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Help w/ Anniversary trip to the Theater District....

Hello all,

I am in the process of planning a surprise trip with my wife to New York City for our 10 year anniversary. This will be the first time to the city for both of us and I am quite excited. We will be staying in Times Square for 5 nights from Monday (2/4) to Saturday (2/9). I am planning to do a lot of sightseeing during the day and planning on taking her to see 4 or 5 Broadway shows in the evenings. Over the past few nights (when my wife is asleep), I have been doing alot of research on these message boards for pre-theater restaurants. The following restaurants have been recommended and are followed by a few questions:

Italian: Trattoria Trecolori, Lattanzi Ristorante, Ecsa, Vice Versa, Roberto Passon, Cascina

American: Amalia, West Bank

French: Cafe Madelaine, Marseille

Q1) On our anniversary (Thursday night) I am taking her to see the Phantom of the Opera, our favorite, at the Majestic @ 8 pm. I would appreciate any suggestions as to the most "romantic" and/or "Anniversary appropriate" pre-theater restaurant either from the list above or maybe some that are not mentioned.

Next, since we will be eating 4 to 5 pre-theater meals, I would love to hear what your opinion is as to the best all-around

Q2) Italian,

Q3) French,

Q4) Steakhouse, and

Q5) Seafood

restaurants in the Theater district. For questions 2 thru 5, the basis for evaluation would be the overall quality of the meal and service, not so much how romantic the setting.

Lastly, I would like to thank and commend all of you who take the time to answer all of the various questions posed on this board. As a NYC newbie, it is a very daunting task to try to make an educated decision on what to see and where to eat, but I have learned alot by reading this board and you provide a great service to those like myself. So thank you in advance for helping me make this a great and memorable trip.

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  1. Of those listed, I think-
    Q1 ViceVersa-ask for a corner table
    Q2 ViceVersa
    Q3 Madelaine (not the consensus on this board, but it's my choice)
    Q4 none
    Q5 Esca-especially the raw selections.

    One thought-it flies under the radar, and is far from the best restaurant in NY, but I just had a pretty nice dinner at Triomphe-it's small and romantic-especially if you ask for one of the single tables by the mirrors or one of the corner banquets...the food is somewhat traditional French. I found it suprisingly enjoyable.
    http://www.triomphe-newyork.com/
    I've also been eating at Insieme frequently-very nice, very solid food, and a bit different.
    http://www.restaurantinsieme.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: David W

      Q4 - I haven't been to a steakhouse in a while, but Gallagher's is still going strong on 52nd, just west of B'way. It still gets a decent review in Zagat, and it's historic in that it's been around since 1927 when it was a no-kidding speakeasy. In the old days they raised their own Angus cattle down in Virginia! (It was a great tax deduction!)

    2. Q1 - Vice Versa
      Q2 - Vice Versa or Orso
      Q3 - Marseille
      Q4 - I'm not a steak fan, so can't say
      Q5 - I found Esca overpriced and ordinary, but unfortunately I cannot come up with a great seafood rec.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rrems

        For seafood, you could go to Pampano and then get a cab across town.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Looks like David W and rrems could make reservations for me anytime. I completely agree with their lists. Esca can be very good if you hit it right.
          As for steaks, I guess I would suggest Keans though no steak places have really set me flying! Actually, I think you can get better steaks at many upscale restaurants.
          I also just googled "triomphe" and the menu looks very inviting. Another one to add to my list. Thanks David W.

          1. re: idia

            I just checked Triomphe's menu too and it does look very interesting. I will plan to try it.

      2. Q4 - Del Frisco's - 49th & 6th Avenue-best ribeye in the area & don't forget the potato chips!

        1. Addition to my above post: If you like organ meats or just classic bistro food, Chez Napoleon would be a great choice. We had dinner there tonight, and I had the brains and my partner had a venison steak. They have great kidneys, calves liver, and sweetbreads, in addition to a wide array of less adventurous but very tasty dishes. The atmosphere is informal, it's not expensive, the owners are French as is most of the waitstaff. It's the kind of bistro you can still find in France but is dying out in New York, and you certainly won't find anything like it elsewhere in the US.

          1. Esca is close to theaters and an outstanding experience on several visits in the past few years. Outstanding Italian seafood with interesting menu. One of the better NYC restaurant experiences you can have in my opinion. All the tables are great. Raw selections are very special.