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New Yorker's suggestions needed for specific post theater dining near 44th Street.

New Yorker's suggestions needed for specific post theater dining near 44th Street.

May 27th, 2007, 07:29 AM
  #1  
TC
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New Yorker's suggestions needed for specific post theater dining near 44th Street.

Dining post theater next week with a friend who is rehearsing a new show on Broadway. She wants to dine very near her theater -- on 44th -- for ease. Two places suggested are Angus McIndoe's and Sardi's. I'm not a big fan of Angus due to the noise level. It always seems impossible to carry on a conversation there. Having never been to Sardi's, I don't have a first hand opinion, but it just seems so cliche -- which usually translates to extreme overpricing and a rather touristy experience overall.

Any NYr suggestions for other places very nearby the Helen Hayes theater for a nice quiet dinner?

Thank you.
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May 27th, 2007, 07:41 AM
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I'd forget Sardi's too, which I only like for drinks before a show at the bar. I've been taken there twice by a NewYork friend who thinks it's the ultimate -- I really find it like you say -- an overpriced cliche. I rather like Angus MacIndoe's, but the small third floor dining room with it's own bar tends to be much quieter.

Quiet is the issue these days almost everywhere it seems, but at least most places are quieter after theatre than before.

Out of curiosity, you're saying she's rehearsing a new show? Or do you mean doing Xanadu which is in previews at the Helen Hayes? If that's it, and since it is a short show (over at 9:30, I'd think you'd be fine at Angus MacIndoe's at that hour). Or walk the long block to 44th and 9th Avenue for Marseille or to Le Madeline at 43rd just past 9th. The latter would be especially quiet and nice.
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May 27th, 2007, 08:03 AM
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Marseille is really noisy. Does your friend like steak? Try Chimichurri, but make a reservation 'cuz it's tiny. If you've got the scratch and like seafoods, Esca is at 43d and Ninth. I haven't been at Le Madeline in ages, but it's simple bistro food at fair prices.
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May 27th, 2007, 08:04 AM
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CHIMICHURRI GRILL++ (212) 586-8655; 606 Ninth Avenue, between 43d and 44th Street
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May 27th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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Regarding Le Madeline -- we ate there last week and had a wonderful papardelle pasta with a thick and meaty lamb shank ragu that was sensational. Our waitress whom we had quite a conversation with informed us that the long time sous chef has taken over the kitchen as the former chef has "retired" to the country and that the food has all gotten really wonderful. After what we tasted, I'd agree. She said even the old stand by dishes have taken on a new life and have been "perked up".

And you were right about Marseilles. What was I thinking? It IS noisy, even when not busy.
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May 27th, 2007, 08:35 AM
  #6  
TC
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I have reserved at Sardi's, but just don't feel good about it. Haven't been to Le Madeline for several years, but did love it. Sounds as though they've gotten even better. We could try there. The Chimichurri menu looks great, very diverse and not all about steak. How is the atmosphere? Maybe we'll try there.
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May 27th, 2007, 01:50 PM
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I can recommend CAfe 1,2,3 on W 43rd St. Good food, wonderful creme brule and good service. W43rd just east of 6th Ave.
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May 27th, 2007, 02:19 PM
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Un deaux trois is really not that quiet - in fact can be very noisy. And the food is only mediocre.
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May 27th, 2007, 08:31 PM
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Hey, here's another idea. How about Kellari Taverna on 44th, going east from Times Square. The food is wonderful,the atmosphere is upscale, the staff is great and if you go at that hour and request a quiet table, they were surely accomodate you.
http://kellari.reachlocal.com


I walked by Chimichuri Grill tonight. The food may be fine, but it's basically just another "hole in the wall" Ninth Avenue place atmosphere wise.
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May 28th, 2007, 05:33 AM
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I would describe Chimichurri as "intimate", not "hole in the wall." It's a favorite of execs in the Times Sq area.
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May 28th, 2007, 05:47 AM
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Here's how the NYTimes described Chimichurri:

