Rec for pre opera apps and cocktails, elegant is good
I'd also vote for Picholine. Asiate is terrific, but only memorable if they'll seat you near the window (which may only be for those eating dinner---you could always call and ask.)
The atmosphere at Bar Boulud is more casual and less memorable than the other two.
80 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023
35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023
1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023