Heyday: Chez Panisse Alums Reinvent the Power Lunch

  • By Pete Kane
  • Wed Apr 17th, 2013 4:00am
  • DiningEat

The indecisive, the picky and the gluttonous can all make common cause at Heyday, a new spot in the Financial District where nearly everything is made from scratch daily. It's like Bi-Rite, but without the grocery aisles or the ice cream.

Lunch options skew smallish, but at one for $6, two for $10 and three for $14, it is simply not possible to make a wrong choice in this warmly rustic space, furnished with tomato-red chairs, succulents and a decoupaged wall of Agricultural Almanac pages. Open kitchens can be surprisingly tough to pull off, but a lingering peek at Heyday's is irresistible.

If you want to hammer out some mergers and acquisitions over martinis and lobster thermidor, there's Tadich Grill only a few blocks away. If you want to forget about the anomie of the cubicle farm over a terrific coppa sandwich with just the right amount of mustard plus some quinoa salad with carrots, chickpeas and Moroccan spices, this is the place. Here, a raw kale salad with toasted seeds and yogurt avocado dressing sounds almost glorious, not like an act of self-flagellation. And there's Mr. Espresso coffee.

A few of the details are still in flux. (For starters, they may push the 7 a.m. opening up to 8). However, Heyday — whose chef cut his teeth at Chez Panisse — has already tackled the dinner hour, offering Roast Mary's Organic Chickens with warm farro salad and roasted carrots for pick-up.

How much happier would the other peons during the late-night brainstorming session with a whole chicken instead of the usual pizzas spotting grease through the box? Like, way happier.

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