Pre-Theater Dining Done Right
Any foodie can tell you: When it comes to pre-theater dining along the Great White Way, the restaurants pale in comparison to the quality of the shows you’ll see on Broadway. Which is why you need to head to The Restaurant and Bar Collection at The Shops at Columbus Circle, just a short walk from the Theater District. You’ll find the hottest restaurants in town and multiple Michelin stars, all under one roof. Here are some perfect pairings to get you inspired.
Hamilton and Per Se
Where do you have dinner before the most sought-after show on Broadway? Per Se, of course. Indeed, as Hamilton is to Broadway, the three-Michelin-starred Per Se is to fine dining: the best of the best. It’s also home to one of the best-kept secrets in New York: the Salon, an elegant lounge area located adjacent to the Main Dining Room, open for both lunch and dinner. Indulge in the five-course tasting menu ($225 per person) or order dishes à la carte.
Harry Potter and Momofuku Noodle Bar
Wizards unite. On Broadway, you can step into the wizarding world of Harry Potter. At Momofuku Noodle Bar, you’ll step into the wizarding world of Chef and Founder David Chang. Taking inspiration from global cuisines, this modern American restaurant is known for its creative noodles, its steamed buns stuffed with heavenly ingredients like short ribs, and its overall deliciousness.
The Phantom of the Opera and Bouchon
As you watch The Phantom of the Opera, the long-running show about a musical genius living beneath the Paris Opera House, you’ll feel inspired to embrace everything French at Bouchon Bakery & Café. Head to the Bouchon Café late in the afternoon (the service ends at 5 p.m.) to dine on French classics like a Croque Madame or Confit de Canard. Then for dessert, make your way to Bouchon Bakery to indulge in sweet French treats like macarons and eclairs.
Waitress and Bluebird London
Waitress is a musical about a woman who finds love at first bite — which is just how you’ll feel when you have dinner at Bluebird London. It’s love at first bite. The restaurant offers a special pre- and post-theater menu, with two courses ($40) or three courses ($45) available daily from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and 9:45-10:45 p.m. And just like the musical, where everything is cooked to perfection, that’s the story at Bluebird, too, from the Cornish Chicken Pie to the Sticky Toffee Pudding dessert.
Chicago and Porter House Bar and Grill
New York is known for its chophouses, but many people claim that Chicago is America's spiritual steak capital. So if you’re looking to dine out before the musical Chicago, Porter House Bar and Grill is your place. Whatever cut you want, you’ll find it here – Porterhouse (of course), Filet Mignon, even true Japanese Wagyu. The doors open for dinner at 3 p.m., so there’s plenty of time for “All That Jazz.”
Frozen and Center Bar
Looking for a drink and a bite before or after seeing sister princesses Elsa and Anna belt out the hits in Frozen? Our advice: “Let it go” and head to Center Bar, where you can order the Ossetra caviar and blinis, a regal bite that would make those princesses proud. And if you want to warm up after watching a cool Frozen show, try one of Center Bar’s new summer cocktails, like the Hot House #4, a blend of rum, cucumber, and falernum, a tropical-flavored liqueur.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Bar Masa
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is a show about a singer-songwriter who is famed for her endless dedication to her craft. Another artist who is famed for his dedication to his craft is the legendary Japanese chef, Masayoshi Takayama. A dinner at Masa, the only three-Michelin-starred sushi restaurant in the country, is a full-evening affair, but at the more casual Bar Masa, you can sample Chef Masa’s creations before making it to Broadway in time.
Wicked and Ascent Lounge New York
Using dramatic special effects, the musical Wicked casts a spell at every performance. Ascent Lounge New York casts a spell, too, with dramatic cocktails like the Librado Luxe. Designed with infused smoked mesquite wood, DeLeon Tequila, and fresh avocado purée, the bright green drink is served with a smoking garnish. It’s a bewitching concoction that would make the Wicked Witch of the West proud.