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Finalizing restaurant for special night with wife...kids are with the sitter!!

First off, all of you on this board are fantastic! the knowledge you have about NYC restaurants is awe inspiring, and the fact that you are all so willing to share that knowledge with the rest of us is truly wonderful!

With that, I was hoping to seek advice on finalizing our plans for what, hopefully, will be a special night.

My wife and I are spending 5/12 in the city and have tickets for Wicked at 8:00 p.m. I have been reading (and reading and reading) all of the questions and answers here and have finally narrowed down our choices for dining. I am a somewhat adventurous eater, however, my wife is not. She enjoys fish like sole, cod, sea bass and halibut, but that is the extent of her forays into the exotic. As for meat, she is into steak and chicken. No lamb, bison, duck, quail, rabbitt, etc.

Using the online menu's, we have narrowed it to Picholine, Adour, and The Four Seasons (Pool Room) We can make a rez at Picholine or TFS for 5:00 p.m. or so, which will give us plenty of time to make the 8:00 curtain. Adour's earliest rez is at 6:00, which worries me.

So the question is two fold. Of the choices, which is the best for a memorable meal w/great food and service, and, if Adour, is 6:00 too late to have a relaxing meal and still make it to The Gershwin by 8?

thanks for any advice that can be offered!

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  1. First, have a great time at Wicked-it's an excellent show. If you can get a 5:00 reservation at Picholine, it's the best of the 3 of your choices, but it is pretty far from the theatre. You might get lucky and get a taxi, but you can also take the #1 train from 66th Street to 50th Street, and you should be across the street from the Gershwin Theatre.

    I don't think you would have enough time to enjoy dinner at Adour with a 6:00 reservation. BTW, there has been a recent chef change at Adour, and I haven't read any recent reviews.

    17 Replies
    1. re: ellenost

      Thank you for the heads up on the chef change, the amount of time needed, and the train. Taking trains in the city always makes me nervous, as I never know where I am going to end up!

      1. re: kjmcc0729

        Unfortunately, I haven't eaten at any of the 3 restaurants you're considering, so I can't help you there, but there is only one train at 66th St. and Broadway. Just make sure you go in the entrance that says "Downtown," and you'll be fine.

        1. re: Pan

          That is good to know Pan. Should mean that even I can not screw it up!

          1. re: kjmcc0729

            I am in agreement with ellenost, of the 3 Picholine is the way to go (IMO even if you didn't have the time constraint). But as she mentioned the distance could be the sticky part if you are slow eaters. It's probably a 20 min walk from door to door so you maybe have 2 hrs 20 mins to eat and feel comfortable geting to theater, if you are okay with that then you are good. Picholine is very good at getting you out for your curtain if you let them know in advance.

            Oh, and if you are considering any other dining options you could also check into Jean George dining room (available at 5:00 on 5/12) which is slightly closer to theater OR you could opt for Aureole (dining room) which also shows availability for date time needed (I mentioned Aureole because I have was impressed with a recent meal there).

            1. re: Spiritchaser

              I agree too with Picholine, it's a beautiful room and very romantic.

              As far as getting to the theatre, I work around the corner from the restaurant and always walk to the theatre from here. (Saw Once on 45th St. last Wed., left here at 1:30 for a 2:00 matinee and got there at 1:45)

              It's a very easy walk, just give yourself 20-30 minutes or so (I'm a fast walker so this is generous), you're only 15 blocks from the theatre, less than a mile. Too me, by the time you cross Broadway to the subway, and then maybe have to wait (Sat. the train doesn't run as often), it might take the same amount of time.

              I also find it very refreshing to stroll after a nice dinner.

              1. re: owlwoman

                I adore Picholine but as has been mentioned Jean Georges (which I find rather romantic if you get a banquette) is a bit closer to the theater. Marea is very good too and a pretty space.

