Where to Eat Near the Show: Broadway Edition

Where to Eat Near the Show: Broadway Edition

"What are we doing for dinner?" Choosing where to eat during the hours before and after a Broadway show can be stressful when confronted by all of the culinary opportunities in the area. But the trick is knowing where to eat well, and if you're in a rush, knowing where to eat fast. Pre-theater diners have two to three hours to enjoy appetizers, entrees, libations and desserts, walk to the theater, use the facilities and get seated before curtain. Post-theater diners have to be conscious of kitchen closings. With this in mind, here are the top picks on where to eat on NYC’s famed Restaurant Row during your night out for a Broadway show.   
             Head to the Ninth Ave. side of Restaurant Row and find Sushi Seki (365 W. 46th St.), a sleek bi-level space with two spacious dining rooms owned by Master Sushi Chef Seki Shi. The golden ticket in Chef Seki's first-floor space is the bar seating. Turn left and plant yourself at the "mini"-omakase sushi bar on the first floor, where a sushi master is likely pressing precisely-shaped balls of fresh rice against dabs of wasabi and raw cuts of top-grade fish, plating them for eager diners and explaining the eating process (two fingers, one bite, no chopsticks). This seven-seat sushi bar accepts reservations and walk-ins and offers a “mini-omakase” (available Tu-Sa 5-10:30 pm), catering to guests rushing to a show, to budgeting diners or sushi lovers checking out this Michelin-recommended fishery. $55 gets you six pieces of nigiri, two hand rolls (or one hand roll and mini soba/udon noodles), and a personal dining experience, curated by a sushi master who starts off the meal by asking your preferences in fish. An attentive staff offers sake pairings from an extensive list of sake varietals and boils hot sake at the bar for diners. 

Sake Wall at Sushi Seki (Paul Wagtouicz)


  If you have time for a full, much lengthier omakase experience, skip the "mini" and go upstairs for the gusto, where highly-coveted omakase bar seats face Master Chef Seki. Chef Seki precisely slices fresh cuts of fish for guests who've seceded all but one meal-related decision to the chef for the evening. The lone question left to be answered before the meal commences is whether the guest prefers an omakase of sushi, sashimi or both. The omakase, Chef Seki's premium tasting menu (daily-rotating based on freshness and market availability), is available throughout the entirety of Sushi Seki's elegant upstairs dining room, though the bar seats are the prize for diners eager to learn about their fish and detailedly observe Chef Seki's meticulous preparing processes. Chef Seki explains each cut of fish and the preparation behind it during personal course-by-course plating of a long list of varying types of fish, preceded and seceded by housemade specialty Sushi Seki plates, curated to guests' growing or waning appetite, allergy restrictions and personal preferences. 
             A few storefronts towards Eighth Ave., Lidia and Joe Bastianich’s neighborhood staple, Becco (355 W. 46th St.) now enters its 25th year. The team at this gargantuan, tri-level Italian powerhouse is meticulous in making sure your meal is enjoyed in comfort and with time to spare. The menu offers two standouts: a $25 meal of three daily-rotating hearty unlimited pasta dishes served tableside with Caesar salad or antipasto; and a lengthy list of wines by the bottle priced at $29. For matinee shows, enjoy the unlimited pasta dishes Chef William Gallagher has prepared for lunch for $20.
            For pre-show drinks, the House of Brews offers plenty of hoppy options as well as a full bar food menu. Don’t Tell Mama opens at 4 pm daily with a happy hour on domestic wines and beers, a lengthy housemade cocktail list and a bartending and wait-staff of professional Broadway and Off-Broadway performers singing and playing piano. Bourbon Street transports guests to Louisiana with hurricanes, “swamp juice” and various other drink specials.
            Whether you’re craving Japanese, Italian, American or a handsome singing bartender crafting up housemade cocktail concoctions, this single block has at least two (and up to five) reputable options for each. I leave you with two final (and arguably utmost vital) pieces of advice. Make reservations (you can always cancel!) And as soon as you sit down, tell your wait-staff the curtain time of your show. They’re ready to rush. Happy dining and enjoy the show!

 

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