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Can't miss restaurants in NYC?

The wife and I are finally going to be taking that trip to New York City that I've been wanting to do for years. We've got flightplans, hotel reservations, a theatre ticket or two... I'm even thinking of buying tickets on one of those tour-bus dealies, so on the first day we're there we can get a basic rundown of what the city has to offer, and then head back to any of those places which looked interesting.

The one thing I don't have is restaurant suggestions. There are a million places to eat in the Naked City, I need to you to recommend a few of them.

What I need are a wide range of ideas, but they must follow a theme: If you had to leave New York forever, and only had time to go to one more restaurant, what would it be? It could be that dazzlingly expensive place that embodies everything New York cuisine stands for; it could be that greasy spoon on the corner that makes the best corned beef hash known to man. (I'd love to get a meal at one of the famous NYC eateries, like the Tavern on the Green or the Russian Tea Room, but I'm sure that they are all hype, and not worth the bother.)

Additionally, what's a good place to eat before a Broadway show? What's the usual way to do it - dinner before the show, or a really late dinner afterwards?

Thanks for your input!

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  1. Jean Georges
    katz's Deli
    Bouley
    Babbo
    Grand Central Oyster Bar
    Peter Lugars
    L&B Pizzeria[Brooklyn-Sicilian pizza]
    Jean Georges
    Le Bernardin
    Nobu

      1. Off the top of my head, I'd add L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon and Per Se to DoctoredNYC's expensive list; but, frankly, there are just too many to choose from that you can't pick just one and it also depends on what type of food you crave at that time (e.g., on some nights, I might crave pasta).

        1 Reply
        1. re: syoung

          Gotham Bar and grill for lunch-- $29 prix fixe can't be beat!

          And the best meal on my last trip was at:
          11 Madison Park. A gorgeous restaurant with food and service to match.

          jan

        2. YOU ARE CORRECT SIR! Don't hit up Tavern on the Green, the food is ok, the prices make me cry, and last time I was there we nearly had to just walk out early because there was some really funky smell around the entire restaurant.

          Anyways, I have one answer to two of your questions, both the one place I'd have to go if I was leaving NYC forever and the pre/post theater dinner.

          The answer, is Ellen's Stardust Diner. It's a 50's diner, yes I know, often overdone and corny, but it's far better than any Johnny Rocket's or anything. This place has with it the essence and soul of the theater district-partially due to the fact that it is in the Theater district. All of the waiters/waitresses are men and women who are trying to be in, or were recently in a Broadway show; as they're serving, carrying out trays, amazing milkshakes, alcohol, you name it, they're singing and dancing. And may I say, if they're the people who currently don't have jobs on Broadway, that proves just how good broadway singers are, because these people are amazing! I go there everytime I can, especially when I see a show. I've gone with big and small groups, the service has always been outstanding, the food is extremely good, the milkshakes and alcohol are quite tasty, and the prices aren't bad at all.

          You can go either before or after the show, it really makes no difference, chances are there might be some sort of wait regardless; although for later shows you may want to check their hours. Either way, before or after, big group or small group, you won't be dissapointed with Ellen's Stardust Diner.

          1. What about Chinatown? What's the quintessencial place to go for amazing Chinese food?