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NYC: Post theater dessert on a Sunday night? And other suggestions...

NYC: Post theater dessert on a Sunday night? And other suggestions...

Old Apr 4th, 2011, 04:02 PM
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NYC: Post theater dessert on a Sunday night? And other suggestions...

After a bit of a hiatus, I will be back in NYC in late May.

Traveling with DH – it’s an anniversary trip and our focus is theater (Book of Mormon!), Central Park, used bookstores and just exploring the city. We will be there four nights, which means four dinners. (Breakfast and lunch are usually on the fly!).
I’ve done a bit of research on Chow Hound and menu pages, and I still am a bit stumped about restaurants. Normally I’m pretty adventurous; DH, less so. I’m trying to be cognizant of DH’s requirements for delicious food and good service without stuffiness or pretension and would be grateful for suggestions.

He does not care for seafood or Asian food. I’m thinking something comforting and welcoming but still excellent. Would Gramercy Tavern fit the bill? Or Union Square Café? Other suggestions?

Also – our theater tickets are for 7 p.m. on a Sunday evening. Awkward! It means a 5 p.m. dinner – are reservations necessary at that hour? And since we are eating so early, I know we will be starving at 10:00 p.m. Any suggestions for dessert at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night?

I think DH would also enjoy a really, really good steak house. I’ve been to Smith & Wollensky and the experience did not seem to equal the hype. (Perhaps it was an off night – very busy and crowded). Other suggestions?

Finally, would appreciate brunch recommendations.

We are staying around the UES, but we know how to hail a taxi and navigate the subway.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 04:09 PM
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Gramercy Tavern or Union Square Café are fine choices. Not quite as high line, but equally good in the food and service department is The Red Cat. You might also look at The 21 Club. For steaks, try Ben Benson's--no pretensions there, just good food.
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 04:50 PM
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Many thanks BSpielman! I've never been to the the Red Cat -- sounds awesome!

I guess I should clarify that we can afford good meal and we clean up well, but hate being judged for the quality of our shoe leather Know what I mean?

Hoping for some Sunday night dessert recos -- keep them coming!
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 05:32 PM
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Juniors for Cheesecake is always a good choice!
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 06:16 PM
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Many thanks!

If I were trying to steer clear of Times Square/tourist hubs - ?
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 06:23 PM
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For a quick and simple steak pre-theater, you might consider Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote. You can be in and out in an hour or less, and it's good. But it's a set menu of salad, steak, and fries for $24.95.

I love it and eat there often. But it's no Ben Benson in ters of meat quality.

I do like the food at Smith and Wollensky, but crowded with brusk service is typical there. I go for the great steak only.

But on Sunday maybe just eat a late lunch and then have dinner after the theater.
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 06:46 PM
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Many thanks Doug! I love the suggestion -- we don't necessarily have to have steak pre-theater, but I wanted an option for one of the four nights we'll be there.

While we're at it -- any recs for Italian?
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 07:38 PM
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For used bookstores, The Strand is a must. It is truly one of NY's great independent book shops.

http://www.strandbooks.com/

For dessert try Veniero's in the East Village. There is not a bad thing on the menu, just some that are better. My favorites are the ricotta cheesecake, tiramisu, and the Millefoglie. One of my cop friends think the cheesecake is more addictive than crack.

http://www.venierospastry.com/

We had a sensational meal at Perbacco last week and the desserts were excellent. Each had a strong taste that jusrt wasn't sweet. They were made a true master pastry chef.
You can share appetizers. Try the rice balls and the meat balls.

http://www.perbacconyc.com/
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 01:03 AM
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In my opinion, stay far, far away from the Junior's cheesecake in the theater area. The original Juniors in Brooklyn is reportedly good, but the branch in the theater district is awful.

Try to have your pre-theater dinner close to the theater. It's stressful to feel like you need to finish your meal early, then sit in a taxi fighting traffic to get to the show.
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 03:38 AM
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Try to have your pre-theater dinner close to the theater. It's stressful to feel like you need to finish your meal early, then sit in a taxi fighting traffic to get to the show.

A. Start earlier
B. Take the subway
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 06:46 AM
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Sorry Hawksbill, but I completely disagree about Junior's in Times Square. Not only is it convenient and reasonably priced, but the food is good, and at odd hours it's not too crowded. The cheesecake is ok, but too expensive and not my favorite thing. But I'm in love with their hot dogs and corned beef sandwiches, and breakfast there is good. The original Junior's is great, but I don't go for the cheesecake anyway.
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 07:07 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Keep them coming (can't have too many!)

