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Pre-theater - Maria Pia or Thalia?

We have a group of 11 and I am looking for a nice place for dinner that is consistently good. None of us are major foodies, but we do like good food. It doesn't have to be the hippest, hottest place, but nice decor and atmosphere is a plus. My two daughters (very picky eaters) will be with us and I need to find a place with a basic spaghetti, steak or roasted chicken. I reserved a table at Thalia, but I have noticed that Maria Pia is in the area, too. Which is best?

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  1. You might want to do a search of this site re: Thalia and Maria Pia. I have not eaten at either place but recently had lunch and dinner at Marseille (don't know if this will work for your gilrls).

    1 Reply
    1. re: financialdistrictresident

      Thalia is just lovely. If you love oysters, the selection is wonderful. The dishes are light and tasty, for an Italian feast though, why not Carmines? I just avoid Carminesbecause I travel in and out and hate to waste all the left overs.

    2. I've had two very solid recent meals at Maria Pia. It won't blow you away, and (imo) they tend to oversalt a bit, but I found it to be a good value and a very pleasant experience. There's a lot to choose from on the menu. I had the scallops (a special) and thought they were above average. Also tasted the cod, which was not so hot. But, well, cod. Thalia's menu looks more pedestrian to me, although I've not eaten there.

      1. I haven't been to either restaurant, but my daughter and some friends recently ate at Thalia, and she said the food was very good.

        If you want Italian cuisine, I recommend Trattoria Trecolori, a favorite of mine and many other Hounds. After being closed for almost a year and being sorely missed, they recently re-opened in a new location -- 47th St., b/t B'way & 8th Av. While we haven't been back yet, Trecolori's food has always been solidly-prepared and very tasty. Pastas are especially good, and the tiramisu is seriously delicious!

        http://www.trattoriatrecolori.com

        1. I've been to Thalia a few times, for brunch and dinner and think it's very mediocre and overpriced for what it is. Although I haven't been to Maria Pia, an Italian place might be a good bet for such a large group of varying tastes. One above average place in the area is Roberto Passon on 9th Ave. I also like Marseille though it's a bit further down then you're other choices, but their menu is varied enough for everyone I believe.

          5 Replies
          1. re: jsgjewels

            The layout of Roberto Passon isn't really great for a large group. I think it is definitely superior to Maria Pia, but Maria Pia is ok if nothing special. I think Thalia is a bit more high end than Maria Pia given those two.

            http://petercherches.blogspot.com

            1. re: jsgjewels

              I agree that Thalia is quite mediocre. OTOH, I have eaten there with a party of 12 ranging in age from 18 months to 90 years and they handled it very well, so a group of 11 should not be a problem if you don't mind the fact that the food is not very good and it is not a bargain.

              1. re: bobjbkln

                When you describe Thalia as "not very good" and "mediocre", do you mean not memorable or inedibile? I definitely don't want a meal that is horrible. I am looking for something that tastes good, but it doesn't have to be super-creative. If the food is really that bad, I definitely don't want to go, since I am choosing the restaurant for the group and I will feel terrible if it's a huge disappontment. It's a pre-theater meal, so I know I am limited, since I really don't want to travel too far out of the way from our hotel (Marriot Marquis) and the theater.

                1. re: rorosity

                  The food is not terrible, it's just not notable, particularly given the price point - you can get much better for the same or less. All that said, the decor isn't bad and they have some inventive drinks, so I doubt you'll find it a huge disappointment.

            2. I ate at Maria Pia last month and thought it was very good. My husband & I enjoyed crab cakes, a wonderful ceaser salad, veal saltimbocca & pollo rustico (sausage, red peppers, olives & potatoes) The decor inside is nice and the service was great too. I can't wait to go back - read the reviews on menupages. Make sure you make reservations!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Tracey123

                Most of us don't put much stock in the reviews on Menupages. Advice from Hounds is much more reliable.