Larchmont's Best Lunches

Stylish eating options in the 10538 ZIP code: upscale Italian, modern Indian, and so much more.

​What’s doing for lunch in Larchmont? Madison Kitchen has a new $18-prix fixe with a choice of salad or soup, entrée, and scoop of house-made ice cream. Of course, this is printed smack in the middle of the more expensive (and very tempting) regular lunch menu. What makes this a deal is Chef Nick Di Bona’s cooking, the fact that you can choose any salad from the regular lunch menu (though there’s a $4 surcharge for burrata with eggplant), and did someone say rainbow cookie ice cream? (And yes, Di Bona told me that’s his favorite.) Entrées include tuna tacos with seaweed salad, Peking duck quesadilla, daily pizza special, and portobello burger with goat cheese and sautéed onions. Tuna tacos were spectacular: fried wonton-wrapper shells filled with thick slices of seared, silky Hawaiian tuna with avocado, jalapeño, tomato, onion, and a swoosh of wasabi sour cream.

One of Coriander’s salads with apples, figs, and walnuts. 

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At Coriander Modern Indian, a “Lighter Side” menu (in addition to the regular lunch menu—no buffet here) offers soup, salad, and naan, along with paneer-strewn main-course salads, an avocado chicken kebab, and tikka rolls and wraps. Soup is whatever they give you—I lucked into moderately spicy spinach lentil—and rolls are made with delicious house-made chapatti. An otherwise very good grilled vegetable and paneer roll contained precious little of the grilled, marinated paneer (pictured on the iPad dinner menu in large slices as a stand-alone dish). Arugula salad with apples, figs, and walnuts was inadequately dressed and could have been fresher.

Courtesy of Palomino

Palomino’s paella is a lunch-worthy main course.

Palomino, Chef Rafael Palomino’s pan-Latin/Southwestern mashup, might seem too expensive to set foot in casually, but think again. A $15.95 prix fixe lunch includes appetizer and entrée, and a $9 salad bar comes with four free toppings. Appetizers include Santa Fe chicken tortilla soup with avocado, black beans, and queso fresco, and Napa roasted beet and goat cheese salad with arugula, Serrano ham, toasted almonds, and blood orange vinaigrette. Main courses include paella Palomino, Angus beef and chorizo burger, and free-range chicken stuffed with sweet plantain, chorizo, and goat cheese, with rosemary potatoes and sweet cherry sauce. Not bad at all. You need a good lunch special to roll in this town.

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Give your lunch some crunch: Polpettina’s honey-drizzled eggplant chips make for a crispy, classy starter dish.

Chat 19 (and its Scarsdale sister) features a gluten-free menu with eight solid choices, like wild Scottish salmon with bok choy, fingerling potatoes, and whole grain mustard sauce, and spaghetti squash with pesto, vegetables, and pine nuts. Polpettina has the same menu for lunch as for dinner (artisanal pizza, eggplant chips with honey, meatball sampler, draft cocktails), but at lunch you can actually get in. The $14.50 prix fixe at Encore Bistro Français applies even on Saturdays, and includes an appetizer, main course, and dessert. But the best everyday destination remains a place that is just about breakfast and lunch: Stan’z, where my favorite salads and omelets are to be found. Since it more than doubled in size a few years ago, the wait has at least lessened. If getting a seat isn’t a requirement, head down the street to Bradley’s Desserts and Café for a turkey sandwich—you’ll seldom find a better one.

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