Fred’s at Barney’s…For Ladies who Lunch, and Drink…

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Pants at a Glance
  • scene: And be scene!! It's Birkins and Babies and facelifts, oh my!
  • sip: There is a full service bar; I usually opt for a sancerre or bloody mary, because I am dainty; men can feel free to have a beer
  • savor: Chicken soup; Emilia Romana pizza; Mark's Madison avenue salad; Penne arriabiatta; chicken paillard
  • sit: With the ladies, with your sugar daddy, with your family; best seats are in the front room, back room is sort of like siberia, but unless you are UES royalty, you can't always avoid it
  • spend: $$
  • address: 660 Madison Avenue
  • phone number: (212) 833-2200
  • website:
I love this place, and to me its about the food. A restaurant in Barney’s wouldn’t necessarily have to have amazing food;  it already has a built in customer base, and let’s face(lift) it, a lot of these ladies dont’ really lunch.  However, Barney’s has itself a great little Italian oasis in the middle of the retail dessert.  Let’s make something clear: If I am not fed while shopping, things can get ugly.  I lose my patience, get a headache, and could probably be talked into murdering someone.  So any uptown shopping excursion usually involves a reserved table at Freds.
The service is not the most attentive, and there is one hostess in particular who has a heart of ice. The staff will most likely barely look up when you check in, and if you don’t have a reservation, (even if you do) be prepared to wait a little, especially during prime times for lunch. I highly recommend a reservation. Once seated, nothing says “let’s make smart retail choices” like a few glasses of wine.  After that  I like to start with Estelle’s Chicken noodle soup (the secret to fighting colds and staying thin), which is flavorful and full of nice pieces of chicken, if not necessarily slimming and curing.  All of the ladies usually eat Marks’ Madison Avenue salad, which is a chopped veggie salad with canned Italian tuna, yum.  For my dainty self, I usually chose to take down a whole pizza or share it with some friends.  The Emilia Romagna is honestly one of my most favorite creative pizzas (after the smoked salmon pizza from Spago), and I legit can’t get enough  of it.  It is made with Reggiano Parmiagiano and drizzled with intensely aged Balsamic vinegar, I love love love it.  The Robbiola with truffle oil focaccia is also a good bet if you are into that sort of thing, but even if you chose to indulge, the Pommes Frite are not worth it. DZ usually opts for the Penne Arabiatta, which is in a nice, fresh, spicy sauce, but the whole wheat pasta sometimes is a little mushy. All of the main courses are a nice mix of healthier lunch options and more filling fare, which leaves you lots of options depending on your mood, and shopping ambitions.  Overall, Fred’s is a place with great Italian inflected dishes to go with the dish from your girlfriends. Be prepared for air-kissing, dahling, and I will see you there…

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