PROFILE: Downtown Lunch’er And Hopeful Food Network Star “Serena Palumbo”

As is customary here on Midtown Lunch, every Tuesday we’ll profile a different lunch’er and get their recommendations for places to eat in Downtown NYC. This week, we have Serena who is a finalist for the sixth season of “The Next Food Network Star” and also has an online cooking show called “Cooking In Manhattan.” She lists a pricey ingredient among her disliked foods.

Name: Serena Palumbo

Occupation: Attorney by day and cook by night

Where you work: on Wall Street

Age: 31, with good genes and good doctors

Favorite Kinds of Food: Italian, Sushi, Spanish tapas, South American. I was brought up with Italian food, and the best comfort food is a slice of eggplant parmigiana with some crunchy bread, or in the winter some ossobuco with gremolada and saffron risotto. Sushi is not really an acquired taste for me because I was brought up in Southern Italy with a great fish market so I have always loved raw fish.  Same applies for South American food, because ceviche and tiradito are really delicious. I also have a lot of South American friends and whenever I travel to their countries I try to have the full blown local experience like Anthony Bourdain in No Reservations! I love to go back to NY and bring the inspiration from those recipes with me!

Least Favorite Food: Caviar

Favorite Lunches Downtown: Ulysses (Pearl St. nr. Hanover Square) for the carving station and specials. I love their mac and cheese. Adrienne’s Pizza Bar on Stone St. (nr. Hanover Square) because the pizza and salad are great to share with my colleagues. I cheat on Keste when I can get a big group of co-workers to go with me. Financier (Multiple Locations) for their little financiers – the delightful little almond mini-muffins they give you with coffee.

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often:
The Golden Chopstick (Pearl St. nr. Hanover Square) – best Chinese takeout! They have the most amazing cashew nut chicken.

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch:
I need to check out the Web site more often!

Dream job location, purely for lunch purposes, and why: Somewhere close to a fish market so I can get sashimi from the boat!

Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers downtown?: Where do you find something healthy and tasty? Please drop me a line!

Well, Midtown Lunch recommendations aren’t necessarily healthy, but they sure are tasty. If you want to stick to the FiDi, you could check out the 99% Vegetarian Food Cart that just defected from Midtown (Liberty St. at Broadway), or I like the Middle-Eastern tinged buffet at Zeytuna (Maiden Lane at William). Anybody else have any non-street meat ideas for Serena?  And as always, if you would like to be next week’s Profiled Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email us at

Photo courtesy of The Food Network


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