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Oct 7, 2008 03:25 AM

Post- Met Opera dining?

Hi all!
I am planning to make a 5-day trip to NYC from Europe at the end of October, and have already reserved tickets for Madama Butterfly at the Met Opera for me and my gf whom I will be visiting. As we will be on a tight schedule on the day, we are unlikely to be able to dine before the show, and as I would like this to be a memorable and complete night I am trying to figure out our options. Would it be possible to have a full meal at the Grand Tier over the show's 2 intermissions? What other options would we have given the fact that the show ends at 11:25pm according to the Met's website? Could we make a reservation at Picholine after 11:30? Any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance for helping me plan a great romantic night for my gf whom I haven't seen in 2 months!

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  1. Picholine would be possible if it's a Saturday night...otherwise, forget it. Take a look at to explore your options-which frankly, are not many for a "memorable" type dinner.
    You can dine during intermission at the Met...nice setting, but the cost is high compared to the food you get...although it's been awhile since I've eaten there-you should reserve ahead, and you need to be there early enough to pre-order before the opera starts, so they have time to serve you during the intermission.

    1. I may be wrong, but I thought Picholine's last seating was at 11:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, earlier on Sunday.

      The only place I can think of offhand with a later seating is Cafe Luxembourg on West 70th, which I believe takes reservations until midnight. Not the elegance, or the quality, of Picholine, but an atmospheric French bistro with reliable food.

      The Grand Tier has a first seating starting two hours before curtain time, if you could get there that early.

      1. Blue Ribbon at Columbus Circle

        1. i am an opera fan and recently moved about two blocks from the Met...Bar Boulud is probably your best nearby bet for a post-opera meal...charcuterie and cheeses and wine and things like that...not sure the exact the kitchen closing times but i think on weekends you can get full entrees til midnight and charcuterie&similar til 1am? to make sure...

          personally, i am not a fan of cramming in meals during intermissions...between running to the bathroom and hurrying to the table and back to the opera it feels cheap and annoying, like a package tour for rubes or a sugary distraction for poseurs who aren't really there for the music...

          i'd say get a light supper first (Bar Boulud is perfect for that too, and their kitchen is lightning fast -- i recently went there for a quick bowl of bouilllabaise and then walked across the street to Don Giovanni) so you won't be hungry...and then get a snack or dessert somwhere afterwards...

          Unfortunately, NYC's late-late options are dwindling, but depending on where you're staying, your cuisine preference, and your willingness to hop into a taxi, you still have quite a few options at midnight...after Madama Butterfly, maybe head to one of the Midtown East or downtown spots for some Japanese food?...or if you are staying downtown, Balthazar serves a late-night menu which you might be able to make...

          What night are you going to MB?

          Enjoy your trip and please report back on how it goes...

          1. When we had a three night opera fling, our main meal each day was late lunch, just because of the problems with before or after meals. Since that doesn't sound like it fits with your other plans, maybe you should just decide that Madama Butterfly is highlight enough for one evening. It truly is marvelous.

            6 Replies
            1. re: yayadave

              Thank you all for your suggestions! Unfortunately dinner before the opera is not an option, she gets off work late and will also need time to get ready for the opera -which is usually quite a lengthy procedure! :-)

              I have done a little more research since yesterday and have noticed that Picholine's website mentions last seatings at 11:45 on Friday and Saturday nights. That slot is also available on OpenTable (linked from Picholine's site), so I'm guessing it could be an option. Checking Bar Boulud's website (thanks msny98!) it is indeed mentioned that they accept dinner reservations until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. So -to slightly veer away from the original subject- which would you think would be the better option? I realise that we're talking about 2 very different concepts here, but as I haven't visited either of the two I would welcome your comments!

              Money is not of prime concern, so if Picholine is indeed worth it, it would be fine! Keep in mind that I will be flying all the way from Greece just for 5 days, so I want to make this special for us.

              P.S. @ msnyc98: We will be going to MB on Friday, 10/24

              1. re: gcp

                the vibes at Picholine and Bar Boulud are quite different...Picholine is more formal, Bar Boulud is more bustling...

                i've never been at Picholine that late at night and i'm a little surprised to learn that they seat at concern there would be that even if they seat you then, that you'll feel rushed as the restaurant might be fairly empty and the staff ready to go home...(but now i'm a little a curious so maybe i'll peek in there sometime after midnight)...

                Bar Boulud is guaranteed to have a happy bustling atmosphere after midnight, so personally i would go there, as it might be a more comfy and fun followup to the opera...if you go there, i'd recommend requesting a booth...

                1. re: gcp

                  I would not sit down for dinner at Picholine that late. That is a meal best enjoyed at a relaxed pace with an 8:30 table. Bar Boulud is a great choice for a late meal.

                  1. re: gcp

                    I really love Picholine, but I have to agree with Simon and msny. Especially after a long, busy day, dining that late will just not be the best way to experience the restaurant. Bar Boulud is much better suited to your needs.

                    1. re: rrems

                      While I really enjoyed my recent visit to Bar Boulud, it just doesn't strike me as good for two people who haven't seen each other in ages...but if you do, be sure to request a booth as Simon suggested-all the other options have you jammed in with other people.
                      Picholine is perfect for quiet conversation and catching up. I'll admit I've never been there that late, but I can't imagine that they would seat you that late only to hurry you out-they have some of the best service in NY. If no one here has direct experience, perhaps you should send them an e-mail and ask directly what is on offer at that late hour-the full dinner menu, or just the bar menu? And when do they close down the kitchen?

                      1. re: David W

                        Hmmmmm, I guess I should try finding out a little more like David W suggests, kitchen closing time especially might give me a better indication of how rushed we would be to eat and get out. Otherwise I guess it will be Bar Boulud, with a request for a booth like all of you suggest. Of course I will post an update as soon as I know more!

                        Once more thank you all very much for your help, I'm open to any additional input if you have any!