Emeril, Giada, Govind, Cat Cora, Pichet and more serve up lunch for under $10 in Midtown!

Yesterday, Midtown Lunch became Chef central with the opening of Bon Appetit’s “Pop Up Cafe” in the old Hard Rock Cafe space on 57th btw. 7+8th.  Open from 11am to 3pm, the Cafe is essentially a gussied up Cafe Metro, serving up fancy sandwiches, soups & salads created by famous chefs like Govind Armstrong (Table 8), Cat Cora (Iron Chef), Giada De Laurentiis (Food Network), and Emeril, plus desserts from Will Goldfarb (Picnick) and Pichet Ong (P*ong).

Everyday there will also be demonstrations from the Chefs, plus free samplings of wine, Ice Cream from Haagen Dazs and chocolate from Ghirardelli to make you not care that you just spent $9 for a sandwich!  I don’t normally like paying so much for this kind of lunch- but what can I say?  I’m a whore for celebrity chefs…

Fancy salad, sandwich and soup porn, PLUS a schedule of events (and photo of my free ice cream!)- after the jump…

Everything is under $10, with sandwiches and salads being anywhere from $7-9, soups $5, and desserts around $2-4.  Here are the some of the things they’ll be serving up…

For salads, they’re got a Michael Mina Roasted Beets & Burrata Cheese w/ Arugula & Balsamic, a Goat Cheese Caesar Salad from Michel Richard, another Michael Mina creation (Smoked Salmon Nicoise), and more.

Yesterday they were serving Michael Mina’s Tomato Gazpacho with Peekytoe Crab & Avocado, but I think the soups are going to change every day.  At some point in the next week, there will be a Corn & Crab Bisque courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, a Potato Celery Soup from Cat Cora, plus others…

Sandwich wise they’ve got a Muffuletta from Giada de Laurentiis, Tropical Rolls from Govind Armonstrong, a Roast Beef with Marinated Onions and Blue Cheese sandwich from Bon Appetit and more.

Everyday they will have new specials.  Yesterday, it was Govind Armonstrong’s Grilled Cheese w/ Pulled Short Rib Sandwich (which was pretty, pretty, pretty good), and today I heard it was going to be the Bon Appetit Cabernet Braised Short Ribs w/ Gorgonzola Polenta and Mixed Herb Gremolata (but I’m not positive).  Other specials they plan on serving include Cat Cora’s Sunday Cheese Steak Sandwich w/ Provolone Sauce & Michel Richard’s Chicken Nuggets w/ Snow Pea Linguine.

The dessert table looked pretty awesome (Will Goldfarb’s mom’s chocolate chip cookies, spiced coconut brownies from Pichet Ong, and more), but I didn’t try them because they were sampling FREE Haagen Dazs upstairs!!!

The “sample” could have easily been a $10 dessert at a fancy restaurant, and was hands down the best part of the cafe!  It’s upstairs, between the free wine samples, and the free Ghirardelli samples.

The Cafe is open weekdays from 11am to 3pm, now through next Friday November 2nd on West 57th btw. 7+8th.  They will also have the chefs doing demos throughout the week.  Today, it’s Michael Mina at 12:15, and Pichet Ong at 1:15 (plus free mojitos from the Rums of Puerto Rico after 1:45 for those of you looking for a liquid lunch!)

For more details, go to http://www.basupperclubandcafe.com/


  • Oh I’m always looking for a liquid lunch. Thanks for this heads up.

  • I was at the “opening” last night – it was AWESOME. Food was killer and I perhaps stuffed my face too much. It’s absolutely gorgeous inside too. I can’t believe they’re tearing it down in two weeks :( I’m having lunch there on Monday. I can’t wait!! Talk about advertiser heaven though – watch out.

  • Ok, the grilled cheese with pulled pork got my attention. Although it sounds like that was a one-day-only offer?

    Their website doesn’t really provide much elaboration. If I missed the window on grilled cheese and porcine pleasure I’ll be quite sad about that.

