Reservations for NYC restaurants

Old Feb 15th, 2006, 07:10 AM
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maj
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Reservations for NYC restaurants

We're going to NYC for the first time last weekend in April. I've picked up a lot of good advice from this forum so far, but will probably ask questions from time to time. We have our hotel and will probably get tickets for a Broadway play and arrange for a car service from the airport before we come. We would like to go to a nice restaurant on Saturday night -- how soon before that day would we have to make reservations? (probably around the theatre district)
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 07:17 AM
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If you have a particular place and time- a month before is not too early for Theater district restaurants. Anywhere else, a few days is usually fine.
BTW- do be aware that the car services now charge a "waiting fee" if your flight is delayed, and also parking fees, if they cannot idle long near the airports. I have given up on them coming in- just too much worry about costs because it seems like all flights coming in are delayed these days. Unless you are coming in on a rainy Friday at 5pm, there are usually plenty of cabs, or else you can take one of the bus services which do not require much of a wait.
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 07:20 AM
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It depends on the restaurant, some restaurants you can make a reservation a couple of days before, othere's you have to do it 30 days (rarely can you make a reservation more than 30 days in advance).

You should not eat all your meals in the theater district unless you are seeing a show. There are so many great restaurants all over city and in some great and interesteing neighborhoods. Many of the restaurants in the theater district are geared towards tourists. There are good ones too, but also the olive garden's and red lobster's, etc.

If you have a specific restaurants in mind, call and ask. You can use menupages.com to search for restaurants by neighborhood and type of food. You can also view the menus there and read user reviews.

Taking a taxi from the airport generally very quick and easy. A car service really isn't necessary. I do recommend a car service when you return to the airport though.
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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"..a month before is not too early for Theater district. Anywhere else, a few days in usually fine."
The last part of that statement is not totally accurate. If a restaurant is popular, it's just about mandatory to make reservations weeks in advance for a Saturday night!
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 09:31 AM
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Regarding car services like Dial 7 and Carmel, there is no waiting/parking fee if you book a "normal" reservation and simply call the company when you have your luggage, which is how everyone I know does it.

Yes, you'll wait a few minutes for the car to arrive, but it's often quicker that waiting in line for a cab.

Regarding dinner reservations, it depends. "Hot" places on Saturday night can be booked a month in advance. But for most options, a week in advance should be fine.
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 12:39 PM
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Thanks so much for your replies -- glad to have the car service comments! We are in the preliminary planning stages, but it is good to know that we will have to think about our dinner plans before we go. We probably will do a dinner in the theatre district the day we decide to go to a Broadway play. And will have to make reservations for dinner Saturday night if that isn't our Broadway play night. We have a little while yet, but time goes fast. We'll be there 3 nights, so will probably just wing the other meals depending on how our days go.
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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If you're not seeing a show, please, please, do not eat in the theater district. New Yorkers avoid that area like the plague for a reason.

You can do much better in other areas of Manhattan.
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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We do plan on going to a show -- isn't it better to eat in that area that day? (Remember we are totally new to the New York area -- and will be slow at getting around). Is it better to do a matinee and then dinner or dinner then a show?

We do want to experience other areas, so that would probably be the only time we would eat in the theater district (if at all).
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 03:08 PM
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Previous comments to the contrary, not all New Yorkers avoid the theater district restaurants like the plague. Sure, there are overpriced tourist trips there, but there are also a lot of quality dining establishments.
And, yes, if you are new to NYC and are going to the theater, then it does make sense to dine in that area.
To dine first or go to the theater first? Who can say which is the better option? One influencing factor is certain what your plans are for the rest of the day.
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 03:25 PM
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As Howard said, it depends on your other plans for the day. Also depends on whether you want to see a particular show and which showing they have seats available. We do have our favorites in that area, and it really depends on what you want and like. One of the places we go is Lattanzi, for Italian, it is excellent.
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 04:10 PM
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Oh come on guys - there are many good to very good restaurants in the theatre district - you all know who would say what about Le Bernardin??!! But even so, what about Bar Americain, Maria Pia, Thalia, DB Bistro Modern, Roberto Passon, Esca, Bistro du Vent, Blue Fin, Dervish, Marseilles,Utsav, Da Tommaso. Pietrasanta . . . and that's just off the top of my head!
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Old Feb 17th, 2006, 02:47 PM
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Hi, maj -- A website I find immensely useful is www.opentable.com, which allows you to check availability for/make online reservations at many restaurants in the city. If you're looking for a place within walking distance of a Broadway show, for example, you could search under not only Theater District but also Time's Square, Midtown West, and Hell's Kitchen---possibly even Carnegie Hall and Rockefeller Center. (And I agree with mp: there are some gems to be found in this area, sprinkled among the more "tourist-y" eateries.)
Best of luck!
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Old Feb 17th, 2006, 02:58 PM
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*Times* Square, that is. (Sorry, couldn't help it.)
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Old Feb 17th, 2006, 03:22 PM
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Carmines--Italian food! really good!
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Old Feb 18th, 2006, 06:30 AM
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Try to stay away form the Broadway toursit traps. Walk up to 8th and 9th avenues (between 42nd and 52nd)and you'll find an area that is red hot right now and full of new, interesting restaurants - full of locals (and Broadway performers).
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Old Feb 18th, 2006, 08:39 AM
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Thanks for the great responses! I'll keep checking back until we go.
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