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Dinner before an opera

Captain Nov 20, 2006 05:38 PM

Gave my parents tickets to see and opera at the Met this weekend and looking to find a place to send them to dinner beforehand. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.

  1. erica Nov 20, 2006 06:22 PM


    1. MMRuth Nov 20, 2006 06:23 PM

      Telepan come to mind - others have recommended Compass, which I've not tried. Picholine recently reopened and I recall one negative review about it in the last week or two (which doesn't mean I wouldn't try it). Despite the nay-sayers, I always enjoy the food at Rosa Mexicano - right across the street from Lincoln Center. Sapphire is a pretty decent Indian place a couple of blocks south of LC.

      4 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth
        JoLi Nov 20, 2006 06:52 PM

        Second Telepan and Compass. Although I lean more towards Telepan.

        1. re: MMRuth
          MMRuth Nov 20, 2006 06:57 PM

          Here's a link to the recent Picholine review - albeit brief.


          1. re: MMRuth
            JoanN Nov 20, 2006 07:06 PM

            I agree with you about Rosa Mexicano, MMRuth. If you avoid the pressure to order their ridiculously overpriced guacamole, you can have a very decent meal there. Another place I like, also with a lot of naysayers here, is Luxembourg Cafe, right next door to Compass on West 70th. I find it comfy and rather charming, although sometimes a bit crowded. And I've never had a bad meal there. Very good French comfort food.

            1. re: JoanN
              MMRuth Nov 20, 2006 07:11 PM

              And I actually like the guacamole - overpriced though it is!

          2. l
            laguera Nov 20, 2006 06:25 PM

            If they like Japanese, Bar Masa.

            1. Monica Nov 20, 2006 06:45 PM


              1. s
                sylviag Nov 20, 2006 06:45 PM

                Picholine is excellent but very upscale and expensive. We stopped going there before operas years ago because it was rushed and not nearly as good as when you go there "to dine."

                If they can walk to 70th St., we loved Compass. They have a $35 prix fixe, but even if you don't choose that, it's not much more. That doesn't include tax, tip or drinks. Telepan is on our list for the future - more expensive.

                Fiorello Cafe (or maybe Cafe Fiorello) is right across the street and is deservedly popular. However, it is hard to get reservations for before the opera - probably too late, but you can try. They would probably enjoy it.

                3 Replies
                1. re: sylviag
                  Blumie Nov 20, 2006 06:55 PM

                  According to Frank Bruni's recent 3* review of Picholine in the NYTimes, Picholine has relaxed its rules and "you can elect fewer courses or one of more than a dozen small à la carte dishes and cheese plates at the bar." I'm definitely going to give this a try soon.

                  1. re: Blumie
                    Simon Nov 20, 2006 07:25 PM

                    i didn't read the Bruni review, but i've never noticed any "rules" there in the past...in fact, although i've only been there about 3 times, we've always ordered odd combos of appetizers, soups, and/or split entrees as compliments to the cheese plate (the main reason to go there, imho)...

                  2. re: sylviag
                    Kanger Nov 20, 2006 07:11 PM

                    I've actually had luck walking into Fiorello before operas, but I've only done it on weeknights--maybe it won't be bad since it's Thanksgiving weekend?

                  3. Andiereid Nov 20, 2006 07:15 PM

                    We just went to see Barber of Seville two weekends ago and I had posted the list for restaurants within walking distance. We ate at Cafe des Artistes. Expensive, but definitely worth it. The service and the food were outstanding. We had early reservations (5:00) and made it quite comfortably to the opera.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Andiereid
                      MMRuth Nov 20, 2006 07:17 PM

                      What did you have to eat? It's a sentimental favorite (first date with DH) but haven't been for years except for a late glass of champagne.

                      1. re: MMRuth
                        Andiereid Nov 20, 2006 07:23 PM

                        I had a most delicious duck breast, my husband had the pot a feau. It really was delicious and the service was wonderful. My husband's parents loved it. They were with us. The opera was wonderful too, if they're going to see "Barber".

                        1. re: Andiereid
                          RGR Nov 20, 2006 08:13 PM

                          Wow! That wasn't in any way our experience at Cafe des Artistes when we dined there pre-opera. The food was mediocre at best, seating was extremely cramped, and the service was of the very brusque, how-fast-can-we-get-you-out-of-here variety. Granted, this was a few years ago, but it definitely left a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended), and I have no desire to go back.

                          1. re: RGR
                            Andiereid Nov 20, 2006 08:27 PM

                            Oh, that's too bad. We had a marvelous time. The wait staff was wonderful and extremely accomodating. The seating was a little crowded, but that was my experience with every place we ate in NY that weekend, so I didn't mind it much.

                    2. yayadave Nov 20, 2006 07:19 PM

                      If they aren't comfortable getting around, dinner is available on the premises at the Met starting two hours before each performance. Likely, not cheap.

                      1. ellenost Nov 20, 2006 08:55 PM

                        What about Gabriel's on W. 60 St. I haven't been there in a few years, but I remember having excellent food.

                        1. l
                          linFinkle Nov 22, 2006 09:54 PM

                          Hmm. Has anyone tried the restaurant at the Met? My companion does have trouble getting around. Cabbing over and eating there has some appeal, although I hate to go to New York and not try new restaurants.


                          2 Replies
                          1. re: linFinkle
                            jesse Nov 22, 2006 10:17 PM

                            they also offer the option of preordering and eating at intermission..

                            1. re: linFinkle
                              RGR Nov 22, 2006 10:38 PM

                              We have had lunch in the Grand Tier Restaurant several times before attending the ballet, and we've found the food to be surprisingly delicious. Service is quite efficient, seating is very comfortable, and the overall ambiance is lovely.

                              Note: Previously, only people attending performances in the Metropolitan Opera House had access to the Grand Tier Restaurant. However, that has been changed, and anyone attending a performace at any of the Lincoln Center venues can now dine there.

                            2. c
                              Captain Nov 27, 2006 02:06 PM

                              Thanks to all for your suggestions. We sent them to Compass, which they both seemed to have enjoyed a lot.

                              1. gumnaam Nov 27, 2006 02:41 PM

                                Rosa Mexicana is good and I like the guacamole! Saphire (Indian) is another good choice. One of the better Indian restaurants in the city. Nick and Toni's is one of my favorite places to eat. Fiorella's is choppy - sometimes great, often mediocre, and occasionally bad.

                                For cheaper fare, head up Columbus to Penang. Or try La Fenice on Broadway near the Loews.

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