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The best City Bites from New York

Another Korean One: Bann Restaurant + All The Nathalie Portmans

(Written before COVID-19 quarantine) After seeing All The Natalie Portmans at MCC Theatre on 52, we headed out to dinner at 350 West 50th Street to Bann Restaurant, a BBQ Korean restaurant in a welcoming upscale setting. The unusual show at MCC Theatre is about a family on the brink of eviction while the 16-year-old daughter dreams of a better tomorrow and interacts with her muse, Natalie Portman playing all her iconic characters. For a full review, click here. We were seated at a table with an unlit grill between us that we used to "grill" our selection of meats, poultry or fish, which of course is the quintessential dish [...]

By |2020-06-04T09:24:50-04:00June 27th, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Aqua Boil, Hells Kitchen, NYC + Jagged Little Pill

(Written before COVID-19 quarantine) I had no idea what I was in store for when I was invited to Aqua Boil, a casual Cajun-inspired restaurant that spotlights seafood boils, encouraging diners to get messy. We arrived at the small restaurant when it opened at 5 pm, as we had a 7 pm curtain. The restaurant had only been open a couple of months necessitating the person tending bar to search the internet to learn how to make the Manhattans we ordered! Nice service, producing a quite decent version. Everything is served in paper and utensils are plastic other than the tools for the seafood. The mostly all fish cod cake [...]

By |2020-05-27T12:23:35-04:00June 4th, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|1 Comment

Morrell Wine Bar, Rockefeller Plaza, Midtown, NYC + The Minutes

(Written before COVID-19 quarantine) We met at the elegant Morrell Wine Bar just south of the Rockefeller Plaza for dinner before heading to theatre to see Tracey Letts in The Minutes. The Castiglion del Bosco Rosso di Montalcino, 2016 ($64), a nice red fruit dry wine, went so well the Foie Gras Torchon ($28). That dish consisted of four tiny squares of toasted brioche with a slice of patè drizzled with port syrup and sprinkled with candied walnut dust.  We shared everything, which is how I love dining! Our refreshing salad ($21) contained poached pears, candied yellow beets, chevrè and mesclun in a white balsamic vinaigrette. Nice sized portion. The [...]

Return to Daniela Trattoria, Hell’s Kitchen, NYC + We’re Gonna Die

(Written before COVID-19 quarantine) Before seeing We're Gonna Die, described as "the non-musical/non-play/non-concert that is not about dying" at the Tony Kiser theatre, we stopped for dinner at Daniela Trattoria. I had been to Daniela Trattoria seven years ago when the now $42 prix fixe menu was only $29. My dining partner had no desire for dessert, so we opted to skip the menu and share two entrees instead. We asked for the garlicky scampi ($30) to be served first as an appetizer. That included five shrimp with lots of white beans served with broccoli and cauliflower, the veggie of the day. For our entree, we ordered the Ossobucco ($33) [...]

Turkuaz Restaurant, Hell’s Kitchen, NYC + Tina, The Musical

(Written before COVID-19 quarantine) With a 7 pm curtain for Tina, my friend and I grabbed an early bite at Hell's Kitchen's Turkuaz, which has recently relocated to northern Hell's Kitchen convenient for theatre. I had been invited by the owner, who I had met at a Broadway Association function a couple of years ago. We sat down, looked at the menu but didn't order. The owners had selected various combo plates for us to sample. We started with the cold appetizer platter ($38) with hummus, cacik (blend of yogurt labneh and cucumbers seasoned with mint and dill), eggplant salad (chopped grilled eggplant and roasted peppers), baba ghanoush (chopped grilled eggplant [...]

By |2020-04-03T12:17:57-04:00April 5th, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Aux Epices Restaurant, Tribeca, NYC + The Sickness

After being invited as media to The Sickness, I made a reservation at Aux Epices Restaurant as it was only a couple of blocks from where we were seeing the show. It's a narrow inviting restaurant with friendly service serving beer and wine. Cash only. Aux Epices means cooking with spice in French. The restaurant adheres to its namesake. The small order of BBQ spare ribs ( $8) contained three ribs well-coated in cumin-forward seasoning with the meat falling off the bone. The grilled (5) jumbo prawns come in a turmeric-ginger sauce served with a tall inverted cone of white rice ($20). I would have ordered differently had we realized [...]

Musical Brunch at Coco Pazzo, SoHo, NYC

There's nothing like a Sunday brunch with live music and good food. That's what my friend and I experienced recently at  Soho's Coco Pazzo as their guests. We so enjoyed the musician at the keyboard who played just loud enough to be enjoyable without drowning out our conversation. I started with their Dante, The Poet made with El Buho Mezcal, Campari, Solerno blood orange liqueur with Italian vermouth ($16) that packed a powerful bunch, while my guest enjoyed a Cranberry Squeeze Mocktail ($7) with juice, lemon soda and mint. We started with two salads, both of which I'd recommend. The blend of roasted ceci (chickpeas) and quinoa with over-dried cherry [...]

