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Nov 1, 2007 10:41 AM

cheap pre-opera dinner (if such a thing exists)

Are there any good restaurants near the Metropolitan Opera which do not cost much more than $20 a person? Knowing us, we will probably be running short on time, so the quicker and closer to the opera house, the better. Thanks.

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  1. Bin 71 on Columbus (70th/71st) fits the bill. It's a tiny wine bar, with a nice atmosphere. They serve panini, salads and some more substantial entrees. You should be able to get out of there for around $20/person.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Desidero

      Try La Fortuna at 71st off Columbus (pictures of opera singers on the walls too!)
      It used to be John Lennon and Yoko Ono's hangout.

      1. re: Desidero

        I doubt it, actually. Portion sizes are tiny, and you'll need a few different plates apiece to make it a meal. Good suggestion, but it's not exactly inexpensive.

      2. There is a new hummus place called Nanoosh on Broadway between 68th and 69th. Fast service and yummy lavash wraps.

        1. The Westside Diner is also a good option for cheap and quick, though it might be a little more downmarket than you're looking for.

          1. Arte Cafe on W 73rd isn't bad. They have an early bird (order by 6) prix fixe for $13.95. Their a la carte prices would be within your budget too.

            1. Shun Lee Cafe (which is next door to the very expensive Shun Lee Palace and they share a kitchin) is fun. I think it's 6.50 for a plate off the dim sum cart and 12-17 for entrees. Also, it's very close at 65th and Columbus.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Prue

                They also sell sushi in the cafe now, though I've not tried it. I do find their dim sum rather on the heavy gloppy side myself. There's also a Pain Quotidien across the street.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  I was not aware that Shun Lee West (across from my home away from home -- The MET) was also called Shun Lee Palace. Somehow I always thought Shun Lee Palace was their other restaurant on the East.
                  If this is really true that the name of this restaurant is also called Shun Lee Palace, I shall kick myself because I am constantly there and could have made Open Table reservations so many times I can't count. Say it ain't so.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      THanks MM.

                      I also goofed I think.
                      I don't really think you can get out of La Fortuna for $20 a person.
                      Actually your two best choices would likely be Le Pain Quotidien at 65th off Broadway (right across from the MET) or Westside Restaurant which is your basic diner at 69th & Broadway.