a casual indoor/outdoor space that serves an all-day menu featuring sushi, salads and paninis for around $15. When you’re ready to get down to business, you can grab a seat in the lounge or head to the “secret room” behind a bookcase for a little extra privacy.
4. Figo, Toronto, Ontario
Pizzas at Figo in Toronto, photo courtesy Figo
Head just outside the financial district to Figo, where you can enjoy Italian-inspired cuisine in a modern and elegant setting. Floor-to-ceiling windows wash the restaurant in natural light, and there’s plenty of seating and few crowds, so you won’t feel rushed. You can’t go wrong with one of the $17 to $23 pizzas, but one stand-out is the truffle honey ricotta made from a 100-year-old recipe.
The Wayfarer, photo courtesy Arnaud Interiors
Located just below Central Park, The Wayfarer serves fresh takes on classic American dishes, such as the US$27 cauliflower risotto topped with black truffle and aged parmesan. Head upstairs to the lounge on the mezzanine level where you can sit in one of the wraparound booths and sip a custom cocktail while discussing business and watching the bustle of Manhattan pass by below.
[This story appears in the January 2019 issue of WestJet Magazine]