1 at 66th St.-Lincoln Center
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This venue is closed.
Opposite Lincoln Center, O'Neals' caters to the theater crowd, and is damn proud of it. The restaurant has been around since 1964, in various incarnations, but Philharmonic orchestra musicians, Juilliard hopefuls, and performance-bound civilians have continued to flock here. The restaurant re-opened in 2002 after renovations, affording patrons a choice of entrances (on 64th and 65th Sts.) and atmospheres, though the menu is identical in both interconnecting spaces. The 64th St. side is dark and cozy, with wood-paneled walls showcasing impressionist prints and lights dangling from high ceilings like rows of manicured stars in the nighttime sky. The 65th St. side is white and bright, emboldened with modern art. The food remains traditional and comforting, enlivened by several interesting, often Mediterranean, twists. Reliable chops and pasta, hot sandwiches, and fancy salads are mainstays. Maytag blue cheese mashed potatoes and scrod with a piquant sauce of tomatoes, capers, and Niçoise olives are winning. An enjoyably un-fancy dessert, a hot-fudge sundae, aims to please. In its unusual devotion to the theater, O'Neals' closes 30 minutes after the last nightly curtain falls at Lincoln Center. Hustle and you can end your evening with a nightcap at the bar.Celebrity Tidbit
Actor Peter Boyle, of "Everybody Loves Raymond" fame, was the first Maitre'd at O'Neals' in the early 60s. While the current Maitre'd, the ultra-suave Curtis Kaplan, is one of the rare gems to make a career behind the restaurant podium and is nearing a 20-year anniversary with the restaurant, you never know which aspiring hopeful waiting your table or manning the bar is likely to be the next rising star in the theater world.Recommended Dishes
Grilled Black Angus steak sandwich, $18