Restaurant Row NYC eateries
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.
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.
Everything about this place oozes old-world charm. The three-story tavern is located in a renovated nineteenth-century brownstone and serves up the best kind of comfort food à la carte or as part of a three-course pre-theatre prix fixe menu. And after a show, you can come back for another round upstairs at its Bettibar. If that's not enough to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, the restaurant's traditional hourglasses perched on each table will.
This 60-seat South American restaurant—whose name translates in Spanish to "small grocery"—nods to bodegas with shelves of produce, a Brazilian wood ceiling and handcrafted tile floors. The kitchen dishes out pan-Latin staples like roasted pulled-pork tamales, Pacu fish ribs rubbed with orange-chipotle-BBQ and a skirt steak parillada.
This Restaurant Row gem serves dual symbiotic purposes: Whether you’re an actor in need of a stiff drink, or a Great White Way fan looking for a dose of backstage gossip, swank watering hole Centrale is just the place to get both. The elegant space comes alive after curtain call (around 11pm), when folks like Nathan Lane start to roll in. Drinks—such as pricey martinis and Manhattans—are competently made and ample, if a bit fussy in presentation.
This Big Easy eatery is so convincing, you might have to suppress the urge to flash people for beads. It has Cajun and Creole favorites like gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish étouffée, oysters, blackened catfish, fried chicken and biscuits, and it wouldn't be Mardi Gras without cocktails, of course. Their most famous one, the rum-and-passion fruit Hurricane, is a must-try.
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, cheese burgers and large salads.
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). 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.
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 on toast with a side of more artichokes—is even more fulfilling. The menu is packed with fish, meat and, of course, pasta.
For that old-school dinner-and-a-show vibe, head to this French bistro staple that's been passed down for three generations. The cozy spot is situated smack dab in the middle of Restaurant Row and serves classic fare like chicken Cordon Bleu and ratatouille rosace from its traditional prix fix pre-theater menu.