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Dinner before opera at the Met?

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Opera is at 8pm on a Saturday night. Was thinking of Daniel which is a fairly short cab ride away. Dinner starts at 5:45pm. Can this be done? I haven't been to such an upscale place in quite some time and don't know how long dinner takes. By the way, opera ends at 10:45pm. Any other ideas if this won't work. Chow!

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  1. I, for one, would not do Daniel before going to a show or opera because I feel that caliber restaurant should be the centerpiece of the evening, and I wouldn't want to feel rushed. When I go to the theater, ballet or opera, I prefer to dine in close proximity to the entertainment venue, and the fact is, there are several very fine restaurants within walking distance of Lincoln Center. You can reserve for 5:45, have a relaxing meal, and then stroll over in plenty of time to make the curtain.

    We've had many excellent pre-performance dinners at Compass. Delicious New American cuisine is served in a large space with attractive contemporary decor. We always ask to be seated in one of their cozy, comfy booths.


    We've yet to try Telepan, but it has gotten uniformly positive reviews from Hounds who have been there.


    Enjoy the opera and Bon Appetit!

    1. would you consider Shun Lee? I know it's not Daniel...

      43 W. 65th St., New York, NY, 10023
      between Columbus Ave. and Central Park West

      1. Picholine is high quality food, but they are also very used to dealing with the Lincoln Center crowd. 5:45 would work.

        1. I agree with RGR--Daniel should be the star of the evening and you don't want to feel rushed going to such a fine restaurant. I go to the Opera often and definitely suggest a place within walking distance of the Met. For an 8 PM curtain, 5:45 PM is more than enough time for a leisurely meal. Here are a few restaurants within walking distance that are all good:
          Picholine, Cafe Des Artistes, Cafe Fiorello, Gabriels and Boit en Bois. Check out www.menupages.com for addresses, phone numbers and websites for them all.
          Have a wonderful meal and enjoy the Opera!

          1. Telepan is my restaurant of choice before the opera-I'd reserve for 5:30 if you wish to have the 4-course meal. By backup is Compass, which is excellent as well.

            1. After years of pre-opera dinners, we learned that it is not wise to book later than 5:30. There is a big rush at that time, and we often didn't get to dessert - everyone needs their check at the same time.

              If it's for this Saturday, you are probably too late to get Cafe Fiorello, Picholine, or Boit en Bois. They book way ahead. I would skip Cafe des Artistes; we had one of our rare really poor meals there.

              We loved Compass and have plans to try Telepan. Either might be more available, since they are a few squares away from Lincoln Center. Definitely stay in the area. The cab and travel situation at that hour can be horrendous.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sylviag

                Actually, the tickets are for January and are a Xmas gift. Just wanted to have all my information in order for reservations. Probably going to go with Compass with Telepan as a second choice. Thanks for the help. Chow.

              2. i agree with the suggestions against daniel as a pre-opera meal. if i'm going into the theater i personally don't want to be so over-stuffed that i fall asleep midway thru, so for me that typically also means that italian is almost certainly out. my alternate suggestion (the ones above are good, imo) is sushi. i love sushi when i'm hungry but don't want to feel weighed down after the meal. just my opinion.