By |2020-03-01T11:40:14-05:00February 25th, 2020|NYC Best Bites, Theatre|0 Comments

In Times Square: Patricks Restaurant & Oyster Bar, NYC + A Soldier’s Play

What a find. Little did I know when I walked into Patricks Restaurant & Oyster Bar (in the space where Chevy’s Tex Mex was about a year ago) that I would have a memorable meal. This restaurant is from the Wetanson family, also owners of Dallas BBQ and Tony DiNapoli’s. Patricks is basically a pub on 42 street in Times Square just down the street from the American Airlines Theatre where we saw the hunky Blair Underwood in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play A Soldier's Play.  He walked to the center of the stage, breaking the fourth wall, to talk to the audience with his shirt wide open showing his six-pack as [...]

By |2020-02-23T10:44:33-05:00February 23rd, 2020|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Shun Lee Cafe + Paul Taylor Celebrate the Dancemaker

The best thing about Shun Lee Cafe is its proximity to Lincoln Center where we had seen the amazing Paul Taylor dancers in "Celebrate the Dancemaker." We sat in the black and white checkerboard restaurant noticing the silver Chinese calendar images hanging from the ceiling. I looked forward to selecting my dim sum from the rolling cart that passed through the dining room. Since we arrived at about 9 pm after the performance, we had to order ours using a check-off paper menu instead ($9 each). The best were both the steamed shumai (3) and dumplings (4), both with wrappers chockful of shrimp. The two small spring rolls were crisp, [...]

By |2019-11-26T10:22:43-05:00December 19th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

AnTalia, a Mediterranean Turkish Restaurant, Theatre District + Underlying Chris.

AnTalia is a Mediterranean Turkish restaurant in the theatre district that was listed in the Second Stage Theatre subscriber handbook as a place offering a complimentary glass of wine with an entree. We stopped by before seeing "Underlying Chris," a world premiere play from Pulitzer Prize finalist Will Eno. The play is described as "a life-affirming and high-spirited look at how a person comes into their identity, and how sometimes its life’s tiniest moments that most profoundly change our lives." For a complete review of the show, click here. AnTalia offers a prix fixe $31.95 three-course dinner menu. Not wanting that much food, we each ordered the lamb shish kebab [...]

By |2019-11-09T11:27:33-05:00December 15th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

2-Star Indian Food Chola, Midtown, NYC + The Great Society + Rose Tattoo

It was one of our theatre-marathon days. My theatre-going friend and I started in the afternoon at Lincoln Center seeing The Great Society, part two of Robert Schenkkan’s historic account of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s reign, (For a full review, click here.) had dinner at Chola (as their guests) and went then off to the American Air Lines theatre to see Marisa Tomei in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo. (For a full review, click here.) Our meal at Chola was extra special as I went with a friend who, having owned many Indian restaurants, helped in selecting what we'd eat along with the helpful manager. While scanning the [...]

By |2019-11-04T22:14:53-05:00November 29th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Brunch at Brazen Tavern + DaVinci and Michelangelo: The Titans Experience

Found a tavern near Times Square that I can recommend for lunch before theater where you can get a burger or other sandwich for $11 in a nice setting. The Brazen Tavern on west 44th offers those bargains only Monday through Friday. On weekend (when I went) the same platters are $17. They're still worth it. I had a grilled chicken club sandwich ($17)  yet I asked for only two not three slices of bread for the chicken, bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato on rye accompanied by fries. So large, I took half home. My dining partner had the steak sandwich on a baguette spread with garlic aioli. That sandwich [...]

By |2019-10-07T11:54:02-04:00November 21st, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

123 BSB (Burger Shot Beer), Hell’s Kitchen + Betrayed

If you're part of the sports bar crowd, you'd probably enjoy a trip to 123 BSB on Tenth Avenue in Hell's Kitchen. It's a happening place replete with burgers, lots of fried foods, beer and a profusion of shots! I stopped by recently on my way to see the revival of Harold Pinter's Betrayal about an adulterous triangle that takes place in reverse chronological order with Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton and Charlie Cox. I had seen — and preferred — the performances of Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz about six years ago. For a complete theatre review, click here. At 123SBS as their guests, we started with a couple of [...]

