Hungry Theatergoer: Please, Good Sir, How Do I Avoid Tourists?



Dear Grub Street: Why do you insist on reducing everything to visual clichs?Illustration by Jason Lee


You've got questions, we've got Internet access and fairly good research skills. Send your food and restaurant queries to Grub Street.

Grub Street,

I'm taking my mom & sister to a Broadway show on a Friday night next month. We'd like to have dinner first, but I'm frightened of the tourist-driven restaurants in the theater district. Where do you recommend for a great meal and atmosphere that allows for conversation and that will be convenient to Broadway?

Joanna Harp,
West Village

Joanna,

Eating out in the theater district is about as much fun as sleeping in the Port Authority and a lot more expensive. But our years of studied gluttony in the glare of the Great White Way have hipped us to a number of authentic (and relatively quiet) spots.

High-end:

DB Bistro Moderne is better than you may have heard. With dishes like the excellent boeuf en gele with foie gras and horseradish sauce, there's a lot more to the place than the gaudy "DB burger."

Bann is an elegant progressive Korean restaurant from the owner of the fine Woo Lae Oak.

Cheap and old-school:

We love a big bowl of mofongo (plantains and cracklings) at the venerable Old San Juan, one of the city's oldest and most reliable Puerto Rican restaurants. 765 9th Ave, between 51st & 52nd St; 212-262-7013

Tout Va Bien is a true rarity an ethnic hole-in-the-wall that happens to serve French food. Settle in and enjoy some red wine, a plate of coq au vin or tripe la mode de Caen for less than it costs to have a pizza delivered.