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The Ear Inn

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Going to the theater on Greenwich St. btw. Carlton and Van Dam, and am looking for an inexpensive, casual pre-theater dinner. A friend suggested the Ear Inn. Does anyone have any opinions about the food there, or any other suggestions?

Thanks!

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  1. j
    Jessica Shatan

    Funny you should ask I I work right near there and eat at the Ear often.
    It's not amazing but it is comfy, reliable and pretty fast. The fish entrées are almost always moist and tasty and fresh and come with veggies (always excellent) and rice (always horribly boring, I dump tons of salt and pepper on it). Yesterday the fish was grilled grouper. I had lunch there and had my standby of a turkey burger on a pita which came with a small salad and home-fries (the small chunks of new potato type). I love the burgers on pita as it's a better bread to meat ratio to me. The meat always tastes seasoned with onion.
    One friend had the chicken pot pie, which was an individual oval dish with a wonderful flakey crust, and tender chunks of chicken, but a very mellow comfort food flavor, I would have preferred a bit more spices, but it wasn't bland just simple. Came with a salad I think. My other friend had the black forest ham and brie on rye melt. Don't know how it was but it looked good. Prices are pretty cheap but dishes are on the small side, not too small, just right. I've heard the chili is good. The pies and cakes always look great but I never have room. When I go for dinner I like to start off with a pint of hard cider. I think it would be a nice, cozy, casual pre-theatre place. Every where else around there may be a longer more "fine-dining" affair, or too casual, more lunchey.
    One suggestion: I have heard that Pintxos (sp.?) just south of Spring on Greenwich with the blue awning is charming basque food, but I have no idea how the service is ( and if you have a show to go to this could be an issue).
    Next to the Ear is Kaña, a tapas bar... looks like a bit of a rip-off price-wise and I haven't heard raves but really don't know for sure.
    Have fun!

    12 Replies
    1. re: Jessica Shatan

      Thanks for the speedy reply. It sounds like just what I'm looking for!

      1. re: Susan

        Pintxos (Peen-chos) is the name of the Basque restaurant on Greenwich Street just below Spring (it's right around the corner from the Ear Inn). Charming restaurant, lovely staff, and very tasty food. I 've only lunched there and the prices were incredible. I usually get the squid with black ink sauce over rice, it comes with a side of veggies and it's only around $6.00. A bargain for a sit-down place. It's owned by a lovely couple. The husband cooks and the wife manages. Avoid the place on the corner though...a rip-off.

        1. re: David Link
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          Jessica Shatan

          Aha! So, Pó is a ripoff???

          And about Pintxos... if I went there for lunch with 2 or 3 people would it take much more than an hour? In other words, do I have to keep putting it off till I have time for a leisurely lunch?

          1. re: Jessica Shatan

            An hour should be enough. There'll be days when they're pretty busy at lunch, but getting a table is fairly easy (try to arrive before 1:00). Otherwise they take reservations(!). A warning if you're bothered by cigarette smoke...they allow it in their little dining room. I have no complaints, since a cigarette before and after a meal is only civilized.

            1. re: David Link
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              Jessica Shatan

              Thanks, the asthmatics in my family will appreciate the warning, and my smoking friends are always looking for a place to eat and smoke. I do not smoke but don't (usually) mind it.

            2. re: Jessica Shatan
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              Jessica Shatan

              When I say Pó I mean the place on the south west co. of Spring St. and Greenwich St. (not to be confused with any other Po's like the italian place on Cornelia St.)

              1. re: Jessica Shatan

                Actually, that Portuguese place's name is Pao. It was good in the beginning about 3 years ago. Then the chef left, and it's gone so downhill that I have not returned since late 1997. Don't know if it's any good now.

        2. re: Jessica Shatan

          I like the smoked trout appetizer there, which comes in a generous portion. And they serve a good Guinness. On the downside, I agree that they should really learn to make better rice.

          1. re: Chris E.
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            Jessica Shatan

            Yes! I meant to say the smoked trout appie is good. (And there is no excuse for the rice).

          2. re: Jessica Shatan

            I've been to the Ear several times, love the space and enjoy drinking a beer there; but I've never been too impressed with their food. I think there's a very good Portuguese restaurant on that block but I don't remember the name.

            1. re: Jeremy
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              Jessica Shatan

              The Portugese place is called Pó, I believe. I have head mixed things about it... some say they do not cater at all to an american pallette which you would think would be good but apparently some dishes are downright weird and not really tasty. All hearsay though...

            2. re: Jessica Shatan

              I'm at the Ear Inn every Sunday for brunch after playing basketball. I've never had dinner there so I can only attest to the fact that brunch is fine. The place itself is teeming with history and atmosphere, the bartender is friendly. Another plus is the anti cell-phone policy. Finally, the Ear Inn's days may be numbered due to some street work that will cause it to be closed. Maybe that threat has passed - I'm not entirely sure. Go for a beer while you can.

            3. I had a buffalo burger there last winter that was terrific: juicy, cooked like a requested, nicely spiced.

              1. Went last night. I had the shepherd's pie (I'm always on the lookout for good shepherd's pie, see the "Best of" board), and it was very good. The turkey burger and lamb chops went over well, too.

                Thanks again for the recommendation.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Susan

                  Thanks for the follow-up! I wish people would do that more!! (Where did Fred go to de-frazzle? Where did the bachelorettes dine?)

                  Glad it worked out. It's not awesome or anything but can be just right if you are in the 'hood.

                  Shepard's Pie... I got turned on to that by going to The Slaughtered Lamb (W.4th St.?) with co-workers. I hate those gimmicky "yard-of-ale" british pubs in NYC but it was the haunt for one job I worked at and one pal would always order Shepard's Pie and boy, did it taste good after about 3 pints of Bass.........!

                  P.S. How was the show at the Greenwich St. theatre? I work at Spring and Greenwich so I have been wondering.

                  1. re: Jessica S.

                    How was the play? Hmm, tough one. The play wasn't quite my cup of tea, but I enjoyed the performances. (Did that make sense? I guess I enjoyed the actors more than the play. [Partly because I knew one of the actors.])