Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
May 21, 2008 08:21 AM

Dining in NYC before NYC Ballet

A girlfiend and I will be in NYC in a few weeks and need some serious CHOW help! She has never been to NYC, and I've only be a few times (not to mention that it was a long time ago). We are both definite foodies, but we also realize that you can find a fabulous meal at an even more fabulous price if you know where to look. Our first night, we will be checking out the NYC Ballet at the New York Theatre. Where should we go for a great pre theatre meal at a modest price? We are not picky, but she is allergic to red peppers, so we're open to all suggestions, but would stay away from places that are recognizably spicy or that use a lot of spices in the majority of their dishes (i.e. Indian, mexican, etc.). Then, the next day, I will be working until early evening, so we are looking for a great late night place, maybe tapas or small plates with a great wine list. We are staying at the Waldorf Astoria if that helps to narrow down locations. Short cab rides or walking distance would be preferred. Thanks so much in advance of your suggestions!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The NYC Ballet performs in the State Theatre at Lincoln Center, and there are quite a few excellent dining options nearby. When it comes to budget, people's idea of what "modest" mean can vary considerably depending on the size of one's wallet, so a per person figure for food would have been more helpful. That said, here are a couple of options:

    Telepan's 4-course dinner prix-fixe for $64 is a terrific value for food of this high caliber.

    Compass has a 3-course prix-fixe for $35 (limited menu. Another "bargain" for this level of quality.

    Be sure to alert your server about your friend's allergy. I suggest you reserve for around 5:30, which will give you plenty of time for a leisurely meal before your 8 p.m. curtain.

    Enjoy the ballet and Bon Appetit!

    1. Before ballet I'd book at Cafe Fiorello (right across the street), don't miss the fried artichoke. You won't spend too much $$.
      From the Waldorf you can walk to 3rd + 49th to eat a very good meal at Pampano.

      1. I like Cafe Fiorello as well, but I've only been for lunch before the show on the weekends. Usually for an evening show we hit up O'Neals on 64th.

        1 Reply
        1. re: deborah24

          When we're going to Lincoln Center we usually end up 2 doors south of Fiorello's at Josephina. Also like O'Neals. Find them all at:

        2. I'd go with Fiorella... it's so convenient. Second choice would be Josephina. These two are our standard pre or post ballet choices. Tho you might check out Cafe Bouloud (Sp?) which is new and on the same block.