Flatiron Lunch: Limelight Grill Serves Up a Great Sausage Hero

Now that Downtown has its very own section of the site, what are we going to post on Fridays? Answer… how about a column devoted to those lunches just south of the ML boundaries. Every week we post about a lunch in Murray Hill south, Gramercy, Flatiron, and everything in between… or to make it easy: Flatiron Lunch.


If you blink, you might miss those few nice days we’ve had between the hailstorms, tornados and nor’easters, but they are there. With that in mind, let’s ignore the downpour (and the coldsnap) and talk about some place to go on the next sunny lunch hour. The Limelight Grill- inside the former church, former nightclub that became a mall recently- offers a menu full of food grilled on an open flame. If that doesn’t take you back to the best of summer, I don’t know what will.

We’ve only got a couple weeks left, so check out the options after the jump.

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I spotted the Limelight Grill a month ago, but only in the last week realized that I was running out of outdoor time. I made a point of checking it out twice this week just to enjoy it while I could. The place is run by the people who plan to open a wine bar inside, whenever the food area is completed (and hopefully Grimaldi’s opens up!). The locals among us will remember when shopping at the Limelight had entirely different connotations, but now that it’s a mall, the most interesting part of the place to me is the food.

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The grill has a pretty long menu of offerings from grilled corn ($3) to lobster rolls ($10) to hamburgers, sandwiches and salads, almost all of it within the Midtown Lunch price range.

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On my first visit, I tried out the Skirt Steak sandwich ($8). It’s not a gigantic sandwich, but with a good size, perfectly done skirt steak in the middle, it’s a pretty great deal. The flame grilling adds a char to the tender steak and the crusty bread. I like my steak cooked medium rare and I didn’t have to specify anything to get it like this. If you like it more well done, you may want to give them a heads up.


On my return visit, I decided to try again to feed my craving for an Italian Sausage hero that was woefully under-served by the halal cart near my office.

At $7, it’s about the same price as those sold at the summer street fairs, but slightly smaller. That said, it was remarkably good. Split and grilled fennel-spiced sausages is served on the same crusty bread and topped with softened onions and red peppers and, inexplicably, a leaf of lettuce. The tinge of bitterness from the char is balanced by the sweetness of the veggies and the sausage. My only complaint was that the sausage wasn’t spicy as advertised, but I managed to push through and gobble up the whole thing in no time.

For my next visit, I’m torn between getting the lobster roll or the slightly more seasonally appropriate Oktoberfest bratwurst with kraut and potato salad ($7.50). Of course, without any beer on hand, the brat may just set me up for disappointment.

Currently, they plan to close up for the season at the end of the month, but say they may stay open longer if the weather holds out. The air is crisp and, when the sun is out at least, it’s actually nicer to sit outside and eat that it was in the dead of August. So, take advantage – just not today.

The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • It’s like it’s still summer!
  • Flame grilled tastiness.
  • Pretty much the whole menu is within the ML price range

The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I’m not sitting outside once the temperature goes below 70 degrees
  • “I don’t care if it’s a marketplace now, I’m still going to trip balls when I visit.” – Chris H. (maybe that’s a plus)
  • The sandwiches are slightly small.

Limelight Grill, 47 W. 20th St., 212-226-7585‎

1 Comment

  • The skirt steak sandwich looks great, but at $8.00 it had better be (and is it REAL skirt steak)!

    However, I would be a bit more careful about a Midtown “lobster roll” @ $10.00. But then, I am spoiled to Maine lobster rolls which usually cost more than ten bucks.

    All in all, Limelight Grill looks like a pleasant place to have lunch. Next time in town, my wife and I may try it.

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