This welcoming Argentine restaurant, simultaneously sophisticated and homelike, combines all the elements that make the food of Argentina so appealing: great grilled beef, a few Italian pasta dishes and some pure home cooking, like the tortilla, a frittata filled with potatoes, chorizo and onions. Empanadas, crisp little turnovers filled with a mixture of ground beef and olives, are excellent, and the Chilean sea bass, called here by its other name, Patagonian toothfish, is coated in lemon rind and beautifully grilled. But what Argentina is best known for is beef. It is well represented on the menu here and tastes particularly good with chimichurri sauce, a mixture of parsley, garlic, oil and vinegar that is the country's national condiment. The restaurant offers a nice selection of Argentine wines.
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May 28th, 2007, 06:28 AM
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I did not mean "hole in the wall" as a negative, but I guess it came out that way. Ninth Avenue is lined with really good "intimate" restaurants and many are favorites of mine. Perhaps "hole in the wall" was the wrong word, but the atmosphere, while pleasant enough is not even vaguely similar to the usual image most people would have of a "fine dining" experience --atmosphere wise. That may or may not be a negative, but the poster asked about atmosphere and I thought it only fair to suggest that it is nothing like a Sardi's or a Marseille, or even a Le Madeline.
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May 28th, 2007, 06:42 AM
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I guess. I don't care for "fine dining" very much, odd as that may soound. Le Madeline (in my recollection) is a bit storybook, but I think if it more as a bistro than fine dining. I can't stand the atmosphere at Sardi's. I only eat lunch at Marseille because dinner time is practically a riot. In various reviews, Chimichurri Grill is described as cosy, and even romantic. Some might say cramped. My own feeling about Chimichurri is that it is a place to converse over a multi-course dinner. Paradoxically, the small setting makes for more intense one-on-one conversation and less eavesdropping. I'd recommend it for a late dinner rather than an early one, so there is no pressure to vacate the table.

But the food is the real draw. It's just more interesting than most of the food in pre- and post-theatre restos in the area.
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May 28th, 2007, 07:33 AM
  #14  
TC
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Well now you have me confused! I think the menu for Chimichurri sounds good -- several different choices for different appetites. I am also impressed with the reasonably priced wine selections. My main reason for not caring a lot for Angus McIndoe is the atmosphere -- it doesn't feel the least bit cozy. I'm more a fan of the atmosphere at Joe Allen than AMcD, which obviously means I don't need lux. I'm just hoping for a place with good food, wine and quiet enough to hear my dinner partners speak. On past trips a favorite was West Bank Cafe on 42nd, but I've been unimpressed recently with the quality of food there.

O.K. Neo and fall06 -- tell me some of your other favorite small local NY restaurants and I'll have a better idea who's taste is similar to mine and therefore who's advice will better suit me. No offense intended to either. Its just a matter of finding the one most like myself. I love Boom and Provence in SoHo, Hakata in Midtown, Vince & Eddies on the West Side. I even like La Bonne Soupe when I stay at The Blakely. Having said that, I still like Gotham for lunch - but its too "over the top" for dinner. Now I've probably confused you. Ah well, many thanks for your outstanding suggestions. I'm considering all.
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May 28th, 2007, 07:40 AM
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well, fall06, you've convinced me. That's "my neighborhood". Just yesterday we had brunch almost next door at Zuni, and last night dinner at Film Center Cafe across the street. I will try Chimichurri Grill, but we'll have to leave it up to TC to see if that's what they have in mind. While you and I DON'T like Sardi's, don't forget, that was one of the original suggestions by the poster (or her friend?).
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May 28th, 2007, 08:15 AM
  #16  
TC
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Now, now, Neo....my friend simply mentioned Sardi's as be "conveniently located" -- not a great dinner.
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May 28th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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I mostly eat cheap ethnic food -- not because I'm cheap, but because it usually is done up fast and fresh and hot, and the variety is fun. But if I'm meeting friends, some of my favorite joints are Osteria Gelsi, Henry's, Petit Abielle, Park Bistro, and I also like the atmosphere at Joe Allen's (a bit better than the food).

OK, NeoPatrick -- hope you like it! I'm sure I'll catch hell if you don't!
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May 28th, 2007, 08:39 AM
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PS TC: Argentine wine is good and nicely priced.

Also, given your friend's desire to be close to her theater, have you considered Trattoria Dopo Teatro (125 W. 44th St., between Sixth Ave. and Broadway)
212-869-2849. If you reserve, specify you want to be seated is a small, nice room.
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Jun 4th, 2007, 08:13 AM
  #19  
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As follow-up: We did eat at Chimichurri Grill. Very nice. Quite small. Could be difficult to converse if the restaurant is full as the tables are very close together. However, the space is intimate and soft which soaks up some of the sound. Luckily on our night, there was only one other table of diners. The food and wine were very good -- not mind blowing, but that wasn't what we wanted. It was solidly good food with attentive, but not intrusive service and lovely presentation. The wine list had a well rounded selection in all ranges. About $40 pp for three of us to split a bottle of red wine and one main each. A good location post-theater. The only negative was a lack of accommodation when asked to substitute a green vegetable or salad for the mashed potatoes. I might go again however, if in the neighborhood.

A wonderful "find" on this trip was the Ava Bar on the top of the Dream Hotel at 55th & 8th Ave. Amazing view from the roof top bar. Great atmosphere and drinks in the $10 range made it a nightly favorite.

Thanks to all for suggestions.
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Jun 5th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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Hey, that's great! glad you liked it in the main. Hard to beat the price.
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