251 W 50th St.
Situated on 50th St. between Broadway and 8th avenues, Toloache’s unassuming exterior belies the vibrant and elegant two story restaurant within. Named for a flowering plant used in Mexican love potions, this upscale bistro has been charming Theater District diners with creative and contemporary Mexican fare since 2007. Try one of their lip-smacking ceviches, or a delicious brick oven quesadilla. Or, if you’re feeling brave, try the Oaxacan-style dried grasshopper tacos (I have, and they’re delicious!). Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong, and you’ll want wash it down with one of their over 100 tequilas and mezcals.
234 W 44th St.
Any chronicler of post-show dinner options would be remiss not to include this 44th street institution whose name is virtually synonymous with Theater District dining. With its old-school white table cloth décor, walls covered with celebrity caricatures, and all-show-tunes-all-the-time soundtrack, you could be forgiven for filling up on atmosphere alone! But be sure to save room for one of Sardi’s Nouveau American classics like spinach cannelloni au gratin, made with luxurious homemade ricotta, or splurge for their jumbo lump crab cake entrée, which is as timeless and satisfying as Sardi’s itself.
55 W 44th St.
French chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud’s Theater District establishment is exactly what it sounds like: a fresh modern take on a classic French bistro. With its sleek modern interior and superlative service, it’s the perfect place to settle down after a show for a cocktail and an old favorite like steak au poivre or coq au vin. But the real star of the menu is DB Bistro Moderne’s decidedly high-brow take on the low-brow American classic: the hamburger. At $35 dollars it’s one of the most expensive burgers Manhattan has to offer, but the city’s burger aficionados will tell you it’s worth every penny. Made from ground sirloin and stuffed with red wine-braised short ribs, foie gras, and black truffles, this indulgent creation comes pre-cut on a Parmesan bun. If your show was a disappointment, you can be assured that this legendary burger will not be.
226 West 50th St.
Opened by the creators of the Haru chain (which was later sold to Benihana), this classy, but unpretentious Japanese eatery offers a terrific balance of classic sushi and innovative Japanese fusion cuisine. With its serene light wood-adorned interior and reasonable noise levels, Natsumi offers a great place to compare notes on an evening’s performance. So settle into a booth or sidle up to the sushi bar and order one of their delicious New Style Carpaccios (which feature classic sushi fishes paired with traditionally Italian oils and vinegars) before enjoying the Chef’s Creation, a daily selection of the best seasonal sushis.
13-15 W 54th St.
Located just outside the Theater District on 54th St. between 5th and 6th avenues, this delightfully authentic Southern Italian restaurant is well worth the walk. Although its classy but simple interior (white table cloths and wicker chairs) is pleasant enough, there’s no mystery as to why this restaurant has remained so popular: the food. For the last 15 years Il Gattopardo has been serving up some of the finest Italian comfort food New York City has to offer, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed among NYC’s upper crust. Luminaries such as rock legend Paul McCartney and actress Tilda Swinton count themselves regulars. With an enormous wine list, and a rotating seasonal menu of delectable pastas and Italian specialties, Il Gattopardo is wonderful option to end a theatrical evening in high style.
- What are your favorite restaurants to splurge for a fancy post-show meal? Let us know in the comments below!
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