Theater District and Times Square Dining: Before the Curtain Rises, and AfterOctober 14, 2015 - by City Guide News Desk
New York City's Theater District has it all when it comes to dining, from world-class steaks to classic Italian to New American newcomers. If you’re going to a show, you can grab a great meal from one of the many pre-theatre menus on offer. If you don’t have a curtain to catch, wait to dine until the theatregoers disperse (around 8pm). Many of the restaurants in Times Square and the Theater District are destinations unto themselves, regardless of Broadway. After a show, you can still dine in style, as many of the neighborhood restaurants keep high-energy scenes going long after the last curtain falls.
When it opened in Fall 2012 in the New York Times Building, Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar (review) introduced the Guy Fieri style of dining to New York City. From the crave-worthy menu to the buzzing bar scene, this dynamic Times Square restaurant spotlights Guy’s signature style of cooking—big on flavor and short on boundaries. 220 W. 44th St. (Broadway), 646-532-4897; guysamerican.com
Dine among the stars and immerse yourself in Hollywood history at Times Square’s Planet Hollywood. Be sure to stroll around the restaurant and check out the massive movie memorabilia collection before diving into a menu with an eclectic mix of favorites, including pastas, salads, sandwiches, and award-winning burgers. Food is not an afterthought here—a kitchen crew of about 60 churns out the dishes offered on a voluminous menu dominated by huge portions of unique appetizers, unusual pastas and salads, sandwiches, burgers, and more. 1540 Broadway at 45th St., 212-333-7827; planethollywoodintl.com
The Marshal is a Hell's Kitchen favorite offering seasonal New American ingredients, natural preparation, and a knack for making farm-to-table dining casual, interesting, and fun. Popular entrees include Braised Beef Short Ribs, Wood Oven Roasted Meatloaf, Braised Lamb Shank, and Bourbon Planked Seafood. 628 10th Ave., 212-582-6300; www.the-marshal.com
“A farmhouse in the middle of Manhattan,” La Masseria offers classic Italian dishes from the Puglia region of Italy, utilizing the freshest natural ingredients for simple, authentic pastas, risottos, and meat and fish dishes. The warm, inviting decor blends rural Italian style, nostalgia & charm, complementing exceptional cuisine & wine list. 235 W. 48th St., 212-582-2111; lamasserianyc.com
Fogo de Chão's first churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse) in New York City holds down a prime location near Times Square and the Museum of Modern Art. The three-level stunner includes a lounge, private dining, and more. In 1979, Fogo began sharing the gaucho way of preparing meat in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Today, its gaucho chefs still expertly grill each of its 16 cuts of meat and offer continuous tableside service. Meals are rounded out with a gourmet salad bar, authentic Brazilian sides, and an award-winning wine list. 40 W. 53rd St. btw. Fifth and Sixth Aves., 212-969-9980; fogodechao.com
Rock your senses with tantalizing food and drinks and an awe-inspiring rock memorabilia collection at the Hard Rock Cafe’s Times Square location. Boasting a unique outdoor space above the building’s historic marquee that hosts private parties, the building that Hard Rock occupies—the Paramount Theater—is rich with history. 1501 Broadway (43rd-44th Sts.), 212-343-3355; hardrock.com
The expansive Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House (review) reflects the rhythm and energy of midtown, and Broadway’s theaters are just a block or two away. The menu features fresh, aged prime beef shipped from the Midwest twice a week, magnificent cold-water lobster tails, and specialties such as combination shrimp platters and crab cakes. 49th St. & Sixth Ave., 212-575-5129; delfriscos.com
Established in 1969, Bobby Van’s (review) now boasts 8 locations throughout the Northeast with five in Manhattan, including one on 50th Street, serving only the finest USDA dry-aged prime beef, select seafood, and lobsters starting at 3 lbs. 135 W. 50th St. btw. Sixth and Seventh Aves., 212-957-5050; bobbyvans.com
Morton's The Steakhouse is famous for USDA prime-aged beef, fresh seafood, fine wine, and elegant desserts. For a memorable dinner in the heart of Midtown, a wide-open, modern, and stylish dining room offers a great atmosphere whether you’re dining with a group or sharing a romantic dinner for two. Choose from filet mignon, porterhouse steak, signature cut prime New York strip, Maine lobsters, poultry dishes, and all the classic sides. 551 Fifth Ave. at 45th St., 212-972-3315; mortons.com
Patsy’s Italian Restaurant (review) is more than a restaurant—it’s a warm, welcoming, convivial, white-tablecloth spot with a long, familiar menu of traditional Italian dishes. A Theatre District staple since 1944 celebrities, theatergoers, couples, and families fill the tables, the pasta is homemade, and the waiters wear sharp formal jackets with gold epaulets. 236 W. 56th St. btw. Broadway & Eighth Ave., 212-247-3491; patsys.com
Baseball fans and steak connoisseurs unite at NYY Steak. Rich with New York Yankees history and contemporary design, the 16,000-square-foot NYY Steak, housed in a former bank, stretches over three floors. There are two private dining rooms, including an intimate, 16-seat room housed in the old bank vault. Just like the Yankees, NYY Steak never brings anything but the best to the plate. 7 W. 51st St. btw. Fifth and Sixth Aves., 646-307-7910; nyysteak.com
Stop into any of Heartland Brewery’s locations and you’ll see that it isn’t just beer that’s brewing at New York’s first American-style brewpub. The relaxed atmospheres are great for kicking back and relaxing, and the multiple locations make it convenient to stop in and sample one of their many unique brewed beers. Conveniently located in the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the Midtown West location features a welcoming mahogany bar, spacious dining room, and founder Jon Bloostein’s personal collection of “breweriana” on the walls. The menu showcases dishes that have long been popular specials at other the Heartlands and are now being served full-time here. 625 Eighth Ave. at 41st St., 646-214-1000; heartlandbrewery.com
HB Burger is definitely not your average burger 'n' beer joint. Wrought iron and amber lighting, two bars, and spacious seating highlight the interior. You can choose from nine specialty burgers, accompanied by a tasty assortment of "Must Frys" from tater tots to tempura. The HB soda fountain makes shakes and malts, egg creams, hard shakes (not for the kids!), as well as the World's Smallest Hot Fudge Sundae. Of course, you can get a fine handcrafted beer or two here as well. 127 W. 43rd St. btw. Sixth and Seventh Aves., 646-366-0235; heartlandbrewery.com
At The Heartland Brewery and Chophouse, gaslight-era globe lighting on the exterior draws diners into a comfortable, open-collar kind of place with an old-fashioned wood bar, candle lanterns, and 21 gleaming copper and steel brewing tanks. Meals run from steaks and shrimp cocktails to ribs and burgers, with house specialties like buffalo chicken spring rolls and lobster and crabmeat ravioli. If you're dining pre-theater, you're in luck: a daily prix fixe is available from 5 to 7pm, with the likes of fried calamari, Caesar salad, fish 'n' chips, and smothered steak, going for a very reasonable $34.95. 127 W. 43rd St. btw. Sixth and Seventh Aves., 646-366-0235; heartlandbrewery.com
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