Top ten Restaurant Row eateries

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  • Firebird Russian Restaurant

  • Lattanzi Restaurant

  • Sushi of Gari

  • Barbetta

  • Pomaire

Firebird Russian Restaurant



B. Smith's Restaurant

B. Smith's Restaurant
Barbara Smith—a lifestyle guru who's sort of like Martha Stewart, only not a convicted felon—offers "global cuisine" with a Southern twang at her relaxing restaurant: fried green tomatoes topped with ricotta cheese and a huge slab of fried catfish served with red-pepper aioli. The menu includes a few pastas, as well as meatier entres like lamb chops plated with a side of sweet potatoes. And if you're catching a show, you may be in luck: Flash your ticket stub to selected productions for 20 percent off the bill (see the restaurant website for details). 320 W 46th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-315-1100, bsmith.com)

Barbetta
The antithesis of commercialized Times Square, this elegant Italian restaurant is still owned by the same family more than 100 years after it opened. The setting—gilded chandeliers and ornate furniture— is fittingly dramatic, as is the Piedmontese menu. Dishes such as diver scallops in a sweet tomato jus and rabbit, roasted and lavished with a lemony wine sauce, are best enjoyed in the back garden, an unlikely retreat in bustling Hell's Kitchen. 321 W 46th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-246-9171, barbettarestaurant.com)

Becco
One of gastro-celeb Lidia Bastianich's four NYC eateries, Becco expanded from its original space into the brownstone next door to accommodate more drinkers as well as diners. In this case, the popularity is justified. Typical of a countrified Italian eatery, the warmly lit space features exposed brick and row upon row of wine bottles as decor. Those bottles also populate the extensive, reasonably priced wine list, which includes a few dozen regional beauties for $20 each. 355 W 46th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-397-7597, becconyc.com)

Brasserie Athene
A fair approximation of the Parisian model, this unpretentious spot serves classic French fare round the clock. It's a relative newcomer on restaurant row, but so far it's earned its keep with solid brasserie fare such as onion soup, escargots and steak tartare. 300 W 46th St at Eighth Ave (212-399-1100, brasserieathenee.com )

Firebird Russian Restaurant
Dine like a czar in this maximalist townhouse, named for Michel Fokine's 1910 ballet. The walls are a collage of Ballet Russe costumes, and golden eggs dangle from a gilded tree. A czar-quality feast awaits: Ukrainian borscht teems with slivers of smoked duck, braised pork and brisket; sturgeon is coated in a risotto-like blend of rice and onion, then wrapped in puff pastry. Desserts, like the Russian aristocracy, yield to French influence. 365 W 46th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-586-0244, firebirdrestaurant.com )

Joe Allen
The best bet on the strip if you want to catch sight of an off-duty star—go before or after the theater and you're bound to see any number of familiar New York showbiz faces. (Al Pacino, Rosie O'Donnell and Liam Neeson have been known to hang here.) The menu offers better-than-average club grub, including steak (frites and tartare), cheese burgers and large salads. Although surrounded by posters of major Broadway flops, regulars always have their fingers crossed for the latest crop of shows. 326 W 46th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-581-6464, joeallenrestaurant.com)

Lattanzi Restaurant
Well-executed Roman cuisine in a charming setting is a recipe for a long-term success. The signature artichokes deep-fried in olive oil and garlic are a Roman-Jewish classic, and another regional favorite—delicate chicken-liver pt on toast with a side of more artichokes—is even more fulfilling. The menu is packed with fish, meat and, of course, pasta; the fettuccine al rag, house-made noodles in a veal sauce, is a standout. To finish, try the crispy, custardy napoleon. 361 W 46th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-315-0980, lattanzinyc.com)

Orso
Order carefully and this relaxed thespian hangout is surprisingly affordable. The relaxed environment, low-key service and refreshingly affordable wines set the stage for reliable classics on the daily changing menu. Between bites, keep an eye out for stars of the screen and stage. 322 W 46th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-489-7212, orsorestaurant.com)

Pomaire
The food of Chile is woefully underrepresented in NYC, and Pomaire is the place that demonstrates why this fact should make you sad. Decorated like a rustic estancia, the eatery is an appealing introduction to a comforting, restrained cuisine. Fried beef empanadas are classically prepared, with hard-boiled egg, olives, raisins and onion. Cazuela, a brothy stew with chicken, corn, squash, potato and rice, could have emerged from a Santiago kitchen. The selection of seafood is imported daily from Chile. 371 W 46th St (between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-956-3055, pomairenyc.com)

Sushi of Gari 46
Expect unusual flavor combinations and, possibly, long waits at chef Masatoshi Sugio's third NYC location. For adventurous eaters, the go-to is the sushi tasting menu (Gari's Choice) that runs between $70 and $80. Sugio has been known to pair seared foie gras with daikon radish; salmon with tomato and onion; and spicy tuna with mayo, Tabasco and sesame oil. Less adventurous souls can order regular sushi and sashimi—which are supremely fresh, if not especially memorable—or hot dishes like negimaki, teriyaki, tempura, udon, soba and dumplings. If you want sashimi, pay the extra $18 for the "special" version, which swaps in exotic fishes for the usual tuna and yellowtail. 347 W 46th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-957-0046, sushiofgari.com)

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