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Apr 22, 1999 10:52 AM

Gramercy area

  • p

Hi chowhounds,
Now that Roundabout is using a theater on 23rd and 3rd,
I wonder if anyone can recommend a decent restaurant in
this area for before Theater. Sounds like Picholine is
great but probably too good to rush through dinner.
Your suggestions would be appreciated.

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  1. i've given these choices several times on this board,
    so i hope everyone else forgives me, but i think union
    pacific and tabla are both terrific and your best bets
    for an all-around great meal. you can find more
    detailed comments and recommendations for dishes by
    doing a search on the site. those would definitely be
    my top two in the area. others i think are good are
    gramercy tavern and cena. people on this board also
    like patria a lot. i haven't been to 11 madison park
    but have heard mixed things. veritas i believe also
    opened there recently and if you like wine then maybe
    you should go there.

    5 Replies
    1. re: wonki

      Thanks, that was fast. Since we really don't have time
      to eat slowly and savor things those high end
      suggestions must wait. We'll try one of the others and
      post if we have something terrific.

      In the meantime, I'd love to add my raves for Tabla. I
      ate there at lunch time (with someone related to the
      chef) and was thrilled with the food. I am still
      remembering the tastes. Will try it again for dinner
      in a few weeks. Hope you will all try it (those who
      haven't yet). Thanks again.

      1. re: phyllis

        For something truly practical and pre-theater, there
        are still a number of decent options: Sal Anthony's on
        Irving Place has early evening prix fixes, Yama on 17th
        and Irving might be bearable early in the evening,
        before it gets packed (doesn't take reservations), and
        that French 24 hr bistro on park av south and 19th (?)
        -- the name escapes me now -- is fine as well, despite
        the snotty service. And, for a high-end night, there's
        also Verbena, which is even nicer in warm weather, with
        a very pretty garden in back.

      2. re: wonki

        I went to 11 Madison Park for lunch and thought it was

        1. re: debbie

          Thanks. I plan to try it. I was really looking for a
          less expensive alternative for pre-theatre. In the
          meantime, I did try Tabla. That was incredible! Food,
          atmosphere and service--a memorable experience. I'm
          already planning my next visit.

          By the way, we ate at Turkish Kitchen on 3rd after
          getting all the recommendations. It was very good
          (though a little pricey) and a really peaceful place.

          1. re: phyllis

            glad you liked tabla, though i'm not surprised, since
            just about everyone i've talked to about it loves the

            as for turkish kitchen, i went there only once and i
            can say this: they've got some of the best fried
            calamari i've ever had.

      3. e
        Ellen Spernagel

        Dear Phyllis,

        I visited NY for the first time earlier in the year and
        loved eating at the bar in Gramercy Tavern. The food
        was fantastic and the staff were lovely - remembered
        nut allergies on repeat visits etc. Highly recommended.

        1. Sounds like you don't have time for the upscale
          options, Union Pacific, Cena, Bolo, etc. Park Avenue
          South is full of restaurants, especially south of 21st
          Street. Some possibilities are The Globe (liked by
          Asimov), at around 26th, Pagliacci (liked by my
          officemates) and Ribollita (a tuscan liked by
          someone!), at 20th or so. Since the theater is just
          west of Lex on 23rd, these would be fairly close.
          Pitchoune, several blocks south of 23rd on third, may
          be a little farther. The Thai restaurant that used to
          be called Rungsit, on the corner of 23rd and 3rd has
          quite good food. Lots of Indian restaurants on Lex in
          the high 20s. Several are cafeteria style (with very
          basic decor), including Shaheen (off the corner on
          29th, Curry-in-a-Hurry at 28th and Chowhound-favorite
          Kasturi, at around 26th (always full of groups of
          cabbies), some are more upscale and could take longer
          (like Pongal). Teriyaki Boy (don't laugh!) on Lex just
          south of 23rd has a range of quick, good-value
          Japanese meals.