Michael Who?

Power-lunch restaurants that are the new hot spots

Across town from Michael’s, New York’s power-lunch hot spot of lore, Docks Oyster Bar has supplanted Patroon as the destination for McCann Erickson execs, while 3,000 miles away, ad types are finding their way to San Francisco hangouts like Anchor & Hope and Old Ship Saloon. Here, some more picks of agency, media and tech brass chasing the perfect calamari, a killer cocktail and all the buzz.


David Granger, editor in chief, Esquire

The Lambs Club. David Rabin and the Zakarians (Geoffrey and Margaret) have made it one of the most interesting lunch places in the city. You get Viacom honchos like Carl Folta. You get some choice Condé Nast editors and execs. And you get random visiting dignitaries checking in with Mr. [Sant Singh] Chatwal, the owner. Fantastic menu. Intimate atmosphere with fireplace. Great bar upstairs. Fantastic private rooms.”


John Nicoletti, director of agency development, Google

Zuni Café has become a hot lunch spot for media, agency and VC guys. You’re likely to find a few Twitter or Zynga execs hanging around given the proximity to their headquarters.”


Rob Schwartz, global creative president, TBWA Worldwide

Caffé Pinguini in Playa Del Rey, “where the Pacific meets the LAX flight pattern with the scent of garlic. It’s a terrific Italian restaurant [where] the cool kids sit outside sipping Pinot Grigio and nibbling on a delectable insalata di mare, featuring clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari. Lee Clow holds court usually on Thursday.”


Jeff Goodby, co-chairman and creative director, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

“A real sleeper power-lunch restaurant is Credo on Pine Street. For grown-up drinking in the evening, there’s still nothing like a martini at Bix or the Redwood Room in the Clift. And if you’re dressed for it, the Bubble Lounge in the Transamerica Building.”


Rei Inamoto, CCO, AKQA

The Ace Hotel seems to be turning into the new Balthazar. Balthazar was—and still is—the place where ad types do their power breakfasts, particularly on Fridays. If you have an interview there with your potential employer on a Friday, be ready to get caught. But in the last couple of years, I’ve gotten more requests to meet at the Ace Hotel for breakfast, lunch and drinks than Balthazar.”


Gabe McDonough, vp, music director, Leo Burnett

Shaw’s Crab House is an old-school ad guy haunt that’s still full with industry people at lunch and happy hour. Oysters, Sauvignon Blanc—and lots of laughs and shit talkin.’ Whenever foodies from out of town come in, I take them here, and it blows their minds.”

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