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Best Theatre District Restaurants

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cjml Mar 12, 2014 09:00 AM

Looking for recommendations for dinner before theatre. Prefer to stay in theatre district for the three nights that we have theatre tickets. Have reservations at Becco and would appreciate recommenations for other restaurants. Thanks

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  1. m
    MrGrumpy RE: cjml Mar 12, 2014 09:57 AM

    The Modern
    Le Bernardin
    Esca
    Toloache
    Marseille
    Don Antonio
    Ippudo Westside
    Danji
    Ollie's

    4 Replies
    1. re: MrGrumpy
      j
      JC2 RE: MrGrumpy Mar 12, 2014 03:19 PM

      I don't know how you can recommend Ippudo or Danji for pre-theater when they don't take reservations and have notoriously long waits.

      1. re: JC2
        m
        MrGrumpy RE: JC2 Mar 12, 2014 03:48 PM

        The waits at Ippudo and Danji are not long at all for pretheater meals at 6:00 pm. About 15 minutes in my experience.

        1. re: MrGrumpy
          j
          JC2 RE: MrGrumpy Mar 13, 2014 09:53 AM

          Really? Good to know. When I called Danji, they said that maybe if you got there at 5....

          1. re: JC2
            m
            MrGrumpy RE: JC2 Mar 13, 2014 11:19 AM

            I went to Danji a bit before 6:00 pm recently and immediately got a seat at the bar where they serve the full menu. I went to Ippudo Westside at 6:45 a few weeks ago and the wait was only 15-20 minutes. It's a large space with a second floor.

    2. k
      kathryn RE: cjml Mar 12, 2014 10:10 AM

      Hard to give specific recs w/o knowing your price range, cuisine preferences, curtain time, theatre location, and day of the week.

      See also:

      Where to have dinner before a Broadway show/pre-theatre dining:
      http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2013/0...
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/671275
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/755684
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/715535
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/788254
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/833282

      1. financialdistrictresident RE: cjml Mar 12, 2014 11:30 AM

        I have not been to Becco in a very long time. It's popular because they have a salad and 3 daily pastas for $22.95. Not sure how it is these days.

        We have always had good experiences at Marseille but I defer to hounds who have been more recently.

        We used to enjoy a hidden gem (lively Irish Pub with a quiet dining room popular with the pre-theater crowd) around 45th/46th. They had a prix-fixe and the food was pretty good. Not a destination place on the food front. Hal Holbrook was at the table next to me one time. Langan's I think. Have not been in so long not sure it's still open or how it is these days.

        1. s
          smilingal RE: cjml Mar 12, 2014 11:32 AM

          Agree Marseille and like Lattanzi even more.

          1. l
            litebitenyc RE: cjml Mar 12, 2014 11:36 AM

            Depending on which theater:
            Esca
            Kellari Taverna
            Becco
            OSteral Al Doge
            Bar Americain

            4 Replies
            1. re: litebitenyc
              c
              cjml RE: litebitenyc Mar 12, 2014 12:09 PM

              Thanks to all who made recommendations. Since we have been to Bar Americain and Becco, we have chosen Tony's Di Napoli, Lattanzi and Kellari Taverna. Other evenings will be at Dizzy's Coca Cola Club and hopefully Colicchio and Sons. Also will do brunch at Norma's. Appreciate all your help. May try to work in dinner at the Modern.

              1. re: cjml
                financialdistrictresident RE: cjml Mar 12, 2014 12:29 PM

                cjml, please report back.

                Enjoy!

                1. re: financialdistrictresident
                  c
                  cjml RE: financialdistrictresident Mar 12, 2014 12:33 PM

                  Thank you and I will definitely report.

                2. re: cjml
                  c
                  City Kid RE: cjml Mar 12, 2014 02:27 PM

                  I love Kellari and the Modern! I must confess to having avoided Tony's Di Napoli for years thinking it would be cheesy and touristy. Well it is, kind of, but I went there recently and really enjoyed it. Tons of good food, nothing that will knock your socks off and not in a league with many of the other places recommended but very enjoyable for pre-theater.

              2. s
                skimom RE: cjml Mar 12, 2014 02:05 PM

                +1 on Toloache - it's also easy to do a lighter dinner there
                +1 on Marseille
                Vice Versa

                just as an FYI, brunch at Norma's is overrated - since we usually stay in the Meridien, this is convenient but it's very pricey.

                My only true disappointment ever was the Lamb's Club - snooty even by old school NY standards and even as a light eater was hungry afterwards

                4 Replies
                1. re: skimom
                  Ttrockwood RE: skimom Mar 12, 2014 02:14 PM

                  For the OP also note norma's often has a very long wait time, so either plan accordingly or be sure to make a reservation

                  1. re: Ttrockwood
                    c
                    cjml RE: Ttrockwood Mar 12, 2014 04:13 PM

                    We already have a reservation for Norma's but since some concern has been voiced, where would you recommend for Sunday brunch. We appreciate your input.

                    1. re: cjml
                      k
                      kathryn RE: cjml Mar 12, 2014 04:17 PM

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/931109
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/893178

                    2. re: Ttrockwood
                      k
                      kathryn RE: Ttrockwood Mar 12, 2014 04:17 PM

                      You might wait at Norma's even with a reservation.

