Horizon Media and Neuberger Berman employees dine next to private-practice doctors and lawyers in the micro-micro-neighborhood around Third Avenue and 38th Street. Located just southeast of Grand Central, upper Murray Hill offers an array of edibles ranging from hearty Italian to messy American to faux French.
• English Is Italian With ten specialty cocktails, Todd English’s upscale Italian restaurant is ideal for bringing back the three-martini lunch. And you needn’t feel guilty about your outlays on liquor — the two- and three-course meals cost just $34 and $39, respectively. They provide plenty to eat, but order a side of crisp mozzarella-filled arancini anyway. 622 Third Ave., at 40th St.; 212-404-1700.
• Josie’s Restaurant “Organic” is used to describe most dishes, but this slick contemporary East Side eatery is hardly Haute Barnyard in décor. Split the pan-seared black-bean dumplings, and choose from entrées like angel hair with turkey meatballs or shrimp “un-fried” brown rice. Unlike its West Side sister, this location serves sushi. 565 Third Ave., at 37th St.; 212-490-1558.
• Hudson Place Yes, the restaurant’s closer to the East River than its namesake body of water, but the pizza primavera, mushroom-and-veggie risotto, and yellowfin-tuna niçoise salad render such incongruities irrelevant. The cozy, fireplace-enhanced atmosphere offers refuge from the weather and the kind of intimacy that lends itself to gossip. 538 Third Ave., at 36th St.; 212-686-6660.
Duke’s The neon beer signs and license-plate-adorned walls extends a fratty feel to the restaurant formerly known as Earl’s, but the open-face chili burger, barbecue sauce-drizzled sweet-potato wedges, and piggly wigglys in a blanket make up for the collegiate atmosphere. 560 Third Ave., at 37th St.; 212-949-5400.
• Sarge’s Delicatessen Named for its police-sergeant founder, this classic (non-kosher) deli sports is open 24 hours, and the menu’s as expansive as you’d expect. You can’t go wrong with an omelette, mushroom-barley or matzo-ball soup, a triple-decker sandwich, rugalach, or black-and-white cookies. With pickles and coleslaw on the side, naturally. 548 Third Ave., nr. 36th St.; 212-679-0442.
• Crêpe Mania Sweet or savory is the question at this five-stool creperie. The chalkboard lists combos like wild mushroom and turkey, PB&J;, and Nutella and banana. The “Nice & Slim” is stuffed with fruits and granola — and, indulgently, vanilla ice cream. 533 Third Ave., nr. 35th St.; 212-684-6733.
• Good Portions This colorful, super-clean Asian eatery delivers quality and quantity. Though many dim-sum spots encourage sharing, the combo boxes and lunch specials let you sample a variety of soups, dumplings, and sushi all on your own. 347 Lexington Ave., nr. 39th St.; 212-867-2979.
• Wild Edibles The staff at this seafood market can explain the difference between Dover and lemon sole as easily as they ladle out clam chowder. Customize your cuisine with the mix-and-match option — pick a fish (tilapia, tuna, salmon), seasoning (pistachio, teriyaki, ginger lime), and preparation (grilled, steamed, roasted) — but call ahead to allow the kitchen cook time. 535 Third Ave., nr. 36th St.; 212-213-8552.
• Daniel’s Bagels Daniel’s has earned its regulars with quick service, fresh food, and reliable menu additions. Get everything from a scoop of whitefish to sundried-tomato tofu spread on one of twelve bagel varieties, and just try to resist the mini-muffins. 569 Third Ave., nr. 38th St.; 212-972-9733.