Tender Greens

If you ain’t first, you’re last.

I love being the first to try something so I was very excited when Tender Greens offered to give us a sneak peek into their restaurant (the first NYC location of the Cali-based chain).  The restaurant is opening in the bottom of my new office building and they offered a free lunch (from a limited version of their menu) in exchange for our feedback.  Did somebody say free?

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Looks like Tender Greens is trying to secure their spot in this “fast fine” neighborhood.  Like Made Nice, it’s got an open kitchen, healthy(er) fresh food, quick service, and ample seating.  The price point is nothing crazy for the type of well-rounded platter you’re getting, but I would be more inclined to go and sit down because it’s hard to justify $15 for a take-out weekday lunch.  That said, the atmosphere (maybe it’s the color scheme or layout) feels a liiiitle more take-out-y than “sit down and stay a while.  Basically, it feels like the food of a fast fine restaurant with the decor of a fast casual one.

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From the menu, we were only able to choose from the “plates” section, which is essentially a protein/greens/side combo.  I went with the steak, butter lettuce (with creamy tarragon dressing), and mashed potatoes.  Overall, I thought everything was tasty.  The steak was actually cooked properly and not overdone – the menu said medium rare and that’s what I got.  There was definitely a lot of butter in the mashed potatoes, but they tasted fresh, not frozen so that was good.  Most people in the office were hoping for a bit more seasoning or sauce for the steak, though I thought things were seasoned pretty well.  I was also shocked by the portions.  I got a massive bowl of mashed taters.  Almost too much? I also felt like a got a sizable portion of steak.  They definitely didn’t skimp, but when you’re spending $15 on lunch, you better get a big portion.

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I tried the mint lemonade and liked that it was tart and neither overly sweet nor watered down.  I hear there are free refills, which never happens here in NYC.
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Pretty legit platter for a Tuesday lunch

Check out Tender Greens when they officially open on Monday.