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228 W. 52nd St.

Gallagher's is the real deal, the granddaddy of steakhouses. Located in the heart of the Theatre District since 1927, it's one of the longest-running shows in town. And the cast members don't often change, with veteran waiters greeting the children and grandchildren of guests they served a generation ago. Photos of sports figures and theatre people line the walls, and a room-size mural of celebrity diners takes center stage. Recent well-known diners include Michael Douglas and Walt "Clyde" Frazier.

Steak is the star attraction. Ribs of beef are on display in the front window and you pass the "aging room" on your way to the dining rooms. Beef is aged for 21 days, which means it is totally tender by the time it hits your plate. The full-time butcher, a 10-year veteran (the previous butcher retired after 30 years), cuts and trims the steaks for each order. Sirloin is the most popular cut, but there is Filet Mignon, Roast Prime Rib, and Chopped Steak. There are some signature supporting players here, such as the tasty Creamed Spinach, Gallagher's Potatoes (quartered and roasted), and the French Fries, all made in-house. The cheesecake never leaves the menu, but do treat yourself to the "new" key lime pie, on the menu for only five years.

There is an active pre- and post- theatre vibe here. Many guests enjoy a pre-theatre cocktail and appetizer such as jumbo shrimp cocktail, or a fresh green salad with a thick slice of tomato and a creamy vinaigrette, and then return after the show for the main course. There is no special pre-theatre prix-fixe, but a daily $32 power lunch special is a favorite of the matinee crowd. Lunch daily noon to 3pm; dinner daily 3pm to midnight. -- Marian Betancourt

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