                  2. j
                    jessejames RE: cjml Mar 13, 2014 11:22 AM

                    carnegie deli

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: jessejames
                      c
                      cjml RE: jessejames Mar 14, 2014 10:51 AM

                      Love Carnegie Deli and frequent it when in New York City. Just looking for a more upscale brunch area. But will definitely grab a pastrami and rye while in town.

                      1. re: cjml
                        p
                        Pookipichu RE: cjml Mar 14, 2014 11:08 AM

                        Hakkasan has a lovely upscale brunch on weekends.

                        1. re: Pookipichu
                          c
                          cjml RE: Pookipichu Mar 17, 2014 10:10 AM

                          After looking at Hakkasan, we changed our brunch reservation. Thanks for the recommendation even though the reviews are mixed, we want to give it a try.

                          1. re: cjml
                            p
                            Pookipichu RE: cjml Mar 17, 2014 10:48 AM

                            You're welcome, I have been many times and there are much more detailed reviews on Chowhound.

                            In a nutshell, Hakkasan is no different than many other restaurants that are much more highly touted/rated. Some excellent dishes, some that are merely ok, prices are expensive and commensurate with the quality of the food. The food at Hakkasan is as good or better than some of the restaurants that detractors rate highly.... so I'd take the mixed reviews with a grain of salt.

                            For first experience, I'd recommend any of the following:

                            Bamboo dumpling

                            Har gau

                            Prawn and pak choi dumpling

                            Sticky rice in lotus leaf with chicken and dried scallop

                            Morel crystal dumpling

                            King crab noodle roll

                            XO scallop dumpling

                            Beancurd lotus roll

                            Truffle and roasted duck bun

                            Poached Peking dumpling

                            Chilean seabass daikon roll

                            Scallop cheung fun

                            Crispy beancurd prawn cheung fun

                            Roast duck pumpkin puff

                            Crispy seafood puff

                            Salt and pepper squid

                            Roasted silver cod

                            Grilled Chilean seabass with Chinese honey

                            Spicy prawn

                            Crispy duck salad

                            Pipa duck

                            Hakka pork belly claypot

                            Chicken and crispy fish fried rice

                            Please report back and let us know your thoughts. Hope you have a great time.

                            1. re: Pookipichu
                              c
                              cjml RE: Pookipichu Mar 18, 2014 07:53 AM

                              Thank you for your menu recommendations. That is valuable for us. We do not have the opportunity to experience restaurants of this quality at home so it is very important to us to include them in our travels. We are also seeking at Korean BBQ, any recommendations?

                              1. re: cjml
                                p
                                Pookipichu RE: cjml Mar 18, 2014 08:22 AM

                                Madangsui is my go-to for Korean BBQ (especially kalbi). There are some pretty inconsistent places in K-town but I find Madangsui solid.

                                Another possibility if you're craving grilled meats is Tori Shin which does skewers.

                                1. re: Pookipichu
                                  j
                                  JC2 RE: Pookipichu Mar 18, 2014 11:53 AM

                                  +1 for Madangsui. The hen of woods mushrooms on the grill are amazing.

                    2. c
                      comiendosiempre RE: cjml Mar 19, 2014 05:23 AM

                      Another +! for Madangsui if you want Korean.

                      We recently went to Toloache after the theatre, and had a good meal. Focus on the starters. Their guacamole is very good, ditto their queso fundido (one of the best in the city), their tacos too are good selections. Their maduros were not up to par, however. Drinks also are good. Post theater they do a good business. Pre theatre they are packed, but can get you in and out in time.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: comiendosiempre
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                        foodiemom10583 RE: comiendosiempre Mar 19, 2014 08:49 AM

                        Don't forget the margaritas!

                        1. re: foodiemom10583
                          c
                          cjml RE: foodiemom10583 Mar 19, 2014 02:13 PM

                          This board is amazing. Madangsui is on the list as well as the margaritas after the theatre.

                          1. re: cjml
                            c
                            cjml RE: cjml Apr 12, 2014 11:11 AM

                            Well our trip is next week and I want to thank all of you for your fantastic recommendations. I find the longer the time span between researching restaurants and the actual trip, the more I tend to change my selections. Final selections are Hakkasan, Ma Peche, Nobu 57, Fig and Olive, Babbo, Madangsui, Gazala, Kellari Taverna and Marseille. We always seek foods not as easily available for us at home.

                            1. re: cjml
                              k
                              kathryn RE: cjml Apr 12, 2014 11:58 AM

                              I hope you already have reservations at Babbo?

                              1. re: kathryn
                                c
                                cjml RE: kathryn Apr 12, 2014 12:45 PM

                                Yes Kathryn we do. In fact we have reservations for all our selections. That I have learned from this Board.

                                1. re: cjml
                                  c
                                  cjml RE: cjml Apr 12, 2014 01:00 PM

                                  Really appreciated the recommendations on menu selections at Hakkasan, Madangsui and Tolache. If others on this Board have menu recommendations at our other selections, it would be greatly appreciated.

                                  1. re: cjml
                                    Ttrockwood RE: cjml Apr 12, 2014 01:54 PM

                                    At Gazala Place my favorites include the foul moudamas (fava beans), any of the hummus, the fattoush salad, mankosha pie and date cookies.....

                                    1. re: cjml
                                      p
                                      Pookipichu RE: cjml Apr 12, 2014 03:07 PM

                                      One more dish to avoid at Hakkasan, the veal short ribs in superior soya, the short ribs are cut too thin and are very chewy

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