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Jul 7, 2009 07:04 AM

Pre-Theater Dinner Suggestions

My wife and I will be in NYC for a weekend in late July and I would love some feedback on my dinner ideas for one of the nights we will be there. On Friday night of that weekend, we are going to a play (8 p.m. curtain) in midtown and need to figure out where to go for an early dinner beforehand. We are staying in Soho so we could eat there or in the Village and try to grab a cab or we could eat closer to the theater.

Looking for high quality, but not formal. Timing will be tight so we will have to try to get a table for 5:30 or even a bit earlier if possible and have finished dinner in no more than two hours. Some of these may not make sense given the timing issues and location, but I am considering the following:

-- Babbo (may not be able to get reservation anyway)
-- Scarpetta
-- Esca
-- Blue Hill
-- Little Owl
-- Red Cat
-- Spotted Pig

On Saturday night, we are having a more leisurely dinner at Eleven Madison Park so that night is all set. But Friday is the trickier night since we have theater tickets.

I would very much appreciate any and all suggestions!!

Many thanks.

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  1. I think you would be much better off on Friday going to a good place in the theater district (of which there are many recommendations if you search this board) rather than dealing with the stress of eating somewhere way out of the area, where they are not geared to moving things along efficiently, and then having to catch a cab.

    1. I totally agree with City Kid. Eating downtown then getting a cab -- which could be a problem if it's raining -- dealing with traffic, etc. is not the best way to do things when going to a show. Much more stress-free to eat beforehand in the Theater District area, then walk to your theater. Reserve at 5:30 for a leisurely, relaxed meal.

      Of those on your ist, Esca is the only one in the Theater District. I'm not a fan, but there are lots of Hounds who like it.

      My picks would be the following:

      dbBistro Moderne, on 44th St., b/t 5th & 6th. 4-star chef Daniel Boulud's restaurant which serves contemporary French bistro cuisine.

      Maze, in the London Hotel, on 54th St., b/t 6th & 7th Av. Gordon Ramsay's more casual dining venue.

      Il Punto, on the corner of 9th Av. & 38th St. Italian - focusing on the cuisine of the Puglia region.

      West Bank Cafe, on 42nd St., b/t 9th & 10th Avs. New American cuisine.

      Happy to see that you are going to EMP on Saturday, our favorite NYC restaurant. :-)

      Enjoy the show and Bon Appetit!

      2 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        Thanks, City Kid and RGR. Excellent suggestions and I think the basic advice about sticking around the Theater District for dinner makes a lot of sense. I have made reservations at dbBistro Moderne. I had actually wanted to try that in any event and had forgotten that it was so close to Theater District. Looking foward to it.

        1. re: Tennyson

          Why not try Esca? It's one of my favorite restaurants and part of the Batali empire. It's all seafood with some pasta but it might be a good one to replace something like Babbo on your list.

          It's in the Theater district and they are very used to getting people out for their 8pm shows.