Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Sep 16, 2007 09:14 AM

Pre theater dinner without breaking the bank?

Does anyone have suggestions for a pre-theater restaurant walking distance from Avenue Q's theater? We are going w/ two other couples and looking to spend no more than $125-150/couple for dinner and wine. Any cuisines except Chinese & Indian, please....

:) Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. Lots of options within that price range.

      idia's suggestion of Marseille is a good one Excellent French/Mediterranean cuisine. Attractive, bustling brasserie setting.

      West Bank Cafe is on 42nd St., b/t 9th & 10th Avs. Delicious New American cuisine. Quieter with pleasant surroundings and very comfortable seating.

      Trattoria Trecolori, on 47th St., b/t B'way & 8th Av., is my favorite Italian in the Theater District. Well-prepared homestyle cuisine, efficient service, and very nice decor.

      1. tons of restaurants on 46th street (eat street). Chk out Beccos (italian), more famous than most and very inexpenseive wine list (~25 per bottle on everything they have). Another place I have been is 44 & X (44th and 10 ave). Interesting place, more mod, but fairly in-expensive.

        6 Replies
        1. re: matthewcp

          Becco...the best value and a great cheap wine list. GO.

          1. re: Will4Food

            Becco is especially zoo-is pre-theater. By that I mean tables are very tightly packed, making for uncomfortable seating, and the noise level is so insanely high, you literally have to shout in order to have a conversation.

            As far as the ayce special goes, the pastas are mediocre. Far superior pastas are available at many other Italian restaurants in that area.

            Since rosie's budget is not terribly restricting, in my view, she and her dining companions should go elsewhere for much better food + much more agreeable ambiance.

            1. re: RGR

              My pet peeve is the noise level at a restaurant - too quiet and you feel like everyone can hear you, too loud and you're shouting the whole meal and developing quite a headache! Perhaps Becco would be too loud?
              I'm going to check opentable for a reservation at Marseille. What time should I shoot for if we have an 8pm curtain for Avenue Q? Is it a slow meal or a quick in-and-out type of place?

              1. re: rosie209

                Marseille is a brasserie, so you can have either a quick bite or a full dinner. The pre-theater crush usually begins in earnest around 6 p.m. However, we like to be able to relax and have a leisurely meal, so we usually reserve for 5:30 or 5:45.

                1. re: rosie209

                  I can confirm that Becco IS too loud...the noise level is deafening.

                  1. re: LeahBaila

                    Thanks for confirming my view, Leah! :-)

          2. Molyvos isn't too far and its very good Greek. In that price range, you probably can eat at Esca's though I think it would be close to your upper limit.

            5 Replies
            1. re: teezeetoo

              I looked at the menu for Esca - and we loooooove seafood! Maybe we should splurge for it! It's either going to be there or Marseille. Any specific dishes you would recommend at either place?

              1. re: rosie209

                At Marseille, it's nice to start with a couple of the mezzes. Hummus and the artichokes are particularly tasty. In the main course category, they always do a splendid job with duck. And for dessert, I love the beignets, and their sorbets are excellent.

                I'm not a fan of Esca. From our experience, I think it's one of the worst places to go pre-theater.

                1. re: RGR

                  I too would highly recommend Trattoria Trecolori, on 47th St., b/t B'way & 8th Av. Excellent food, great service and are well aware that you need to wine and dine and get to the theatre!

                  1. re: RGR

                    Why don't you like Esca for pre-theater? Is it too rushed or you don't fancy the food?

                    1. re: rosie209

                      Actually both. In addition to finding Esca's food disappointing, we were seated at the end of a banquette with tables so tightly spaced that I was practically sitting in the lap of the nice woman to my right. Service was extremely curt and of the "how-fast-can-we-throw-the-food-at-you-so-we-can-get-you-out-of-here" variety. I've been to many restaurants pre-theater with lots of hustle and bustle, some with fairly close seating, but none has ever made me feel as uncomfortable as I did at Esca.

              2. Marseille might be a good option. I discovered it here (thanks, RGR) and we went before Spring Awakening. Have fun!

                3 Replies
                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  fdr, I appreciate your thanks. :-) If you look at previous posts here, you'll see that I suggested Marseille, and rosie is definitely considering it.

                  1. re: RGR

                    Well - the other two couples we are going with are leaning toward Esca...grrrr... You guys are certainly pulling me toward Marseille, though! Hmmm...maybe I can change their minds! ;)

                    1. re: rosie209

                      I just spoke w/ my Aunt and she also agrees that Esca is not anything fabulous. (And she said that waiters are quite rude, too!)