Tie on your feedbags, big spenders. In a three-block area near Connecticut Avenue and M Street, four restaurants -- two of them new -- will vie to host the power lunches this fall. If you keep the players straight, you can snare a noon table on short notice.

Duke Ziebert spawned Mel Krupin, who intends to recreate Duke's menu and atmosphere where Paul Young's used to be. Then there are the two ex-Palm waiters, Joe Malhotra and Mo Sussman, who opened a place bearing their first names a year ago where Nathan's II once was. More recently, the chef at The Palm, Gary Barone, left to oversee a restaurant at 18th and M Streets where Christie's once stood. So you got your Palm, Joe & Mo's, Gary's and Mel Krupin's. Not to mention Lion d'Or, Cantina d'Italia and a handful of other restaurants just a credit card away.

Meanwhile, here are the answeres to questions most lawyers-on-the-rise ask about these places:

What is the most common form of payment ?

American Express card, by far.

What's the easiest way to figure a tip?

Double the tax.

How many luncheon seatings are there?

Usually two, at about noon and a little after 1 p.m.

How do I get last-minute reservations?

Make sure the maitre d'hotel knows your name, and use it the moment you call for reservations.

My name?

Introduce yourself early and often until you're remembered.