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79 Solid

“My idea of a perfect night,” wrote Nora Ephron, “is a good play and dinner at Orso.”

322 W. 46th St., New York, NY, 10036



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The lowdown

Anyone charmed by Nora Ephron will understand why she was so charmed by Orso, sister restaurant to Joe Allen, the more famous theater haunt across the street. The exterior is unassuming, but the intimate dining room is one of the coziest in New York, with warm light reflected in the blush-pink marble floor in the foyer and the blond parquet in the dining room, plus golden-hued walls hung with good art. It’s a place for grown-ups, whether you are one or are being taken to the theater by your parents. And it feels authentically Italian, not just because of how straightforward and delicious the food is — crusty, squishy bread with complimentary white-bean dip; perfectly al dente rigatoni with meat sauce and crumbled Parmesan; grilled lamb chops with roasted potatoes (all served on beautiful painted terra-cotta dinnerware) — but also because it doesn’t take itself too seriously, despite being something of a celebrity gathering place. You get the sense that the exceptionally gracious and capable staff members, many of whom have made careers there, have seen it all before.

What you need to know

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelCivilized