Eating + Drinking

A Dinner Even Hamilton Would Drool Over

Have tickets to see Broadway’s biggest musical? Book a table at one of these restaurants to set the mood.

Photo courtesy of Lillie's

Won the Broadway jackpot and scored tickets to Hamilton? Set the stage for the American history–inspired musical at one of these fitting restaurants—from a casual eatery just a few blocks from the Founding Father’s erstwhile home to a historic steak house with deep ties to the Theater District.

One If by Land, Two If by Sea
Widely regarded as one of the most romantic restaurants in town, this elegant gem—which operates out of a landmarked carriage house on Barrow Street—transports diners back to high society in the late 1700s, when the building was first built. (For history buffs, the storied structure is where former U.S. vice president Aaron Burr, who notoriously killed Alexander Hamilton in a draw duel, once kept his coach and horses.) The food—presented as a three-course prix fixe (for $100 per person) or seven-course chef’s tasting (for $150)—epitomizes American decadence, with fanciful plates such as cacao-poached lobster accompanied by a delicate pea flan, pan-roasted scallops from the seas of Nantucket, and boneless rack of lamb à l’orange. But the best dish to be had here is the classic beef Wellington—with a side of honey-glazed brussels sprouts, if you have room. 17 Barrow Street (between West 4th Street and Seventh Avenue South), Greenwich Village

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Photo courtesy of One if by Land, Two if by Sea

SpoonfedNYC
Helmed by Randy Strickland Witherspoon, former caterer for the cast of Hamilton and a number of other Broadway productions, this Hell’s Kitchen newcomer is the ideal go-to for theatergoers looking to grab a bite before any show. Southern-style staples are the stars here, with mouthwatering “hold-me-overs” such as candied pork belly with brussels sprouts, as well as irresistible breads (particularly the sweet potato hush puppies and cheesy buttermilk biscuits) that are beyond swoon-worthy. You can’t go wrong with the blackened red snapper and Cacky Lacky barbecued ribs either—but if you’re willing to splurge, get the smoky, porcini-rubbed prime rib. 331 West 51st Street (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues), Hell’s Kitchen

Lillie’s
Weathered brick, velvet banquettes, gilded antiquities, and ornate wood carvings abound in this sophisticated Victorian spot, named for famed British actress and socialite Lillie Langtry. The Times Square branch—just a five-minute walk from the Richard Rodgers Theater—boasts a sophisticated chicken-and-kale–filled ravioli swimming in a white wine sauce, along with highly palatable (and rib-sticking) shepard’s pie. As for libations, there’s the one-of-a-kind old-fashioned root beer splashed with an adults-only bourbon—not to mention the Cucumber Collins with flamed rosemary, which is pretty perfect for summer. 249 West 49th Street (between Broadway and Eighth Avenue), Midtown

The Grange
For a full-blown Hamilton experience, spend a couple of hours before the show exploring the statesman’s former country estate in central Harlem. Then head down the street to the restaurant with (appropriately) the same name—a casual, family-friendly bar and bistro touting modern comfort food served in a barn-chic setting (read: weathered brick walls, mason jars, and wooden columns protruding from an ornate tin ceiling). The grass-fed burger and half roasted chicken are longtime crowd-pleasers, but the hearty country breakfast (with slabs of bacon and foie gras–buttered hash browns) or the almond French toast dotted with vanilla bean–infused strawberries should be on your plate if you’re here during brunch. Those who have a lot more time to kill on weekends should get unlimited Bloody Marys, Bellinis, or mimosas; they’re well worth the extra Hamiltons. 1635 Amsterdam Avenue (at West 141st Street), Hamilton Heights

Keens Steakhouse
The landmark chophouse—founded by show producer Albert Keen in 1885—was once a haven for the Theater District’s who’s who. Made to resemble a British gentleman’s club with dark wood paneling, taxidermy decor, and the world’s largest collection of churchwarden pipes on display, the restaurant originally only admitted men—that is, until Lillie Langtry sued for denying her access. First-timers should opt for what the intrepid actress reportedly ordered: the mutton chops. A winged-shaped piece of lamb resembling the traditional cut is served in place of the real deal nowadays, though it remains the restaurant’s signature dish—and for good reason. For those who prefer a good ole dry-aged steak, get the sirloin (or porterhouse for two, if you’re sharing)—cooked medium-rare, as God intended—with a side of creamed spinach or mushrooms. You’ll need a reservation to dine in one of the main rooms (including one named after Langtry), and they go quick, so be sure to book yours well in advance. If you’re just walking in, grab a stool at the bar instead of waiting for a table. There, you can get more modest portions of the restaurant’s greatest hits—including a pub-size mutton chop. 72 West 36th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), Midtown 

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Courtesy of Keens Steakhouse