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Mar 18, 2011 12:00 PM

Dinner in the Theater District: Special occasion but not too fancy

Hi there. My friend and I are going into the city for my birthday and I am looking for a restaurant in the Theater District that has a more relaxed atmosphere but is still nice. Since we will be walking around all day, I am interested in a restaurant where I would not feel out of place wearing a more casual outfit, i.e. a fancy top and nice pair of jeans. At the same time it is my birthday so I would like the food to be high-quality and the place to be classy. It would also be cool if the restaurant had a hip, modern vibe to it without being too loud or obnoxious, and I would prefer European/American because I eat a lot of Asian food on a day-to-day basis. I know these are some specific criteria but hopefully something comes to mind-- thank you in advance for sharing your knowledge.

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  1. It would be helpful to know your per person budget for food only, (wine, tax & tip additional). That said, my recommendation would be Oceana, dbBistro Moderne, and The Bar Room at the Modern.

    Oceana photos:

    dbBistro photos:

    Bar Room at The Modern photos:

    DB Bistro Moderne
    55 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

    The Modern
    9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

    120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

    1 Reply
    1. re: RGR

      Hey, I don't know if you're still using this account, but I never thanked you for your recommendations and every time I think of it I feel guilty because they were really helpful and it was very nice of you to respond. We ended up going to DB Bistro Moderne and the food was absolutely delicious. I'm not sure if you'll get this, and I know it's two years late, but thanks again :).

    2. I think Vice Versa (Italian) fits the bill nicely. It fulfills all of your requirements.

      1. Bocca Di Bacco would be perfect!!
        FYI: There are not a lot of places in Manhattan where you would be out of place wearing what you describe.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Motosport

          Duped again!
          I must learn not to respond to anyones' posts until I first look at the year of the original post.
          Seems strange and disorganized not to have posts arranged by the most recent time posted, or at least have an indicator of a response to a years' old post.

          1. re: arepo

            I noticed that too but it's still good to put the info out there. Someone is interested!!

        2. I sometimes pick restaurants for pre-theater that are closer to the theater I am attending, as it can be anywhere from 42nd to 54th. As far as a fancy top and a nice pair of jeans, you can probably get away with that anywhere.

          I agree with DB Bistro, my favorite for pre-theater. Another one I like a lot is Becco, and they have a great list of $25 bottles of wine.