Okay, one of my favorite things about living in Manhattan is being able to come out of a late running play or movie and still be able to find a great place for a drink or bite to eat. Recently, after seeing the fabulous Million Dollar Quartet, my husband and I stopped by a restaurant on west 44th called Osteria al Doge. Billed as featuring Venetian cuisine, the restaurant offers a quiet, spacious ambiance that’s perfect for winding down after a night at the theatre.
We opted for space at the bar and initially were planning only to have a late-night drink but after being seated and seeing other couples around us with mouthwatering food, we decided to give the food a try. The people next to us had some fabulous looking bruschetta, and there were other delicious sounding appetizers like rosemary focaccia, carpaccio, and a spinach salad with goat cheese and walnuts. But in the end we opted for the Pizza Margarita. Now one would think that pizza with basil, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes would be a no brainer for any chef, but I have to say that I find that often times it’s not as good as it should or could be.
So you can imagine our delight to find that the pizza delivered to up was to quote Mary Poppins “Practically perfect in every way.” The crust was both crisp and tender, a must for me. The cheese freshly melted, with the basil and tomatoes adding bright, fresh flavor. To complement the food, I had a glass of excellent cabernet and my husband had an Italian beer. And the service was superb! When we came in they cleared a place for us at the bar, offered our drinks immediately, and then when the pizza came, divided it ahead of time onto two plates to make eating at the bar easier (and to keep my husband from eating more than his fair share.)
And then as the perfect topper for the evening, the bartender brought us a plate of biscotti, sugared nuts and little meringues. The biscotti—almond vanilla—was amazingly delicious, and my husband made short work of the meringues. It was a delightful surprise.
All in all it was a lovely night. Million Dollar Quartet was great fun. The renditions of songs by Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Cark Perkins were spot on, and the thinly woven plot was fresh and interesting. And then the food and charm of Osteria al Doge provided the perfect setting for a little after theatre magic.
If you’re over on 44th check out Osteria al Doge:
142 w 44th street between 6th Ave. & Broadway, 212 944-3643
I promise you won’t regret it! What’s your idea of a perfect evening out?