            2. re: kjmcc0729

              If you go to Picholine (which is excellent) and are thinking of walking to the theater, you need to consider the weather. If it's raining, you may not want to walk. Getting a cab when it's raining is always more difficult, especially on a Saturday night. And even if you manage to snag one, you can get stuck in traffic. So, the subway would be your best option.

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

              1. re: RGR

                I may be a slow walker for a NYer, but it definitely takes more than 20 minutes to walk from Picholine to The Gershwin. You should plan for a 30 minute walk at the very least.

                I agree that the subway is your best option.

                Also, have you looked into The Modern Dining Room as well? It's my favorite restaurant in the area.

                1. re: Cheeryvisage

                  Thanks for all the responses so far, they are more helpful than you can imagine.

                  I have looked at 90% of the restaurants within reasonable walking distance of the Gershwin. My first couple of choices were The Modern, Le Bernadin, Jean Georges, Aureole...trouble is my wife's taste in food limits our options. While The Modern looks like a terrific space, and I love the menu, after surveying their online menu, their is not much for the wife to eat. Same as LB and JG, regrettably.

                  As for Aureole, I have read reviews which were somewhat unflattering. After taking another look at their menu, the pre-theater does not offer a lot, though their regular dinner menu looks great, with lots for both of us.

                  Is Aureole preferable to Picholine at this point, given the location?

                  1. re: kjmcc0729

                    Tough call, I think the room at Picholine is prettier and I think the food is more creative. The walking distance advanatge of Aureole isn't SO great that it would trump Picholine based upon that requirement. I know I was the one that mentioned Aureole but if someone made me choose between the two right now I think I would have to go with Picholine because I have a much deeper pool of experiences to base my opinion on. Oddly enough I just asked my GF her opinion and she said in the Spring she think Aureole would be her choice.

                    1. re: Spiritchaser

                      alrighty then, thanks for clearing that up! ;) So 1 vote for Picholine and 1 for Aureole.

                      Seriously though, thank you for your help.

                      1. re: kjmcc0729

                        Okay, no ambiguity, of the two I would pick Picholine.

                        1. re: Spiritchaser

                          ok, Aureole is out. Next one: Picholine or La Grenouille?

                    2. re: kjmcc0729

                      Have you considered La Grenouille? It's about the same distance from the Gershwin as Adour. Siince you say your wife eats sole, their signature Dover sole is fantastic! Lots of other delicious things on the menu, including the fabulous soufflés. Service is very pleasant and attentive, and the decor is lovely. OpenTable is showing availabllity on 5/12 at 5:15 p.m.

                      La Grenouille photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                      http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                      1. re: RGR

                        We have considered La Grenouille, and it looks lovely. this is where our lack of sophistication kicks in though, as we saw that the dover sole is served with a mustard sauce and were not sure how that would taste.

                        1. re: kjmcc0729

                          We love that mustard sauce! It is quite mellow. It is not, however, served on top of the fish. It is spooned tableside onto the plate alongside the fish. You can certainly ask that it not be put on the plate with the fish but, instead, left (in the little sauceboat) on the table so you can try a dab and see how you feel about it. Even without the sauce, that fish is seriously delish!

                          http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                          1. re: RGR

                            That is really great to hear/read!
                            La Grenouille seems to be the best choice of the restaurants I am considering (which has grown since I've posted here, with all the great suggestions!) but I do worry about the wife. I will try anything once and will enjoy the experience of having done so, I just want to make sure that she is able to have the same experience.

                            Truth be told, I am likely to go with La Grenouille and hope for the best. From what i have read, the experience is supposed to be remarkable.

        2. You and your wife will love La Grenouille. Don't worry, just go.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bobbyh

            I'm sold.
            Thanks to you all for your help and input!

          2. My wife and I had a wonderful time in NYC. Thank you all for your help in selecting a restaurant (La Grenouille) it was lovely!

            And Ellenost, you were spot on, Wicked was excellent!

            Again, thank you all for taking the time and sharing your knowledge.