Monday, March 22, 2010

Pre-theater bites at Pigalle

On Tuesday, my lovely father treated me to a night on the town, which in NYC-speak involves dinner and a show. We had 7PM tickets to A Little Night Music, so we needed something light and quick beforehand. Around the corner from the Walter Kerr theater was Pigalle, and so off we went.

Neither of us was that hungry, but we were in for a 3-plus hour show, so we needed to fill our stomachs. I largely bypassed the bread basket, which is one of the charms of Pigalle, and settled instead for a caramelized pear salad, minus the forme d'ambert cheese. The base was a small pile of acceptably fresh mesclun; there were also two halves of poached pear, plus a handful of dried cherries and a few spiced walnuts, in the salad. The dressing was purportedly a walnut vinaigrette-- it was emulsified, which I appreciate, and it added a bit of welcome flavor. I knew what I was getting here, and I wasn't disappointed. It's a solid salad.

A tangle of colors

Dad went for the burger, no cheese. The patty came with impressive grill marks, some solid-looking rabbit food, and a tangle of thin crispy fries. The most surprising thing about the burger was that it was relatively thin-- perhaps three-quarters of an inch thick, with an even width from center to edge. Since the trend in burgers in this city is towards huge, thick, monster patties that are almost spherical, it was a startling change. But regardless, Dad thoroughly enjoyed it. And then off we went to the show.

The standard presentation

For what it's worth, the production was exceedingly well done, but the show itself isn't great. The principal attraction is surely seeing Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury in the flesh, and indeed that was quite a thrill. But let's just say that after we emerged bleary-eyed from the theater after 10PM, I was glad to have had dinner beforehand-- I wouldn't recommend attempting A Little Night Music on an empty stomach. For filling our bellies in perfectly standard fashion, Pigalle retains its two Offset Spatula rating. If you want a quick pre-theater meal, it'll do the trick.

790 Eighth Avenue, at 48th Street

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