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Sep 5, 2008 06:40 AM

Columbus Circle dinner

Hello - I'm looking for a nice place in the Columbus Circle area for pre-theater dinner. I'd like there to be a decent vegetarian option. By "nice" I don't mean Per Se / Masa, but something a little special. Thanks!

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  1. I'm having a little trouble gauging the 'specialness level' you want (maybe list examples of restaurants you know of that might fit the bill?) -- but one possibility is Pasha.

    Also in the vicinity is Telepan. The space is a little bland, but many people like the food a lot.

    And not too much further north, there's Ouest, a comfortably elegant French restaurant with no attitude and great food. Pasha is more casual than the other two.

    72 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

    70 West 71st Street, New York, NY 10023

    1 Reply
    1. re: cimui

      Oops, I have to qualify (or maybe rescind) the Ouest suggestion, as there are no vegetarian entrees. Vegetarians that I've gone with tend to order appetizers and sides, but that may not be as enjoyable for a special occasion.

      Vegetarian appetizers and sides include:

      Truffled "Omelet Souffle" with mousseline sauce
      Mushroom Croquettes with pickled shallots marinated beets & goat cheese
      Endive & Roquefort In a Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette
      Mashed Potatoes
      Soft Polenta
      Sauteed or Creamed Spinach
      Braised Savoy Cabbage
      Haricots Vert

    2. Picholine, on 64th St., b/t B'way & CPW, is special and expensive, thougj not on the per se/Masa level. Superb cuisine and excellent service. Looking at the menu on the website, I see there are a few vegetarian appetizer options which I'm sure they would be willing to increase to main course size.

      1. There is also Blue Ribbon and Landmarc. While I've not been to the Columbus Circle locations of either of these restaurants, I've been to their other locations and absolutley love both.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Spends Rent on Food

          Are there reasonable vegetarian options at Blue Ribbon? I just don't remember off hand -though I guess the menu is on line if the OP wants to take a look.

          1. re: MMRuth

            I've never been to the Blue Ribbon uptown (I didn't really know that one existed), but I'm a frequent visitor to the Soho location and would never bring a vegetarian there, unless it was a non-vegan who might enjoy the fondue.

            I go there for chilled half-lobster, oysters, bone marrow/oxtail, fried chicken, fried oysters, steak, etc. Very heavy, meaty stuff.

            1. re: Yaqo Homo

              The UWS location is more of a sushi bar & grill (sushi menu + greatest hits from the other restaurants) so if the vegetarian is OK with some veggie maki rolls, salads, vegetable tempura, etc. then it should be fine.


              1. re: kathryn

                Thanks - I never really focus on vegetarian items unless I'm going to dine w/ one - and I generally assume that vegetarian = no fish/meat.

              2. re: Yaqo Homo

                Blue Ribbon does have an excellent calamari salad that a vegetarian friend of mine loves (does eating fish make her not a vegetarian? I never considered that - I'll ask next time I see her). She also loves the half lobster.

                1. re: Spends Rent on Food

                  Obviously, your friend is not a strict vegetarian. There are some vegetarians who, like her, will eat fish. I guess we could call them "veggie-pescatarians."

            2. re: Spends Rent on Food

              I would skip Landmarc - as it is not a special place. Nice enough for a reasonable dinner with kids but would not classify it as special.

            3. gabriel's on 60th, jusf off broadway, always works for me. their best dishes are wood-grilled meats/fish, but the pastas, most of which are vegetarian, are very good. nice wine list and comfy-but-classy vibe.


              1 Reply
              1. Rosa Mexicana (across from Lincoln Center), Cafe Des Artistes (West 67th Street), Isabella's (about West 78th Street), Fiorello (across from Lincoln Center), Nick & Toni's (west 67th Street)

                5 Replies
                1. re: DolceVitaNYC

                  Cafe des Artistes is way past its prime. In my view, not worth the expense. And would any of the others truly qualify as "something a little special"?

                  1. re: RGR

                    agreed about cafe des artistes...the room charms me to no end, but the food is average at best. but as far as defining 'special'? it depends on how you define day-to-day. if you're lucky enough to be able to afford rosa mex/gabriel's as a five-day-a-week menu, your standards are clearly a bit different. diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks and all that.

                    1. re: david sprague

                      Yes, the size of one's wallet is an issue. That's why it's always helpful to know what a poster's budget is when he or she is asking for recommendations. In this instance, jh158 only specifically eliminated per se and masa; therefore, it would appear that when suggesting some place "special," any upscale restaurant below those ultra-high price levels would be o.k.

                      1. re: RGR

                        I work in CC and frequent most of the above. I would definitely agree with the Gabriel's recommendations- it is just lovely- wonderful food, presentation, service and space- and definite vegetarian options. Blue Ribbon is fine but I would not call it "special." I prefer it more for lunch. Landmarc in TW is horribly loud and can often have spotty service/food - an entirely different experience than the downtown location which I love. I would also second Picholine- especially after the beautiful rehab- nice wine bar.

                  2. re: DolceVitaNYC

                    I would agree with avoiding Cafe des Artistes. I have been going there for ten years, but had two meals there over the summer that confirmed that it is a shadow of its former self. It is clear that the owners think that a charming atmosphere will overcome indifferent, lackluster service, and lukewarm, lackluster food. When I asked some long standing waiters what happened they said, "Talk to the owners" and rolled their eyes. Believe me, you are better off at Picholine or Telepan by a long shot.