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Mar 20, 2007 07:35 AM

NYC - Dinner for 2.. Help me : )

I haven't been to NYC in a very long time. My boyfriend and I are going up in May for our 3 year anniversary. We are going to see a show with a 8pm curtain @ Gershwin. Where should we go for a wonderful seafood / Italian dinner beforehand? I was hoping to get something in the $31-$51 price range. Any advice is appreciated!


P.S. I have heard Tao is a pretty good restaurant. Anyone been?

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  1. Is that $31-$51 per person? Is it only for the food? Or is that the out-the-door cost which would include drinks (e.g., wine), tax (nearly 9%), and tip (20%)?

    4 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      I should have clarified. $31-$51 per person for only food. Thanks.

      1. re: jenn226

        The only restaurant in the Theater District that serves Italian food with an emphasis on seafood is Esca. Though it does have its admirers (Paging steve h.! lol), I am definitely *not* one of them. The one time we ate there was pre-theater, and it was an extremely disappointing experience in every aspect, i.e., so-so food, brusque service, and seating so tight it would make a sardine feel uncomfortable. Obviously, then, it wouldn't be my pick, especially for an anniversary dinner. But as I noted, others may disagree.

        For straight Italian, I like Roberto Passon, on the corner of 9th Av. & 50th St. Very good food and pleasant, though not fancy, atmospherics. If you go, one caveat. When you are told the specials, in order to avoid sticker shock, be sure to ask the prices of any that interest you because they tend to be much higher than the regular menu items.

        If you're willing to consider Mediterranean, I highly recommend Amalia (pronounced "Am-uh-lee'-uh"), on 54th St., b/t B'way & 7th Av. It's a new restaurant which we tried a couple of weeks ago. The food is delicious, and there are fish and seafood options on the menu. Service is friendly and efficient. There is very attractive, hip decor. While the space is large, it is divided in such a way so that, along with the proper lighting, each area has a cozier, romantic feel. I think it would be an excellent place to celebrate a special occasion. Their website -- -- is still under construction. But you can see the menu on menupages.

        Happy Anniversary and Bon Appetit!

        1. re: RGR

          Everyone has recommended such great restaurants. But I must say Amalia looks like that may be the choice of the evening! I was also wondering, have you been to Moda (?), I believe is the name or Vice Versa? They both look pretty interesting, I was just wondering your take on the two.

          Any recommendations on a nice bar for a cocktail or two after the play - anyone? I like action, but my boyfriend prefers the quiter, not so crowded spots. T

          Thanks again for all your help!

          1. re: jenn226

            Can't give you any input on either Moda or ViceVersa since I've not been to either.

            Regarding a bar recommendation, I would suggest the Blue Bar in the famous Algonquin Hotel, on 44th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs.


    2. I thought the food at Tao was decent, better than I expected.

      I would go to Lupa. That is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. That will be close to your price range. The food is exceptional there.

      Da Andrea in the West Village is not a bad choice either for Italian in the price range you are looking for.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nyccookie

        The problem with Lupa and Da Andrea is that they aren't too convenient to the Gershwin Theater. It could be a big rush to get through dinner and get to the theater.

        I suggest ViceVersa. It's a nice Italian restaurant and they have a prix fix dinner.

        1. i haven't been to the midtown Sosa Borella (i've only been to the Soho one), but it might fit your location and price's Argentine-Italian...

          1. The one time I went to Tao I thought it was serviceable but way overpriced for the food. You're paying for the scene there, and to be honest I don't know what the scene there is like nowadays. Also, it's asian fusion, not seafood/italian.

            1 Reply
            1. re: 1uc7

              how about Orso in theater district? but reserve in advance.