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What is the best restaurant in the Lincoln Center/Columbia Circle/UWS area?

c
ccalabro Oct 6, 2011 11:33 AM

Thinking about heading to hear the NY Philharmonic's Messiah in December, and looking for the "best" restaurant nearby - for dinner either before or after the concert. By "best" I truly mean best food, not most expensive/pretentious/hyped/etc. If you think the best food up there is at a pub, by all means recommend! I am not familiar with this area.

Thanks all!

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  1. ellenost Oct 6, 2011 11:36 AM

    I had a great dinner a few weeks ago at Picholine. There seemed to be many guests who were going to Lincoln Center (many people were leaving from 7:15 - 7:30).

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    Picholine
    35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

    1. p
      peter j Oct 6, 2011 11:37 AM

      Per Se is the best, but it's a very long meal.

      If you want dinner before the concert, Jean Georges, Picholine, Lincoln, Marea, or Boulud Sud would be good options.

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      Per Se
      10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

      Jean Georges
      1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

      Picholine
      35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

      Marea
      240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

      Lincoln
      142 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023

      Boulud Sud
      20 W 64th St, New York, NY 10023

      9 Replies
      1. re: peter j
        Spiritchaser Oct 6, 2011 11:57 AM

        Agree with both ellenost and peter j. Per Se is the best restaurant in the area (and the hype surrounding it has nothing to do with it, it's just really THAT good) BUT since you want dinner in conjunction with Lincoln Center Per Se would not be the way to go. So I would absolutely lean towards Picholine especially if you like to dress up for Lincoln Center, it would make for a really nice complete evening.

        -----
        Per Se
        10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

        Picholine
        35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

        1. re: Spiritchaser
          c
          ccalabro Oct 6, 2011 12:02 PM

          Thanks all, I just looked at Picholine's menu and it looks great!

          Would that also be your recommendation if we wanted to dine after the concert? I see they have a post-theatre menu as well.

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          Picholine
          35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

          1. re: ccalabro
            Spiritchaser Oct 7, 2011 04:18 AM

            It could work but personally I like some (not a lot) of activity in a restaurant and after theater gets pretty darn "quiet" at Picholine. If you are going to go the after concert route then maybe Bar Boulud would be a better bet, more life.

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            Picholine
            35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

            Bar Boulud
            1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

        2. re: peter j
          n
          nmprisons Oct 6, 2011 12:02 PM

          I agree with this completely. Lincoln and Picholine would be my two top choices (Jean Georges is a slightly longer meal that is probably worth keeping for another occasion.)

          If you are serious about "best," and it is an early show, you could probably do a full dinner at Per Se afterwards, but that would depends completely on timing.

          -----
          Per Se
          10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

          Jean Georges
          1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

          Picholine
          35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

          Lincoln
          142 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023

          1. re: nmprisons
            c
            ccalabro Oct 6, 2011 12:14 PM

            Show is at 7:30, so we likely wouldn't get anywhere until around 9:30 I would guess? Not sure how long the concert will run.

          2. re: peter j
            d
            dyrewolf Oct 6, 2011 02:11 PM

            No mistakes on this list.

            But Per Se is "best" but logistically hard (lunch lets out at about the right time)
            J-G is also great in a jewel box of a room
            Marea is not as good in my eye, they have a service issue there... sort of heads up their arses actually, ticked me off last year
            Picholine I love, beautiful room, great food.
            Boulud Sud, awesome and less formal

            -----
            Per Se
            10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

            Jean Georges
            1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

            Picholine
            35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

            Marea
            240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

            Boulud Sud
            20 W 64th St, New York, NY 10023

            1. re: peter j
              nsxtasy Oct 9, 2011 03:20 PM

              >> Per Se is the best, but it's a very long meal.