  • Check Gothamist, someone sent me a full sched somewhere.
    I will definitely be there next Friday for Giada’s demonstration… I love that bobbleheaded girl :)

  • I went to the demo today…it started almost 20 minutes late, which made me sad. I stuck around for the first 5 minutes of Mina’s demo and left, since I was bored to tears and couldn’t get a good view, since the best tables were reserved…and there was no one sitting there either!

    The food on the other hand was marvelous. It is served deli style. I had the smoked salmon w/quail egg salad ($9) and a diet soda. The salad was delicious and filling, if a little on the light side.

    The braised short ribs looked fabulous as well, and were well received by the other diners.

    The free ice cream and wine upstairs was a nice touch, as was a free totebag and copy of Bon Appetite magazine.

    All in all, a nice experience, and I’ll probably head back up for lunch next week!

  • Can somebody that has already been to this Cafe tell me whether the items are available “to go”? From the pictures posted above, it seems that the salads come in plastic containers and the desserts in plastic bags. But what about the sandwiches and the entrees? Thanks

  • Everything is available to go…

  • I was at the opening last night too and saw Margot stuffing her face.

  • Guys I went to the website and looked it at the menu (below). It looks delicious and since it is down the block from my office, I plan to go there multiple times next week. Thanks MidtownLunch for letting me know about this place.

    Govind Armstrong’s
    Tropical Rolls with Sambal

    Giada De Laurentiis’

    Bon Appétit’s
    Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad

    Bon Appétit’s
    Mediterranean Tuna Salad Nicoise Sandwich

    Bon Appétit’s
    Roast Beef with Marinated Red Onions and Blue Cheese

    Michael Mina’s
    Roasted Beets and Buratta Cheese with Arugula and Balsamic

    Michael Mina’s
    Smoked Salmon Nicoise

    Michel Richard’s
    Goat Cheese Caesar Salad

    Bon Appétit’s
    Puerto Rican Shrimp, Mango and Jicama Salad

    Emeril Lagasse’s
    Corn and Crab Bisque

    Cat Cora’s
    Potato-Celery Root Soup

    Bon Appétit’s
    Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

    Michael Mina’s
    Tomato Gazpacho, Peeky Toe Crab and Avocado

    Govind Armstrong’s
    Grilled Cheese with Pulled Short Rib

    Cat Cora’s
    Cheese Steak Sandwiches with Homeade Provolone Sauce

    Michel Richard’s
    Chicken Nuggets and Snow Pea Linguine

    Bon Appétit’s
    Cabernet Braised Short Ribs w/Gorgonzola Polenta and Mixed Herb Gremolata

    Bon Appétit’s
    Stacked Chicken Enchiladas w/Salsa Verde and Cheese

    Bon Appétit’s
    Double Lemon Bars

    Bon Appétit’s
    Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

    Claudia Fleming’s
    Triple Chocolate Walnut Brownie Cookies

    Claudia Fleming’s

    Will Goldfarb’s
    Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Pichet Ong’s
    Spiced Coconut Brownie

  • Looking at the menu, it looks like they have a 5 Sandwiches, 4 Salads and 4 Soups available, supplemented by Daily Special Entrees. But MidtownLunch, you posted above that on the day you went there, they only had the Michael Mina’s Tomato Gazpacho with Peekytoe Crab & Avocado Soup?

  • Zach, you have outdone yourself.

    This was the coolest midtown lunch I have ever had. This place is so much fun! My lunch was $10.03, so whereas it was more than I would have liked to spend for a sandwhich and cookies…it was delicious and worth every cent. If I think about it, the food wasn’t much more expensive than the five million generic delis we have all around.

    What a beautiful place. The decor is stunning. I love it. The atmosphere was so cool. The food is yummy. The prices are reasonable, not cheap, but reasonable.

    They had a chef there giving a food demo. I got a free bag, which I can use for grocery shopping (go green!). I also went upstairs and got a free Haagen Daz pomegranate ice cream dipped in chocolate (OMG. WoW! that was good). And FREEEEE. Better yet still, they had free wine tasting in the bar upstairs. Today’s selection was Robert Mondavi, whose wines I buy all the time and like. Gotta love a free cool bag, free new-flavor ice cream, good food, cool atmosphere, and getting all liquored up before going back to work.
    Note to self: liquid lunch prevents stress at work.

