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Help me narrow down dinner picks

I posted the other day about dinner at Le Cirque. Not too many responses (thanks to those who did, though), but I have since chosen a few other places to round out our short stay.

Our first night we are going to try The Bar Room at The Modern.

Second night (after matinee performance) either Trattoria Trecolori or Esca. Sister isn't big on fish, but I thought TT was kind of boring. Maybe someone has another recommendtion that's close to the theater district? There's three of us, and we don't want to spend too much -- looking for kind of medium scale, since we're blowing our wad on the third night.

Third night, Le Cirque or Eleven Madison Park. I've made reservations at both places. Both are prix fixe menus, and EMP is farther away from where we're staying (by Time's Square), but it doesn't look like it's THAT much farther.

Thanks again.

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  1. It's really a quick cab ride to EMP and I would go there.

    1. While Trattoria Trecolori is a Theater District favorite of mine, the food is traditional homestyle fare, so in that respect, I would agree that it isn't very "creative."

      Another moderately-priced Italian restaurant I would recommend is Osteria Gelsi, on the cusp of the Theater District, corner of 9th Av. & 38th St. I think you will find the dishes there more interesting there because the menu focuses on Pugliese cuisine. The timbalo is not to be missed!

      http://www.gelsiny.com

      1. Most everyone on these boards will tell you EMP hands down. But the three meals I've had at Le Cirque have all been memorable, and the food very good. To me you'll be happy with either.

        Great choice on the Bar Room at the Modern. It really is excellent.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Spends Rent on Food

          My concern about Le Cirque is more about the attitude/service than the food, fwiw. Would just hate to risk their feeling snubbed on a special night out.

          1. re: MMRuth

            I've noticed others have had issues with service, but I've never encountered it. In fact on our last visit we ended up having a great interaction with the staff - probably one of our all-around top five meals this year.

            Not trying to discredit other's opinions, I've just never come across the bad service issue at LC.

            That said, I can't argue, EMP has consistently excellent food & service (Even at the bar where I spent a good chunk of time last night...)

            1. re: Spends Rent on Food

              Glad you haven't. It wasn't any thing horrible - more a marked indifference and lack of graciousness than anything else - but perhaps just a very marked difference when we've been there on our own, versus with relatives who know the owner, etc. I just don't understand people in the "hospitality" business not being gracious and friendly to all enter their restaurant.

        2. EMP wins over LC - definitely. And ESCA blows TT away - totally in another league.

          3 Replies
          1. re: chow_gal

            I think Esca "blows TT away" is rather unfair because, in my view, the comparison is the proverbial apples and oranges thingy. While they both may be serving Italian cuisine, the styles (contemporary vs. traditional) and emphases (Esca's focus on fish) are totally different.

            1. re: RGR

              Right. "totally in another league."

              1. re: chow_gal

                Sorry, wasn't really trying to compare Esca to TT, just that those were two different options we had.

                Mom decided to stick with TT for dinner the second night (my non-fish-eating sister would have really had a hard time with the Esca menu, sorry to say). Now our only dilemma is picking between Le Cirque and EMP for dinner the third night. Based on the rave reviews for EMP, I'm going to try to sway her that way, but I'd be perfectly fine with Le Cirque - they have a four-course prix fixe with wine parings for $170 p/person, which seems reasonable, considering.

          2. For 3d night, definitely EMP. FWIW, I went to both for lunch during restaurant week w/in the past few weeks. At Le Cirque, we encountered a lot of attitude and so-so food. EMP was delicious and incredibly gracious as well.

            1. <Our first night we are going to try The Bar Room at The Modern.>

              Is that Friday? Fwiw, the museum is open and FREE on Friday evening, if that interests you.

              I also vote for EMP over Le Cirque, altho I like both places. The "attitude problem" unfortunately, is real at Le Cirque, unless they know you.

              Re Theater District, I really think most of the places (other than Esca and Becco) are boring and touristy. Since it's after the show, why not cab down to the village for something a little more "fun?"

              5 Replies
              1. re: ChefJune

                Any recs for the village? We definitely have time after the matinee - in fact, all evening. Since this is my maiden voyage to NYC, is the village a far cab ride?

                BTW, Sis is in her late 30s, I'm in my early 40s, and Mom is in her early 60s (but "with it" fun-wise), in case that makes any difference.

                Thanks!

                1. re: sis2catbat

                  It's a "moderate" cab ride, straight down 7th Avenue.

                  Lots and lots of choices in the Village. Mario Batali has a couple of good Italians (Lupa on Thompson St and Otto on 8th and 5th) and for French, Le Gigot on Cornelia Street is delicious. My favorite is a little Spanish place on 4 Charles (corner Greenwich Ave) and a short walk from 7th Ave South called El Charro. delicious Paella and all sorts of other goodies. ...and that's just a sampler!

                  1. re: ChefJune

                    Thanks for the recs, Chef. We'll definitely keep our eyes open, as we'll be doing a lot of wandering around the day before.

                  1. re: Yummye

                    eleven madison park or 11 madison park

                2. I would venture down to the village and try Mas Farmhouse. Spectacular!!!