Restaurants & Bars

Near Carnegie Hall/City Center???

Charles Troob | Nov 17, 199808:30 PM     6

I always used to go to the Broadway Diner for
perfectly acceptable food in glitzy but tacky
surroundings--the floor is restroom tile, everything
is a little rushed. This fall I got a Carnegie
subscription and decided to upgrade my preconcert
dining. I heard good things about the $19.95 prix
fixe at L'Ermitage--it's closed. Topaz Thai (raves in
the Zagat) was pleasant but the food was like
neighborhood Chinese. Brooklyn Diner was pleasant but
the food was heavy and dull and overpriced by five or
seven dollars. Mangia was not for real--at least not
in the evening. I went to Cafe Europa for dessert
after a concert and wouldn't go back--I didn't like my
stale creampuff or what I saw on other plates. At a
ritzier level, I've been to the Redeye Grill twice.
The atmosphere is wonderful but the food??? Not
poison, not good. Should I just go back to the
Broadway Diner? I live downtown, and I'm prepared to
pay $5-$10 more than I'd have to in Chelsea or the
East 20's for simple food, but to pay a premium and
eat badly isn't my idea of fun. (One night I ate
downtown--the price and food were right but getting up
to the concert turned out to be a nightmare.)

Here's what I want--between 5th and 8th Avenue,
between 55th and 58th Street. Either a tasty plate of
food and a drink in decent, simple surroundings for
under $16 (plus tax and tip), or a meal in a nicer
place (it doesn't have to have three courses) for $20
plus drink, tax and tip. Any ethnic cuisine is OK.
(There are a lot of places on W. 56th.) I know that if
I move up the price scale I can do better but I hate
the idea of spending $45 just to eat before a

I'm asking this as a public service--I don't go back
to Carnegie until March.

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