The Upper West Side is experiencing an influx of top-notch restaurants, but finding a three-course meal served in time to make an 8pm Lincoln Center curtain--latecomers aren't seated at the Metropolitan Opera and the Philharmonic--can be an arduous task.
Restaurants around Broadway theaters specialize in pre-theater deals, but finding a pre-concert prix fixe before an opera or recital at Alice Tully Hall requires a sharper eye. Here are the top 5 year-round prix fixes near Lincoln Center:
1. Sometimes passed by in favor of its more famous neighbor Café Luxembourg, Compass has been winning over diners with its $35 prix fixe, a serious deal considering a main course goes for about $30. Extra points go to the spacious modern dining room and the take-home breakfast muffin.
2. For the closest prix fixe to Lincoln Center, Bar Boulud across Dante Square offers a $42 three-course Lyonnais sampler. The deal doesn’t offer many options from the celebrated charcuterie, but traditional fare like a salad Niçoise, boudin Basque, and a traditional chocolate tart certainly make up for it.
3. Just one block south of Bar Boulud, Josephina’s has consistently attracted the pre-theater crowd, undoubtedly with the help of its $35.95 prix fixe, which is usually studded with free-range chicken breasts and other sourced farm items. The restaurant is also vegetarian friendly.
4. A little removed from the bustle of Broadway, Arte Cafe has one of the most comprehensive and most affordable prix fixes around. For under $16, a diner can choose from more than half the options on the authentic Italian menu. The special is only available from 4-6 pm--perfect for an early curtain.
5. Its sibling restaurant might attract the celebs and Page Six mentions, but Nick and Toni’s Café--an offshoot of the East Hampton institution--has a thoughtfully curated $35 prix fixe (or Prezze Fisso in Italian). The sommelier even suggests wine pairings on the right side of the menu. Unfortunately, the wine is not included in the price.