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Mar 5, 2010 04:25 AM

Boston Chowhounds need restaurant near Theater

My wife and I will be in Manhatten in early April to see Fela! the Musical, and are looking for a nice restaurant that may be open pre-theater, located somewhere near the Eugene O'Neil theater, 49th st between 7th and 8th aves. we can eat afterwords as well, but prefer before the show.

Any cuisine is fine, we are looking for good food and drinks. $250-300 for dinner for two w/drinks (tip can be extra) is our budget. I'd prefer a place I didn't need to wear a jacket, though I will if I have to. My wife gave me a ton of names of places, but it's rather daunting trying to winnow it down with so many excellent choices.

I also need a place for late night craft cocktails, if possible. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Marseille on 9th Ave and W. 44 St. is a great option for you (casual--no jacket and great food; not too far from your theatre either).

    1 Reply
    1. Esca a few blocks downtown.

      1. While ellenost's suggetion of Marseille is a good one, with your budget, you could do something more upscale and with even better food, yet still casual (no jacket).

        I would recommend dbBistro Moderne, on 44th, b/t 5th & 6th., one of 4-star chef Daniel Boulud's restaurants. At db, the contemporary French bistro cuisine is superb, the wine list is excellent, service is efficient, and the surroundings are very pleasant. I prefer the back room to the front.

        Photos of our most recent meal at dbBistro can be viewed here:

        I don't know much about craft cocktails, but you might stop into the Blue Bar in the famous Algonquin Hotel to see what they offer.

        Enjoy your visit to NYC and Bon Appetit!

        5 Replies
        1. re: RGR

          What about Aureole by Charlie Palmer?

          1. re: hong_kong_foodie

            Have you been to Aureole in its new location? We have not, but reports I've read about the food have been mixed. Also, our good friend, ellenost, who was a fan of Aureole in its old location, has nixed going there now because she received inexcusably poor treatment on the phone.

            1. re: RGR

              Yep, just had lunch there recently and thought it was decent. Food was tasty, plating was precise, service was smooth, and the new restaurant is quite elegant with the beautiful glass-separated wine cellar on the 2nd floor.

              1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                For the prices they are charging, I would expect the food to be more than "decent." I'm not rushing....

          2. re: RGR

            The photos of dbBistro Moderne nearly have me convinced. Hen of the woods mushrooms are one of my favorite things on earth. Thanks!

          3. Just a quick thanks to everyone who made comments and suggestions. We ended up at 1. Artisinal for late night dining on Wed night, great food, a bit rushed, awesome cheese plate. 2. db Bistro Modern for pre-theater dinner. Excellent tomato tart de tartin, OK burger (not a lot of truffle flavor for $32!), excellent desserts. 3. Dinner at Mesa grille Friday night. Wife wanted to try it, I must say, I enjoyed it very much. Plusses were the goatcheese/cheddar queso fundido, mashed potato with green chili/queso gravy, and a very spicy and tasty pork dish. Minuses - free pouring drinks which call for multiple ingredients I ordered an Aviation (gin/maraschino liquor/lemon/simple syrup). Not a bad drink, but unbalanced, and with free pouring, you'll never get two drinks that taste the same. The steak had a spicy rub, but my personal spice rub is tastier and spicier. Tamales were only OK, and not hot. Finished up w/drinks at Flatiron Lounge. These are nicely made craft cocktails! The only problem I had was that my wife and I were old enough to be the parents of everyone else in the bar, staff included! We also had drinks at The Blue Bar, but they were way too expensive, $5 more than any other cocktail we had, but not worth it. Fela is an amazing show, and if any of you are show people and haven't seen it yet, it's highly recommended. Finally we had a pastrami sandwich at Katz's (always on my list of things to eat in NYC), and had a final breakfast at les Halles (we're big Bourdain fans, it was near our hotel, and it was quite tasty). Thanks again!

            Flatiron Lounge
            37 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

            1 Reply
            1. re: kimfair1

              Thank you for the detailed followup. It made good reading and gave us a chance to view someone else's opinion of places we sometimes go.

              It sounds like you had a blast and that you enjoyed your trip thoroughly. That's all that counts.

              My wife and I are frequent visitors to Boston, and we do the same thing you do. We look for tips on places to go and we keep notes on where we went. As the years roll by, we very much enjoy reviewing our notes and reliving our experiences.

              Very glad you enjoyed your visit. Do come again soon...