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Jun 18, 2012 04:49 PM

db bistro vs. oceana for pre-theater?

any opinions? special birthday gift - we're headed to Once afterwards . . .

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Or The Modern? either the dining room or the bar room? Our show starts at 8 p.m. . . .

    2 Replies
      1. re: kleary2

        They're all good, so it would depend on the kind of food that you like. Just note that DB is quite cramped and the Modern Bar Room can get loud.

        The Modern Dining Room would be a great choice for a birthday dinner but if you have a show at 8:00 you should probably get the earliest reservation. The the four course menu comes with amuses bouche and the chocolate cart.

      2. The Modern dining room would be fabulous for a special birthday dinner, but imho not before the theater. That dinner should be "the theater" when you do that. We had astounding soft shell crab at DB Bistro in the very recent past. And that room certainly lends itself better to a great meal without lingering than does the Modern.

        1. Thanks to both of you. As it turns out, I can't get a reservation for the Modern dining room, and I've also come to feel that that should be an evening in itself sometime. Some friends have now suggested the Lamb's Club, and I'm actually leaning that way. Going to do a little scouting here to see what the scoop is there.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kleary2

            We haven't been to The Lamb's Club. But a trusted Hound recently posted that he had a horrible dinner experience there.

            You might still want to consider Oceana, which is our favorite fish/seafood restaurant. Nice enough for a birthday dinner but not a place (like The Modern Dining Room) that you would want to make the evening's "entertainment." The food is always perfectly prepared and delicious; service is pleasant and professional, and the large space has very attractive decor.

            Photos of our recent post-theater supper at Oceana:

            Another option is Vitae, a new restaurant on 45th St., just off 5th Av. (a few minutes walk from your theater). The contemporary American cuisine is excellent, service is friendly and efficient, and the ambiance is very pleasant. Imo, a great choice for a pre-theater birthday dinner.

            Photos of our dinner at Vitae:


            1. re: RGR

              What about Marseille? Have not been in a long time but I remember it being very good.

              edit - nevermind not the best special occasion place...

          2. I like db BIstro after 8 PM. But its pre-theater menu is too limited and unimaginative. And they won't let you order from their regular memo during the pre-theater period.

            So, despite its location, I don't think db Bistro is a very good pre- (as opposed to post-) theater choice.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Sneakeater

              We haven't done dbBistro pre-theater since right after they first opened, so I had no idea they don't offer their regular menu now. Same thing at Boulud Sud. Their limited pre-theater menu is a lot less appealing, at least to me, than the regular menu. So, we went to Boulud Sud for an after-ballet supper. The two apps we shared were very good, but the main course duck dish we also shared was a huge disappointment. Not even close to the sensational duck dish at The NoMad.


              1. re: RGR

                I understand why restaurants do that mandatory limited pre-theater menu thing. But I really hate it.

                ETA -- The duck at Boulud Sud is a lot cheaper than at The NoMad, though. RIght?

                1. re: Sneakeater

                  No, actually, the Boulud Sud duck is/was* more expensive ($36) than The NoMad's ($32). Portion sizes the same, i.e., two large duck "steaks."

                  *Note: They may no longer be serving the duck we had at Boulud Sud because I don't see it listed on the website menu. I know the price because I have the bill ticket.


                  1. re: RGR

                    Oh, that's remarkable. I didn't remember that.

                    I've had that duck at Boulud Sud, and while I didn't dislike as much as you did, there's no way it was nearly as good as (much less better than) the duck at The NoMad!

                    I guess I always think of Boulud Sud as relatively cheap (I mean relatively -- for what it is) and The NoMad as relatively expensive.

                    I should probably rethink.

                    1. re: Sneakeater

                      In the cause of helping you to rethink.... :)

                      There's only one main course dish at Boulud Sud that's in the $20's -- the chicken tagine @$28. The rest are low to high $30's with the exception of the rib-eye for two @$120.

                      At NoMad, there are 3 main courses in the $20's, and the rest are in the $30's with the duck being the least expensive and the chicken for two the highest @$78 = $39pp.


            2. Thanks, everyone! I've decided on the Modern Bar Room - reviews here and folks I know who've been there speak highly of it. The loudness won't be an issue - we'll be there on the early side, and it may just add to a festive birthday atmosphere. And I think it will work well as a pre-theater dinner.

              If anyone wants to call out any "must-haves" from the menu, feel free to share!

              Thanks in advance.

              2 Replies
              1. re: kleary2

                You can't go wrong no matter what you choose from the Bar Room's menu, but that said...

                Foie Gras Terrine with muscat gelée and toasted br

                Roasted Long Island Duck Breast with peppercorn-crusted apples and pistachio-truffle dipping sauce

                Veal and Ricotta Ravioli with morel mushrooms and smoked sweetbreads

                Beignets with maple ice cream, caramel and mango marmalade

                Enjoy the Bar Room and the show! Happy Birthday!


                1. re: kleary2

                  Modern Bar room is great.

                  I particularly like the Foie Gras (like RGR sad) and the Egg with Lobster dish.