nice and even perhaps upscale near Broadway theaters
Some friends are coming to town to see a whole bunch of Broadway shows from Thurs. to Sunday. They want to take us out to dinner each night. Where to go that: a. would get them out in time for 8PM curtain calls; b. that would be nice enough for them to feel they're thanking us for inviting them to town (they are not say Per Se level of budget but more Babbo or so on, if that gives a sense of the price range); c. wouldn't be touristic? Probably French would be best but I'd love to hear suggestions of all cuisines.
Esca is overrated -- decent food, overpriced. We were there last week in December and the service was spotty. The music in the background was bad rock music -- bizarre for this type of restaurant. The waiter pushed high priced items (special olive oil for $8 with burnt bread, the most expensive glass of white wine, etc.) -- never told us that the fish we ordered (fluke) was fried, not grilled as we assumed.
You should try DB Bistro Moderne. Right near the theaters and under-rated French food. Cost is around the same as Babbo.
You can also try Marseille, which is French with some North African influences. A bit less expensive, and certainly more casual, but I just ate there recently and had a nice meal.
Neither place has had many tourists when I have gone.