On the north side, book at least a week in advance for Boka, extravagantly designed by the New York firm behind the Union Square Cafe and Tribeca Grand Hotel. Start with the smoky, ash-baked eggplant, and follow with balsamic-glazed local veal cheeks, or Boka’s signature dish, local, farm-raised pheasant.
The theater district’s year-old Custom House is the new pre-curtain pick for meat lovers. The sleek steakhouse even has its own charcutier, who’s responsible for the rich wild game terrines and unbearably creamy duck-liver mousse.
If you’d prefer to wait until after the show to eat, the three-story Landmark keeps its lounge open until the wee hours—1 a.m. on weekdays, 2 or 3 on weekends. Hearty bar food—duck-sausage pizza, bison sliders, latkes—can be paired with a choice of 50 wines for under $50.
Moto deserves a Jeff Award (Chicago’s Tony equivalent) for turning meals into multi-act performances. The twenty-course prix fixe (four hours; $165, plus drinks) begins with diners nibbling on the menu—an edible sheet of chile-specked Parmesan—then moving on to a liquefied salad, dry-ice “grilled” tuna, rehydrated macaroni and cheese, and a delectable frozen carrot cake.