I've been to Junior's -- a few years ago after taking my kids to see "Rent." (DH wasn't with us on that trip. In fact it will be his first trip to NYC. He's been all over the U.S., Europe and Asia, but never NYC. Go figure!)

Juniors isn't bad and it is an option. I just wanted a couple more in case it is insanely crowded. I think the real challenge is that most places tend to close early on Sunday night. ??

Aduchamp1 - the Strand is at the top of my list! I also appreciate the rec for Perbacco and Veniero's. I haven't really explored the East Village much, yet I know it has some the best restaurants in the city.
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 07:22 AM
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Sorry I forgot to mention one another unusual and not very well known bookstore, The Complete Traveler. It sells antiquarian travel books and it is quite interesting

http://www.ctrarebooks.com/
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 07:23 AM
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I like the West Bank Cafe -
http://www.westbankcafe.com/about.html

They are open until 11 on Sunday and would work for desserts after your show. Their desserts are delicious -
http://www.westbankcafe.com/menus/dessert.pdf

IMO it's convenient for after theatre (or before) but not in the craziness of Restaurant Row.
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 07:30 AM
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Where are you staying? Post theater dessert/light meal might be better outside Times Square area, so if you're headed back to another neighborhood, we can suggest places there or on the way.

Do you have plans for Sunday during the day? What area of town will you be in ? I agree with the suggestion to do a bigger meal as Sunday brunch--in NY that can be as late as 3pm, and doesn't have to be breakfast foods. Then you can enjoy the theater without rushing or feeling too full, and have sandwiches/dessert afterwards
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 07:44 AM
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Nyer -- we are staying around 49th and Lexington. We've considered brunch beforehand, but I have blood sugar issues - don't want to chance getting hungry or cranky (or passing out!) during the show. Our Sunday is a big open book right now -- we're trying not to over-plan. Probably some sightseeing, then early dinner, then show. Would love to hear your suggestions for restaurants in the area.

Starrs -The West Bank Cafe sounds like an excellent suggestion!

Aduchamp1 - oooh, The Complete Traveler sounds interesting -- just what I need to kindle the wanderlust!

Thanks all!
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 03:42 PM
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You said you were staying on the upper east side and now say 49th and Lexington which is midtown (east). There's not a lot open in that area on a Sun. night for dessert. I'd go to one of the better hotel restaurants in the theater district. Be a tourist and go to the View in the Marriott Marquis for their dessert buffet and the view. Or go to Triomphe in the Iroquois hotel.

For brunch on Sunday, you really should decide what you want to do for the day. Park Avenue Spring has a very nice brunch and would be on the way to the museums (Frick, Whitney, Met, Cooper Hewitt). If you have a nice brunch, you could have a light bite before the 7 pm show and eat something else after the show.
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 04:05 PM
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Momofuku Milk Bar is a dessert idea for after theater. http://www.momofuku.com/wp-content/u...n-march-13.pdf
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 07:40 PM
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I know it's considered the norm to bash any restaurant within a stone's throw of Times Square, but the idea that the exact same cheesecake that Juniors serves in Brooklyn AND near Times Square is somehow good in Brooklyn but "awful" in Times Square is ludicrous. Do we suspect they do something special to "ruin" it between Brooklyn and Times Square? It's the SAME damned cheesecake! Get over it.

I'm no huge fan of the place, but their cheesecake is good -- at least if you like it in Brooklyn there's no reason your taste buds should change when you cross the East River, unless having your nose to high in the air when you get near Times Square causes you to lose your sense of taste. Or in reverse, if you don't like it at the Times Square place there is absolutely no reason you'd like it in Brooklyn either.
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 09:29 PM
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Let me be perfectly clear about my opinion on this: The cheesecake at Juniors in Midtown is terrible. Really awful. Yuck. Pretty much any deli you wander into in New York could do at least as well. You could buy a frozen Sara Lee cheesecake and have better cheesecake.

Someone once did a huge tasting of all the major cheesecakes in New York on Chowhound, and reported, if I remember correctly, that Junior's cheesecake rated about a "fair," but only if you actually get it at the original place in Brooklyn, otherwise it was worse. I don't know why there would be a difference. Because it's fresher in Brooklyn? Because they bake it at the restaurant instead of their distribution center in Rahway which serves their satellite locations? I don't know. I've never been to Junior's in Brooklyn. Don't want to go. I'm sure there are many nice things in Brooklyn, but I don't like to go there.

I'm not anti-Times Square either. I've heard Virgil's Barbecue is really good.
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