Suggestions for day trip
It's just a day trip this time for a Sat. matinee of Trip to Bountiful. Coming into Penn Station around 11 AM. Any suggestions for lunch before the show and/or early dinner afterwards? Taking a late train back. We were thinking of a quick trip down to Eataly for lunch although I know that can get insanely crowded. Maybe West Bank Café for afterwards. Don't want tourist-y. Don't particularly want ethnic. Love to try new and interesting places in Manhattan. Don't mind paying for good food. Thoughts?
Most of the new and interesting places opening up these days tend to be "creative ethnic" or have non-Western European influences. But, then again, they're not near Penn Station or the Theatre District.
To avoid dining amongst the crowds, you could make a reservation for lunch Manzo at Eataly. They take reservations online using Urbanspoon. Closer to the Theatre District is Esca, for a different Batali restaurant.
For dinner, afterwards, not sure why you have chosen West Bank Cafe, which isn't particularly new or interesting.
You could try the new-ish restaurant The NoMad, in the NoMad hotel. Or for something more casual, kinda near Penn Station, Maysville.
If there's only 2 of you, take your chance in Eataly. Chances are if you go to one of the higher end restaurants, say Manzo, you'll easily get a table. As for the other restaurants, the wait can be anywhere from 0 minutes to 15. It's a bustling place and they know how to turn tables. You'll enjoy it!
I know this will sound odd, but the new restaurant at Macy's, Stella 34, is very good Italian. The menu was co-developed by Chef Benno of Lincoln Ristorante. If you want to eat before the show and you are coming in at Penn Station, it's the perfect location.
Also: Eataly is always a favorite of mine and like the others said, worth taking a chance.