In the Shadow of The Algonquin Round Table

In the Shadow of The Algonquin Round Table

A mural of the original Round Table diners.

“So, where should we eat?" my friend asked me a week before our planned date to see The Audience, the new Broadway show about Queen Elizabeth starring Helen Mirren (hey, in my book, if Cate Blanchett or Helen Mirren isn't playing one of Britain's queens, it doesn't really count). At that moment, I decided to give my friend what would become a regular assignment: she picks the best restaurant to dine at, in close proximity to the theater we will be visiting; I take care of the tickets. And so it was that we found ourselves last Friday evening dining at The Round Table at the Algonquin Hotel. Why that particular choice? It met the criteria for that  evening: it was around the corner from the theater (the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on W. 45th Street); it was wonderfully subdued, even as it got crowded (thank you, plush carpeting and a noise-absorbing ceiling); the servers were used to whisking people in and out to make their curtain; and it had both a pre-theater menu and a regular one, so there was plenty to chose from: parmesean crusted chicken breasts, blackened salmon fillets for main courses and light bites that included a turkey club and a trio of sliders (kobe beef with cheddar, pulled pork with apple slaw, crab cakes with sipcy remouloude). 

Addendum: To add a bit of historical color, for those of you who don't know: The Algonquin Round Table was the name given to a circle of Vanity Fair writers and other literary luminaries who began lunching at The Algonquin hotel after World War I, at first to celebrate the return of war correspondent Alexander Woollcott. These intellectual luminaries, which included included Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Robert Sherwood, Edna Ferber and other writers, began meeting on a daily basis creating a ferocious exchange of ideas and opinions on art, literature, politics and other social issues of the day. 

» The Round Table at the Algonquin Hotel, 49 W. 44th St., 212.840.6800