Pity the power lunch. Years ago when the options for downtown dining were fewer, the spots for power lunching were more concentrated. In fact, back in the day, a dedicated schmoozer could work through various seats of power like café un deux trois, the New French Café, and Azur in a single day. No more! Blame in-house company cafeterias, blame a corporate culture of denial, or blame our too-busy lives, but the power lunch these days is in need of a jump-start. So why not work your Rolodex and meet someone at Aquavit? That $10 lunch--it's a miracle. We recently had one that featured a salad course, a heaping plate filled with the richest braised pork shoulder, a pretty strip of eggplant curled into a cup and holding fluffy quinoa (a nutty grain that shouldn't scare you, it's basically like eating couscous), and two lovely sauces spread on the plate like pools of jewels (one was a red pepper coulis, the other a bubbly froth based on rice wine). For $10! And there was even a fancy chocolate cake bargain, for $3, in which layers of chocolate butter cream and cake reminded us of why it is good to be successful in life--because then you can have your cake and afford it too. So ask yourself: Why are you cowering at your desk with microwave popcorn, when for $13 you can have a meal of the gods? Power is there, if only you seize it.


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