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Pre and Apres performance dinners in December

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Coming to NYC in December to hear Bocelli on 12/17, looking for a pre or apres dinner suggestions. The next day we are going to the 3 PM Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. Looking for good Italian afterwards. Already have made reservations for one night at The River Cafe and hoping to make one at Balthazar...perhaps before the Bocelli performance. Thank you.

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  1. What's your budget, per person, before tax, tip, wine/drinks?

    Bocelli is playing Madison Square Garden and Balthazar is not really near MSG, btw.

    Where to Eat MSG/Penn Station/Empire State Building:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/894256
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/725320
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/757797
    http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2013/0...

    Where to Eat Near Radio City Music Hall/Rockefeller Center:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/906441
    http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/1...

    1. Kathryn, I was thinking of a late lunch at Balthazar's before Bocelli; we are from New Orleans and Balthazar gives off a familiar vibe and great food. Dined there last year. We will be in cabs, so the distance is not a problem. No price constraints. Someone has suggested Tony DiNapoli for Italian. Just wondering if it is good.

      3 Replies
      1. re: TaTee

        Ah, got it. Maybe after the show, you might want to grab a late bite at The Breslin, the NoMad (the bar or the restaurant), or the John Dory? They're a short walk from MSG. Or if you're really craving Italian, head downtown and have a late dinner on this night. Babbo, perhaps? A quick OpenTable search shows they'll take an 11:15pm reservation for a Wednesday night.

        Would you consider Quality Italian for your meal after RCMH? It's a little further away, though. There are some other good options nearby that I like a lot (Oceana, Ma Peche, the Modern, etc) but they aren't Italian.

        1. re: TaTee

          No, tony di napoli is not good compared to the other great italian options in the city like the ones kathryn suggested.

          1. re: TaTee

            I went to Tony's a few years ago for a party. It was better than Carmine's but was merely good at best. I would strongly suggest not going there. Why don't you go to a really good upscale Italian restaurant. Kathryn mentioned Babbo, and my favorite until further notice has been Ai Fiori. There are quite a number of less-expensive very tasty Italian places. It just depends what kind of atmosphere and look you want, and if you prefer a particular neighborhood. To give one example, I would definitely consider Lavagna a couple of levels below Ai Fiori, but it's cozier and is quite excellent - essentially the difference between a great 3-star restaurant and a great 2-star restaurant (using quasi-New York Times star categories).