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Jun 30, 2006 04:25 PM

Restaurant near the St. James Theatre?

Hi. I'm looking for a recommendation with respect to a restaurant in the area of the St. James Theatre. We're going to see "The Producers" on Thursday, July 20 and it starts at 8pm. So any recommendations of a great place (no Italian or Japanese) to grab dinner before the show?


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  1. Even with the elimination of Italian and Japanese, there are still a huge number of restaurants to choose from. Therefore, we need some additional specifics in order to make appropriate suggestions.

    1. What cuisine(s) do you *prefer*?

    2. Do you want just a quick bite (e.g., pizza, sandwiches), or a full meal?

    3. If a full meal, do you want something casual or fancier?

    4. For a full meal, what is your budget? And tell us if that figure includes drinks, tax & tip.

    1. Okay, I'm sorry to be so vague.

      1. We'd prefer any cuisine other than Japanese, French & Italian.

      2. We'd like a full meal, but something that we'd be able to finish in time w/out running over to the theatre to catch the show by 8pm.

      3. Casual is fine, nothing too fancy.

      4. Our budget is around $200-$250 and should include drinks, but maybe not tax and tip? This will be my first time in NYC so if this isn't a realistic figure, I'll more than understand being chided :)


      1. Is that budget for two people? If so, it's very high for a quick meal before a show! NY is expensive but not quite that bad. You may want to try Hell's Kitchen on 9th avenue. Very good Mexican although others have complained that the food is inconsistent. I have had only good meals there and they are used to making sure people can make 8PM curtains. Seafood is also good at Blue Fin. The raw bar is particularly good there. I know you said no Italian but you might want to try Esca which is unlike any other Italian place I've been to. It's Mario Batali's seafood place and it specializes in raw preparations that are delicious. The wines are also good there although it would be possible to spend close to $200 there. It is also much more upscale than the other two recs but I've never found it stuffy or anything. Enjoy your dinner and enjoy the show!


        1. With a budget of $250 (not including tax & tip), you can certainly go upscale. And the most upscale restaurant in the Theater District that is *not* French or Italian is Town, on 56th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs. Superb New American cuisine is served in a *gorgeous* subterranean dining room. Dinner is a 3-course prix-fixe for $71. Depending on what you drink, $250 might very well cover the entire bill. Smart casual dress is totally acceptable, i.e., no jackets required for gentlemen.

          However, if you prefer a more casual spot, you will spend much, much less than what you have budgeted.

          West Bank Cafe, on 42nd St., b/t 9th & 10th Avs. (closer to 9th) also serves New American. The food is well-prepared and delicious. Service is friendly and efficient. The decor is attractive, and the ambiance is pleasant. As for the cost, when my husband and I had dinner there a few months ago, the bill for 3 courses for each of us, a glass of wine for him, tax (in NYC, it's about 8-1/2%) & tip (20%) came to a little over $100.

          Most Theater District restaurants get a pre-theater crush of diners. So, wherever you decide to go, a 5:30 p.m. reservation should give you plenty of time to have a relaxing meal while allowing you to comfortably make your 8 p.m. curtain.

          Enjoy the show and Bon Appetit!