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Jun 14, 2013 01:07 PM

MET Opera House Questions - food, drink and logistics

Is there a bar to enjoy cocktails at pre-show and intermission, and has anyone dined at The Grand Tier before? If so, did you enjoy your meal? Does it get very crowded prior to show time and would it be a convenient place to have a glass of champagne or a wine flight before a show? Lastly, if picking up tickets at will-call, how much advance is needed to arrive, have a drink, and settle in to our seats before show time?


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  1. If you plan to pick up tickets and have a drink before the show then try to arrive about an hour before start time.

    I haven't dined at the Grand Tier but I think there were a few posts in the Wagnerian thread.

    1 Reply
    1. There are bars in the basement, Orchestra, Parterre (open only to Parterre ticketholders), Grand Tier, and Balcony/Family Circle levels.

      You wouldn't have a drink in the Grand Tier restaurant. You'd have a drink at one of the bars. I always reserve intermission drinks before the show so I don't have to wait on line.

      The Grand Tier restaurant, to me, is more a stunt than a restaurant. It's amazing that they can get you in and out during intermissions. But, while the food isn't vomit-inducing or anything, I wouldn't say it's really worth paying for. (You can only get full meals in the Grand Tier restaurant, as far as I know.)

      12 Replies
      1. re: Sneakeater

        Thanks Sneakeater,

        That's really convenient that they allow you to reserve drinks before the show for intermission; I wish more venues offered that! We'll be in the Parterre so I suppose that's where we'll enjoy our drinks as well.

        Have you ever ordered anything off the menu at the Revlon and sat out on the terrace? Was it worthwhile if so, or do they share a kitchen with the Grand Tier resto?

        1. re: OliverB

          If you're in the Parterre, you don't need to reserve drinks in advance. Access to the bar on that level is so limited that there's never a line.

          As for the Revlon Bar, the food there (which is also available at the Parterre bar) -- prepackaged and prepared in a "kitchen" in Queens -- is borderline inedible. Trust me.

          I do love sitting out on the terrace -- but you've got to be really aggressive about grabbing a seat. (Standing on the terrace is a perfectly acceptable experience.)

            1. re: OliverB

              Now just promise me you won't leave early.

              1. re: Sneakeater

                Actually, if this is in the near future and you're there for ABT, you don't have to promise me.

                1. re: Sneakeater

                  It is and we are, haha!

                  Is there something I should know re. ABT performances at the Met though?

                  Much to my wife's frustration, we're still cutting out early to go eat Japanese in the East Village! :)

                  1. re: OliverB

                    I don't like ABT (and I don't much like the cavernous Met as a dance venue). But those are my problems, not yours.

                    1. re: Sneakeater

                      Don't want to stray too off topic, but why don't you like the ABT?

                      I would've MUCH preferred to have seen an opera... or even a NYC Ballet at the Koch, but everything is off season right now. My wife wanted to see something on or off broadway but the only thing that seemed remotely interesting to me (I despise musicals!) was The Big Knife, which just ended. So we're seeing Sylvia. I've never seen it before nor any ABT productions but I think it looks pretty good and I love the venue. I've found others whos hare your sentiments towards ABT and I'm just curious what you don't like about it?

                      1. re: OliverB

                        To me, ABT is like stupid ballet and NYC Ballet is smart ballet.

                        Or, to be less flip, ABT tends to do traditional story ballets (which I have a hard time swallowing, with all the miming and shit) in a very athletic style, whereas NYC ballet does more modernist, usually abstract ballets in a more subtle style.

                        Don't get me wrong: Occassionally ABT does the kind of thing I like. I loved the Shostakovich Trilogy at ABT last week, and the program with Mark Morris and Balanchine a few weeks before. But even the Morris/Balanchine program had a narrative Frederick Ashton piece in the middle that I found hard to take.

                        Some girl is right now trying to get me to take her to "Swan Lake" next week. But, beautiful as she is, I. Just. Can't.

                        1. re: Sneakeater

                          Shame you probably missed the very beautiful Julie Kent KILLING IT with Roberto Bolle in Romeo and Juliet tonight. Better technique than Tiler Peck in Allegro Brillante last Friday, and that's saying something. She and some others in the company are brilliant actors as well as dancers.

                          Dinner at the Grand Tier pre-show is serviceable and unrushed, but pointless with better (if not great) restaurants across the street and great restaurants nearby (Jean Georges, Marea, the various restaurants at Columbus Circle, etc.). For pre-show drinks, I prefer picking up at the lobby bar in Avery Fisher Hall, then just walking out the back entrance and grabbing one of the numerous chairs by the wishing fountain across from Lincoln (NB: this wouldn't work this weekend, as they're in the latter week of the craft fair on the plazas, but drinking and browsing was nice too).

                          There's nothing nicer to do in New York than have a drink outside at Lincoln Center when the weather is like this...

                          Lincoln (the restaurant) is probably the best bet for eating and drinking pre-show if the OP really doesn't want to be off campus beforehand.

                          1. re: Sneakeater

                            Thanks for that,

                            It's too bad that the NYC Ballet is in it's off season right now. I have seen quite a few productions and enjoyed every one of them. Hopefully we'll luck out with "Sylvia" but if it's as ostentatious as you describe (I also lean towards modernist and abstract over flaunting narrative and movement) then I won't feel too bad about cutting out early to eat at Kyo Ya, which is more my speed anyhow!

                            1. re: OliverB

                              Folks, we're trying to be tolerant here, but can we please get the discussion back to food? Thanks.