              That's true for the tasting menus served in the main dining room. However, you can also eat in the salon (the room you walk through to get to the main dining room) and order a la carte from the salon menu, as many or as few courses as you want. That way you don't have to spend anywhere near as long as in the main dining room. (It also may not include the endless parade of amuses bouches and mignardises of the main dining room meals.) I don't think they take reservations for the salon, but most of the time you can walk right in, especially if you get there when they open for a pre-theater seating. I have not eaten in the salon but this is what we were told when we asked about it while having lunch in the main dining room a few months ago.

              -----
              Per Se
              10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

              1. re: nsxtasy
                f
                fm1963 Oct 9, 2011 04:46 PM

                The salon does include amuses bouches and mignardises regardless of the number of dishes that you order.

                1. re: fm1963
                  nsxtasy Oct 10, 2011 08:32 AM

                  Thanks for the clarification. Sounds like a great choice!

            2. f
              fooder Oct 6, 2011 01:00 PM

              If you're willing to do (and can get a reservation, or perhaps find a spot at the salon) a long meal experience after the concert, then Per Se is definitely the best restaurant in that area.

              That being said, I do think Lincoln http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/809840 is definitely the best restaurant to eat at without a big fuss.

              1. famdoc Oct 6, 2011 04:50 PM

                After theater meal: think about tapas at Gastroarte.
                Bar Boulud a great choice.

                -----
                Bar Boulud
                1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                Gastroarte
                141 W 69th St, New York, NY 10023

                1. p
                  plf515 Oct 7, 2011 02:54 AM

                  Another good choice is Telepan

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                  Telepan
                  72 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

                  1. l
                    Leftmanhattan Oct 9, 2011 08:54 AM

                    I'm surprised you have all forgotten to mention cafe luxembourg. If you are really looking for value, have a glass of sav blanc at the bar and have a free hard boiled egg. But I used to like the frisee salad w the superb pardons, followed by a rare steak frite. The frites and frisees are not free, but it all goes down easier if you start with a dry gin martini (stirred, not shaken) and a glass of Bordeaux.

                    -----
                    Cafe Luxembourg
                    200 W 70th St, New York, NY 10023

                    1. l
                      Leftmanhattan Oct 9, 2011 08:58 AM

                      Pardon?

                      Re cafe luxe, meant to say, "Lardon", not "pardon".
                      http://www.cafeluxembourg.com/html/

                      And, no; I have no stake in the fortunes of cafe lux's steaks. But the last time I was ther, I was sitting next to Conan O'B.

                      1. b
                        brightside16 Oct 9, 2011 12:58 PM

                        throwing in a recc for Mike's Bistro, which is on 72nd street. It is kosher, but it is fantastic. I've gone there with non-kosher friends who were quite impressed. When we can afford to splurge a bit, we'll can go back. I've gone to upscale kosher, and non-kosher places (eating vegetarian), and it's a similar, if not better, experience.

                        Enjoy your meal, wherever you choose, and enjoy your show!

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                        Mike's Bistro
                        228 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: brightside16
                          g
                          gutsofsteel Nov 13, 2011 06:02 AM

                          I've been to Mike's a couple of times with kosher friends. While it's a decent neighborhood restaurant, to say that it's "fantastic" is, in my view, absurd. If Mike's is "fantastic" then what is Per Se?

                          -----
                          Per Se
                          10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                        2. lafouchow Oct 10, 2011 08:14 AM

                          Bar Boulud would be my pick. They have nice wines by the glass, you can eat at the bar or a communal table. The location is perfect to get a nice meal and run to the concert. I'm sure the other places mentioned are great, too.

                          -----
                          Bar Boulud
                          1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                          1. n
                            NYCfoodie1234 Dec 7, 2011 09:03 AM

                            I've always been a fan of Ed's Chowder House

                            -----
                            Ed's Chowder House
                            44 W 63rd St, New York, NY 10023

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: NYCfoodie1234
                              famdoc Dec 7, 2011 09:12 AM

                              That will open up a can of worms: there are people who have violent reactions to any mention of a restaurant owned by Jeffrey Chodorow. I attended one of their tasting dinners a year or so ago and generally liked what I tasted. However, the regular menu is a bit pricey for what you get.

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