Texan who loves to eat
- Joe Jobst
I'm taking my wife to NY for dinner and a show Oct. 13th. We'd love to find a unique dining experience near the Theatre District.I get all the BarBQ and Mexican food I can handle here so would like some Italian or would be willing to try something completely different. Any ideas?
You didn't say which theatre you're planning on going to, which would help choose a location, but here's a couple suggestions. 5:30 may sound early for a dinner reservation, but make yours for that time so you're not rushed.
Chez Josephine, 414 W 42nd St, (212) 594-1925
Charming French, owned by Jean Claude Baker, son of Josephine Baker. Even better during or apres theatre (less rush, live music), but they do know how to get you out the door in time for your show.
Firebird, 365 W. 46th St., (212) 586-0244
Czarist russian food. Lovely space, excellent service, get the honey vodka. Caviar is not required but beautifully presented.
You did say you wanted Italian, but my favorite Italian is not in the Theatre District - make a 5 PM reservation, take your time over dinner and a cab to the theatre: Gino Restaurant, 780 Lexington Ave (bet 60th & 61st), (212) 223-9658 (it may be cash only, better check). Carmine's might get suggested to you, but it's family style service is too much for two people and they only take reservations for large parties. In the theatre district, Pietrasanta is OK, but I haven't been there in years, 683 9th Ave (at 47th), (212) 265-9471.
Enjoy your NYC weekend!
Let me suggest Becco to you. It is located at 355 West 46th Street. It is a delightful Italian restaurant that has a prix fixe menu (I think around $22 or $23) for which you get your selection of three items from the menu. You will not be disappointed. The food is excellent and they serve humongous portions.
Becco is owned by Joseph Bastianich, who is the son of Lidia Bastianich (owner and chef at Felidia, considered by many to be among the finest Italian restaurants in NYC). He is also the co-owner of Lupa, along with celebrity chef Mario Battali of Po and Food TV Network fame. I relate all this to indicate that Becco is a serious Italian restaurant run by highly professional and skilled restaurant people.
The ambience can be noisy (or convivial, depending on your mood and definition of convivial). Naturally, it can be pretty hectic during pre- or post-theater times, but that's their business and they do a heckuva job at it.
Becco has a reasonably good wine list, as I recall, with Italian reds being most prominent.
I used to be a Texas truck driver many years ago and I also had (and unfortunately still have) a Texas sized appetite. I think Becco's is one of the great bargains of Italian cuisine in NYC.
If you decide to try it, please report back on your impressions.
Good luck and have a great weekend. Hope you enjoy your show.