Bette Midler and Fiona Shaw: They couldn’t be more dissimilar as actresses and, one suspects, as women. On the one hand, there’s the earthy Miss M, a vaudevillian with the soul of a burlesque queen; on the other, the cerebral RADA-trained interpreter of Euripides and T.S. Eliot. In a Broadway season characterized by no shortage of solo plays, these two dames demand attention with two of the best. Midler plays Sue Mengers, real-life and larger-than-life Hollywood agent, in I’ll Eat You Last by John Logan.

A few days ago, I returned to a restaurant that I’d never been to before. The place was—and is—Aureole. Back in the 1980s, after I moved to New York, my parents periodically came to visit me, and Aureole became our go-to special occasion place. My mom, an ardent foodie before the term was popular, was one of the first to appreciate Chef Charlie Palmer’s innovative American cuisine, ingenious in its combinations of flavors, gorgeous in its presentation.

Sometimes, to truly appreciate a city you live in, one has to see it through a foreigner's eyes. It's the magic of newness. Visitors from afar don't experience New York the same way New Yorkers do: To them (you, perhaps), everything is novel and fresh, exciting and invigorating—not yet lessened by everyday exposure, not yet dulled by day-to-day drudgery. It's a wonderful way to see the world, a virgin perspective that we could all benefit from. How could I get myself some of these new-to-NYC goggles?, this New York native pondered.

A testosterone-fueled play like Orphans demands a steak afterward. That was my logic when I steered my companion and me to Angus’ Café and Bistro after Orphans’ Tuesday preview. Angus’, formerly known as Angus McIndoe, serves what is arguably the best bargain in the Theater District: a 38-oz. porterhouse T-bone for two, prix fixe at either $79 or $99.

Many a restaurant pitches its “homey” feel. But dining at Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte really is like eating at home – because there’s only one main course served: steak. A simple hangar steak, adorned with a secret green, mustardy sauce. Oh, and frites. Lots of frites.

Shopping in SoHo on a Sunday can be an exhausting experience, but popping into Jack's Wife Freda at the finish makes any hustle through the crowds worthwhile. The restaurant is set up in a cozy, bright kitchenesque arrangement, with a menu that pulls from the influences of your Jewish grandmother (if you're lucky enough to have one) as well as South African spices and French bistro staples.

Being invited out for lunch at one of Daniel Boulud’s restaurants is always a treat…despite chaotic deadlines and endless meetings in the office, every editor manages to sneak away for such an invite, and I admit I was looking forward to experiencing the newest jewel in Boulud’s restaurant crown, Boulud Sud.

Given the choice between pre- or post-theater dining, I invariably choose the latter. On Wednesday, after the preview performance of Motown: The Musical at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, I made a quick dash, dodging raindrops, to the Marriott Marquis across the street and an even quicker elevator ascent to the Broadway Lounge on the hotel’s 8th floor.

Was dubious the right word for what I felt before heading out to a press dinner at Table Verte on a recent rainy April evening? Nervous might have been a better word for me, Lois Levine, lover of all things sirloin and then some. I have been a happy red-and white-meat eater ever since I was a child, when my mother swore that I had experienced hamburgers and french fries in every restaurant in the tri-state area, since that was one of the only things this very picky meat-eater would ever choose in a restaurant.

Authenticity. It's harder to come by in a restaurant than I'd like. With so many kitchens trying desperately to cook up the next cutting-edge culinary trend—over-ornamenting traditionally simple dishes, sacrificing palatability for presentation, engaging in cross-continental fusion fiascos (the list goes on)—it is refreshing to go to a restaurant where food is just food.


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