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Dinner before or after the theater? [moved from Manhattan board]

5:30 seems so early and 11:00 so late! What do most people do and what's your take on the "early" experience versus the "late" one? We probably should have done matinees, but our tickets are for the evening.

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  1. I prefer the early side but more so 6pm and near theater, telling server of the curtain time (if 8pm). I like Roberto Passon and Marseilles.

    1. I agree. Try to find someplace closer to the theatre that you are going to, so you don't have a long walk. So, don't go to db Bistro if your theatre is on 51st Street. What are you seeing, and where is the theatre? What type of food do you like?

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      1. re: robinsilver

        Jersey Boys (with an 11:00 reservation at Babbo), Boeing Boeing (10:30 at Balthazar) and Gypsy (11:00 at Gramarcy Tavern). Right now I think we'll go forward with Babbo (it was difficult getting in) and see how it goes. I figure we can try and change the other two reservations for earlier or just cancel and go some place else. What would you recommend near the other two theaters?

      2. i like it either way... but sometimes split it up.... dinner before desert after, or small plates at different places before and after....

        1. As I'm getting older, pre-theater. It's really difficult digesting my meal at 11:00 at night for me.

          1. Definitely pre-theatre. I can't concentrate if I'm hungry!

            1. If we're eating pre-theatre, we try to eat relatively light; otherwise - especially for drama - you can find yourself fading out somewhere in the second act. After theatre, we'll go out for drinks and small plates (it's just too late for a major meal).

              What works best for us are matinees, with something light pre- and a good meal post-. Since most matinees end around 4:30 - 5:00, it's generally easy to get a 5:30 seating at the restaurants we prefer. Yes, you're eating early - but you're not rushed, and can enjoy a substantial meal (and can order the pre-theatre prix fixe, if you want).

              1. I get sleepy after eating, even after small meals, so I prefer to eat after shows -- unless it's a Wagner opera, in which case it's good to be in that half dream state. :)

                I also really dislike the rush pre-theatre, and the often crummy pre-theatre set menus that I always feel obliged to get anyway, because they seem like such a good value. Post theatre, you have time to enjoy your food and discuss the show. Just eat a light snack before and munch on something at intermission if you have to.

                If you do decide to change your restaurants for earlier reservations, look into Insieme (51st near b'way). The staff is pretty good at getting you out the door by a certain time if you let them know and I think the food is on par with Balthazar, if not Gramercy Tavern.

                1. I prefer a light meal before a show, and maybe some drinks and nibbles post show. Dinner and a couple of glasses of wine might not have me exactly alert mid show.

                  1. I have got to eat something before the theater or my tummy will start rumbling! Very embarrassing!

                    1. Most theatres we attend (Los Angeles area) have an 8 o'clock curtain, which is right at our usual dinnertime. We therefore have a tide-me-over nosh before going, and make sure there's someplace in the vicinity that's open late enough to feed us afterwards. That is astonishingly difficult here; I swear there are more places to eat after 10 in Nashville, Tennessee than in all of LA County! Luckily our favorite theatre, in Burbank, has a 24-hour joint a couple of blocks away, if you don't mind diner food. And we don't.