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Jun 19, 2011 04:57 PM

Pre-theater dinner... Cafe Boulud?

My wife and I will be traveling from the Bay Area to NYC for the first time in over 10 years. We're hoping to catch a show, but haven't decided what or where yet. We do know that we're staying at The Surrey, so I wanted to get some impressions of Cafe Boulud--especially in terms of its appropriateness as a pre-theater option.

We enjoy eating out here in the East Bay area. Chez Panisse, Bay Wolf, Camino and Lalime's are our favorites, if that gives any idea of our tastes.

Any recommendations would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Cafe Boulud
20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

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  1. We love Cafe Boulad and it is a good pre-theater choice an delimintaes one of the hardest parts of a weekend in manhattan, getting to dinner an dthen getting to the show

    CB has become one of the finest rooms and is still one of the "hotest" rooms in NYC right now, the pre-theater menu is affordable (for NYC), interesting and combines some of the chef and pastry chef's best skills., I doubt you will be disappointed.

    3 Replies
    1. re: carlylecat

      It appears you are confusing Cafe Boulud with dbBistro Moderne, both of which are restaurants in the Daniel Boulud "empire."

      Cafe Boulud is on 76th St., b/t 5th & Madison, i.e., not even close to the Theater District. Furthermore, there is no pre-theater menu. The cuisine, which encompasses French classics as well as dishes with international inspiration, is fabulous! Service is polished, and the ambiance is lovely. It's one of our favorites, and I highly recommend having dinner there, but not pre-theater.

      Cafe Boulud photos:

      dbBistro is on 44th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs., which is in the Theater District area. The menu focuses on contemporary French bistro cuisine. The food is delicious, and they offer a pre-theater 3-course prix-fixe for $45. dbBistro has been open for many years, so I don't know where you got the impression that it is "one of the 'hotest' [sic] rooms in NYC right now." Definitely not the case. But dbBistro is always solid and dependable.

      dbBistro photos:

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

      1. re: RGR

        Actually, I don't think the OP was confused. They are staying at the Surrey hotel (where Cafe Boulud is located) and considering eating in their hotel rather than in the theater district for their pre-theater meal.

        Cafe Boulud
        20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

        1. re: prdct

          You don't seem to understand how the response posts work -- or, at least, should, if done correctly, which, unfortunately, is not always the case. If you check the "re:" in the upper right-hand corner, you will see that my post was in response to carlycat and not to the o.p.

    2. Cafe Boulud is a good option, or if you want to be somewhere closer to the theater, try Elsewhere - it has a lovely indoor garden that feels like you're eating outside. And the food is delicious and has something for everyone- everything from bone marrow to chorizo crusted pork chop, and bacon flavored popcorn for a snack.

      For a special treat, see if you can get a reservation at Bar Centrale after the show. It's a speakeasy on 46th and 8th (just next to Joe Allen). There's no sign or address or anything on the door. It looks and feels like you''re walking into someone's brownstone! But there's a chance you'll see some celebs after the show. The last time I was there I saw Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Edie Falco and Elizabeth Moss all in one sitting!

      Manhattan Fine Dining Examiner:

      Cafe Boulud
      20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

      Joe Allen
      326 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

      Bar Centrale
      324 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

      403 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036