By |2019-10-12T20:37:17-04:00October 13th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

A Return to Hakkasan, Theatre District, NYC + Waitress

When meeting a friend to see the fun musical Waitress, I returned to Hakkasan for a light lunch before the matinee curtain. When we saw the productuion, the show starred Shoshana Bean and understudy, Tyrone Davis, Jr (who I had seen in Invisible Thread at 2nd Stage). I also recognized Erich Bergen who I know as Blake Morgan in Madame Secretary.  Who knew he could sing?  Fun afternoon of theatre! For a complete review, click here. The restaurant is huge but cozy as it's a maze of tables divided with open screens.  The service was as spotty as it was my first visit about six years ago. I'm not sure [...]

By |2019-09-16T04:23:21-04:00September 11th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

A Return to Cafe Fiorello + Rolling Stone at LCT

Always love the antipasto bars at the Fireman Hospitality restaurants. If you haven't been to their places including Trattoria del Arte, Bond 45 and Cafe Fiorello, I suggest doing so. I returned one night before heading to Lincoln Center Theatre to see Rolling Stone, not a play I'd recommend. For a complete review, click here. We ordered the five antipasto selections for $25.75 that included the fried cauliflower Milanese (my favorite!), Sicilian eggplant caponata, fava beans with fava beans & ricotta, asparagus and roasted mushrooms with garlic and herbs. We also shared the jumbo lump crab & avocado salad with fresh fennel and orange supremes ($30.50). Refreshingly good. As de [...]

By |2019-09-01T08:26:16-04:00September 1st, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse, Churrasco Experience, Midtown + The Ferryman

After seeing the amazing The Ferryman for the second time, we headed uptown to Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse located on 53rd Street near Museum of Modern Art for our Churrasco Experience arriving before the dining room was open. By the way, The Ferryman at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater is not to be missed! For a complete review of this powerful play, click here. This three-story, 16,000 square foot flagship location of the steakhouse opened in New York City at the end of 2013. We arrived early, heading upstairs to the inviting bar for cocktails. Bartender Chris made us two of their specialties, the Fogo caipirinha and a caramelized [...]

By |2019-07-22T08:52:15-04:00July 22nd, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Friedmans in Edison Hotel, Midtown + Ain’t Too Proud

We started our afternoon on Broadway with the life and times of the most successful group in Motown history, the Temptations. "Ain't Too Proud" had us dancing and singing in our seats. For a complete review, click here. After the show, we headed to Friedmans in the Edison Hotel, as I was invited to sample their fare. I started with a vodka martini with vermouth and orange bitters, while my dining companion had the Paper Plane with bourbon, Amaro Nonino and Aperol ($14 each). I'd recommend the latter. Their veggie potstickers (6 for $11) come drizzled with sriracha aioli and accompanied by a ginger soy dipping sauce. The meaty chicken [...]

By |2019-07-22T21:40:42-04:00June 30th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Dinner at Brazil, Brazil + God Shows Up

God Shows Up is a new play by Peter Filichia that opened off-Broadway recently at The Actor's Temple Theater. For a complete review, click here. It's a fun, controversial and irreverent show that asks, what happens when God chooses to drop in on his creation of Earth. I recommend it. For a complete review, click here. I don't recommend dining at Brazil, Brazil as we did only because of its proximity to the theatre on a rainy day. The service is fine, as are the caipirinhas - the Brazilian drink made with cachaça. We both had the spicy jalapeño one. The Salgadinho ($10), four small snacks with a savory filling, [...]

By |2019-08-15T13:01:28-04:00June 26th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

Lattanzi, Theatre District + Be More Chill

I was invited to meet some out-of-town friends at Lattanzi before theatre. It's is one of those theatre-row restaurants, close to the performance with mediocre food served elegantly. I do recommend the fried Jewish-style artichokes($18), a serving of three large tender ones in garlicky oil, but not the veal. One of us had the scaloppine piccata style and two of us, Marsala. Mine was overcooked, both the veal, potatoes and veggies with the sauce a bit gloppy. Be More Chill, is a show that's become a teenage cult, replete with screaming teens and young 20s. Although it was a bit too noisy for me, I'm glad I saw it.  For [...]

By |2019-06-10T00:39:18-04:00June 10th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments

A Return to Becco + Tootsie

Becco is one of the theatre row restaurants skilled at turning over many tables to get patrons out on time for their curtain. We were seated in the front room, which my dining partner said is where they seat the all-women parties and older folks, like us. I hadn't noticed until it was brought to my attention. All three of us gobbled up Becco's version of the classic Caesar salad. My friend had the thin slices of grilled swordfish resting on a tasty spinach salad with batons of bacon, sugar snap peas, pickled ramps and roasted red peppers ($26). Her mom had the sautéed shrimp, scallops and other seafood broth [...]

By |2019-06-08T08:17:52-04:00June 8th, 2019|NYC Restaurant Reviews, Theatre|0 Comments