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ISO Pre-theater dinner on Friday with my in-laws

My in-laws will be in town to see Jersey Boys on Friday night and we are planning a pre-theater dinner at about 5:00 pm in the Theater Dist. The food must be italian with a good selection of seafood, but also non-seafood dishes. I considered Roberto Passon, but there are no longer any reservations available for 6. I'd like to keep the price moderate, as my father-in-law will likely offer to pick up the tab. Is Scarlatto any good? Are there other places that would fill our needs? I'd like the food to be as good as it can be given the restrictions above. Thanks.

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  1. Check out Piano Due...it's perfect!!!
    Scarlatto is good, but last time I went, the service was still a bit shaky, as they hadn't been open very long. I liked the food.

    7 Replies
    1. re: LFeinberg

      Do you have any thoughts on Barbetta (is it very expensive) or Cascina? I haven't found many reviews on Piano Due on the boards, can you add a little detail as to why it's perfect? Thanks!

      1. re: rfelicello

        Atmosphere, familiar Italian food with very high reviews from Zagat, good location for you...
        I've been to both Barbetta and Cascina. I liked the food better at Cascina but the outdoor garden at Barbetta is beautiful.

        1. re: LFeinberg

          Thanks for the feedback. Can you provide any more details regarding Piana Due?

          1. re: rfelicello

            Sure! http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/...
            I know that it is more expensive than some of the other Italian joints around there, but I know that the food is excellent.

        2. re: rfelicello

          Barbetta IS very expensive, but often exquisite. Not sure I'd do that pre-theater. would rather go there when there's no rush.

          1. re: ChefJune

            how about dopo de treapo (in theatre district, pretty, decent (NOT OVER THE TOP) food, $$-$$$ not $$$$$)

            1. re: nyebaby37

              I've been to Dopo de Treapo and have not been overly impressed with the food. It's an option, but I was hoping for something a little better.

      2. Based on a bunch of reading of this board, we went to Marseille the other night (44th and 9th, if I remember correctly). We really enjoyed it-- it was fairly busy but didn't feel crowded (the tables are nicely spaced), had nice service, and the prices were reasonable (entrees mostly around $20).

        I had the goat cheese and fromage blanc tart, which was topped with frisee and walnuts. Very rich, very good. Friend started with hummus and pita, which was apparently "regular hummus" (per the waitress, when we asked) that they then blended with extra tahini and olive oil so it was very creamy. I just had a bite, but we both liked it. My entree was a basic steak frites... not much to say there... and friend had the moroccan chicken, which was quite cinnamon-y (which she enjoyed--I liked it for a bite but would not have enjoyed an entire dish). We're not seafood fans, but there were certainly plenty of options on the menu.

        We went right about when the theatre crowd was clearing out, but I'd imagine they are used to dealing with pre-theatre crowds (given the mass exodus we saw around 7:30!).

        Price for 2 glasses of wine, a non-alcoholic "cocktail", 2 apps, 2 entrees, 1 dessert, and 2 coffees was about $100 after tax but before tip.

        1. I had pre-theater prix fixe at Scarlatto and really enjoyed it. Food was good, prices were reasonable and I had no problems with service. As for some of the other suggestions. Food and service at Dopo were both lacking and service at Cascina was terrible, while food was average.