Special after-theater birthday dinner in NYC

Looking for a special-occasion restaurant in the Theater District in Manhattan for a nice early dinner after a matinee. I would prefer a steakhouse, French, or other classic.

Can you tell us more about budget and location?

Welcome to HO!

Thanks! Location: Manhattan Theater District. Budget: about $100 per person (without alcohol, but with dessert) I would love to have your recommendation as to any restaurant. I have considered two restaurants that offer the Restaurant Week special. One is Le Rivage 340 WEST 46TH STREET and the other is Empire Steakhouse (Midtown West) 237 WEST 54TH STREET. It’s my 70th birthday, and I want it to be a special celebration.

1 Like

Is Empire Steakhouse (Midtown WEST) a good location for a special dinner after a Broadway matinee? I am looking for a “New York experience” with great food. Thanks!

I’ve not been to empire, suggest you take a look at keens:

1 Like

Hi Sharon, welcome to HO! I’m Bionda, a forum mod and long-time NYC/Westchester resident. I merged the two topics you started into one so that all of your responses stay in one place.

As for Empire Steakhouse, I went once and wasn’t impressed. There are definitely better steakhouse choices in/near the theater district. I see you posted a price range - knowing your travel radius would also help us give you appropriate suggestions. If you really want to stay right in the theatre district, for French I like Marseille - price point would allow you to enjoy three courses under $100pp. That might be a bit of a stretch at most steakhouses unless you stick to less expensive cuts.

1 Like

For a really special meal I would suggest not going during Restaurant Week. The menus tend to be limited and service can be very spotty due to higher-than-normal volume (and lower tips).

Thanks so much for your help. I will check out Marseille!
I was looking at Le Rivage at 340 W 46th St – what do you think of that restaurant?

We have Broadway tickets for Feb. 1 (my birthday), so that is the date! We plan to go for a really early dinner at 5 pm, so I am hoping to miss the crowds.

I haven’t been to Le Rivage, but generally speaking anything on Restaurant Row (46th St. between 8th and 9th) is going to be pretty touristy and the food is unlikely to be anything WOW. Their Restaurant Week menu is also really limited. Wouldn’t be my first choice for a special dinner. Since the date is set for February 1, I’d look for a restaurant that isn’t participating in Restaurant Week so that you can enjoy the full menu.


Is there a steakhouse that you could recommend if we had an unlimited budget?

Keens is my favorite steakhouse in the city - it’s not exactly in the theatre district, but it’s a short walk or cab ride away. True old-school NYC atmosphere and amazing meat. Porterhouse for two is currently $138, so as long as you don’t go crazy on sides or desserts you could still get out for $100pp (before tax/tip/etc).


Great – how about a steakhouse within walking distance of theater district?

Keens is at 36th and 6th, which I (and probably most NYers) consider walkable from the theatre district. If that’s not close enough, Gallaghers on 50th and Broadway. I haven’t been there in years but I’d recommend it over Empire.


For steak in the theater district Gallagher’s is probably the best option. For French look at Benoit. $100 per person without alcohol is a fine budget at either though you will have to order carefully at Gallagher’s. Also agree that you should avoid any place that is participating in RW as it’s likely to be busier than usual and service can suffer.

Second this - Benoit is solid. Prices a little higher than Marseille but should fit within your $100pp range. 55th and 6th so a short walk to the theatre district.

1 Like

If walking is an issue, I suggest paying for a short cab or uber ride from the theater district to keens over eating at Gallaghers. Having said that, I’m sure you’ll have a very good meal at Gallaghers or Benoit.

also, IMO the lunch specials in keen’s pub are a steal and the pub is a really cool place to have a meal. I took a number of clients there, to a person they loved it. Perhaps you could benoit for dinner and then keens pub for lunch the next day.

I’ve had a number of good meals at friscos double eagle (thank god other people were paying) but I thought it had a pretty strong bro/frat vibe, probably less so after a matinee.

just out of curiousity, what play are you seeing?


Thanks for all the suggestions! The show is “Some Like It Hot” at the Schubert.

1 Like

Keen’s is a 15 minute walk from your theater tops (assuming no mobility issues). Take a look at Google Maps. Definitely among the best steakhouses in the city. Special birthday/special steakhouse.

1 Like

P.S. Gallaghers is a 10 minute walk in the opposite direction.