Tue-Sun, noon-3pm; Mon, closed; Jul-Labor Day: Tue-Sun, noon-2pm; Mon, closed
6 at 68th St.-Hunter College
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Nibble the life of leisure at the Asia Society, where culture, bauble-boutiquing, and lunch converge. My friend and I snuck away from our desks and have almost bought—but resisted—a gorgeous teapot, a dazzling mandarin jacket, yet another chunky turquoise necklace from the gift shop. Now we’re indulging in the tranquility of the adjacent Garden Court Café, with a luscious chicken-curry salad plate—a vibrant artwork itself—with crunchy Asian slaw and slivered cucumbers. Light pours into the soaring atrium onto celadon tables, a blue marble floor, an artist’s giant garden rock, and tropical greenery. The waiter invades our serenity gently, as if he just awoke from a dream. A small rush of late lunchers does not violate the Zen. Most regulars favor that chicken salad, although there are other options: a popular bento box and seared-tuna-and-avocado sandwich.