    I never would have heard about this place if I didn’t read your blog every day (well, almost every day). Thanks again for a fantastic find!!!!!

  • Hey Yvo, I love Giada too! I have her books, and love her show. I used to work for the TV Food Network, but left before she came onboard, so I haven’t met her yet.
    From what I understand from reading the schedule, Giada is doing a book signing, not a demonstration. Otherwise, I would be right there next to you watching. Maybe I will go get my book signed. But I hate book signings, because the authors always look so visibly uncomfortable with the ordeal.

  • Probably too late to help people today, but today’s special of potato, cheese and bacon tart is really little more than a small order of mashed potatoes in a light pastry shell, with half a strip of bacon resting on top. In no way worth $9.

    And Giada’s muffaletta (which I had last week) ain’t nowhere near the real thing, sorry. Kinda bland with run-o’-the-mill bologna. But the potato-celery soup is quite good, and I’m guessing much of the rest of this stuff is too — I’ve just chosen poorly.

  • Went there today & sampled rum cake, wine, an entire Haagen dayz ice cream bar, pomengrant dipped in dark chocolate….yummy. I bought a lackluster shrimp with mango & jicama salad…..boring, expensive but healthy & filling. I’m going back everday….

  • I had Giada’s Muffeletta (I liked it! the olives in the bread and the parmesean give it a nice saltiness) and the Lemon Bar, which was a good blend of sour and sweet. My co-workers had the tarragon chicken sandwich (they liked it) and the potato celery root soup also got good reviews. We were in a rush today but tomorrow we will be sure to go upstairs for the Haagan Daaz ice cream

  • Today’s special: Yogurt-braised chicken with cashews and raisins (or raisans, if you’re a Dino Jr. fan) I was tempted, but after being disappointed by yesterday’s special and seeing there was no line for the special and about 9 servings already plated and growing cold, I stuck to the soup/sandwiches: Bon Appetit roast beef sandwich (with caramelized onions and arugula or something similarly green) and Emeril’s corn and crab bisque (with non-existent crabmeat, but a very crab-like flavor). Both delicious. But those plus a coke? $15.07. Not in any way worth it. But since I can never resist the Limited Time Offer, I’ll be back again tomorrow to try something else and hopefully will finally have time to venture upstairs for the freebies…

  • I went today and got the Tarragon Chicken sandwich (not impressed – no flavor) and Emeril’s Crab Bisque (like Chukstik said, no crab meat). I keep hoping that they will have something delicious as the Special of The Day but so far it has looked bland and boring. Totally bummed that I missed Govind Armstrong’s Grilled Cheese w/ Pulled Short Rib.

  • Went today, had the chicken noodle soup and Tarragon Chicken Sandwich, I liked both but nothing mind blowing, the Chicken special looked dry.

    What I did love is the Mom’s Cookies…. Mmmmmm

    Thanks for the tip by the way, see you guys there tomm.

  • Went back for the second time today, and I was disappointed. Not only was Cat Cora was nowhere to be found at 12:30, they didn’t have any of her recipes being served for lunch! Plus, all of the salads and sandwiches looked the same…nothing new…meh. Ended up grabbing a bagel and some tofurkey that I brought from home…

  • went back today. It was awesome again. I wish this wasn’t closing today!!!

    I had Giada’s muffaletta. It was salty, and the bread tasted burnt. But I also had Emeril’s corn and crab chowder and it was divine. Topped off by lemon bars…too sweet, but good. The whole thing totalled $16 something, but I split it between lunch and dinner, and was satisfied. Plus, I got a free bag for spending over $10, free ice cream, water, cake, and lots wine.

    While I was there, I went upstairs and watched Giada signing books. I love her show, so it was cool to see her. I also tried the Haagen Daz trio of ice cream (free), had an Evian water (free), sampled three types of delicious Rum cakes (free), and got all liquored up again (free) to make my afternoon at work very happy indeed. My pal at the bar hooked a sista up with a very long flight today.

    Very cool. I love it there!

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