Rosa Mexicana, Lincoln Center

As good as the food is, get there early and try to get a table upstairs next to the waterfall wall of hundreds of diving men!! Its just plain fun!

 If you happen to find yourself in the Lincoln Center area, do not even think twice about this decision, and head straight across the street to Rosa Mexicano. This beautifully decorated upscale Mexican restaurant (complete with a wall of water and tiny little diving men two stories high) will serve you the most delicious mexican you have ever tasted.
Of course, the freshly made guacamole made tableside is a must have, and its worth it. The guacamole makers know what they are doing here. If you have room for more appetizers, try the crab empanadas, or the Tacos with pork belly and sea scallops.
When its time for your main course, don't expect your average tacos and burritos. You will find a whole red snapper marinated in a traditional Yucatan mixture of adhiote, orangeand garlic; grilled skirt steak with sauteed jumbo shrimp in a tomato chipotle sauce, arugula salad and matchstick fries; and, oh my goodness, the short ribs of beef with a mestiza sauxe and mexican peppers that melt in your mouth. You can have a mixed grill if you prefer, or the chicken tortilla pie which is simply a savory mexican treat.
If you do go for enchiladas, try the duck with creamy yellow pepper habanero sauce, or jumbo lump crap with creamy tomatillo sauce and melted chihuahua cheese and pumpkin seeds. The tacos will bring you to slow cooked lamb shoulder with street side poblano peppers and onions or grilled skirt steak, chihuahua cheese and chile de arbol salsa.
This is a favorite, a wonderful pre-opera or ballet restaurant. But its another one of those restaurants that is worth the trip into the City just for dinner.

Cafe Fiorello, Broadway between 63rd and 64th, near Lincoln Ctr.

Antipasto Bar at Cafe Fiorello.

I have taken the following from Cafe Fiorello's own website:
     "A forum for Lincoln Center's performing arts culture for nearly thirty years, Café Fiorello's focal point is its sprawling bar filled with over fifty kinds of antipasti. With the timeless charm of a brasserie, the main dining room is finished in warm wood, mirrors, and brass.
Besides the hot and cold antipasti specialties of vegetables and seafood, the menu features updated Italian classics and specialty Roman dishes. There is a large selection of seafood, steak, veal & pasta."

 From my review of the reviews I have gathered that Cafe Fiorello is busy, crowded and noisy.  However, I found no complaints about the food, except that it was expensive.  Well, it is Lincoln Center after all!  I saw a number of diners who complained about the service - which often comes with crowds.  Finally, it appears that a favorite here is the Sunday Brunch with outdoor dining.  Sounds lovely, but being the kind of person who avoids crowds and hated Becco because of the noise, this place is not for me.

 

Luce Restorante & Enoteca (Italian)

     Also near Lincoln Center, this Italian gem gets rave reviews.  The prices here are much more reasonable for the area, and they also serve Brunch, Lunch and Dinner.  The appetizers range from $6 - $16, pasta courses from $11 to $25.   Not too bad at all, and the pasta is homemade.  The reviews for the osso bucco were out of this world.  You can sit inside or out, and the reviews for this restaurant all seem to agree that the dining is comfortable, and even romantic, and the staff is attentive and knowledgeable.   It seems that the staff at Luce pride themselves not only on the delicious food, but on the personal service, which keep customers coming back, whether its for a special occasion or just a quick lunch.  Sounds like this one is a must try.  Check out their website: www.lucenyc.com  They even have music!!

Family friendly near Lincoln Center?

Believe it or not, there are a few people who do actually live in this neighborhood, and they have to eat too!  So, a sampling of family friendly dining: (For this list, entire credit is given to Meryl D. Pearlstein, author Fodor’s Family: New York City with Kids, Travel and Food Notes, Gayot.com)

Shun Lee and Shun Lee Café
43 West 65th Street
between Broadway and Central Park West
For some class-act Chinese, this is one of the city’s best and you have two choices. You can go fine-dining with well-behaved kids at the main restaurant, or head next door for dim sum all day. Kids love to pick their choice of dumplings from the carts that circle the tables non-stop.

Ed’s Chowder House
Empire Hotel, 44 West 63rd Street

We’re very grateful for Ed’s Chowder House. Starting at 11:30am, the restaurants serves non-stop. If you’re hungry between normal meal hours, the wonderful Chowder Bar offers a menu with something for everyone. And, if you don’t see what you want (or your kids want), they’ll find a way to make it for you, too. Some favorites are the clam chowder, lobster roll, fish ’n chips, burger and fries. And desserts are a real hit as well: what kid doesn’t love a cream-filled donut or a banana split?

PJ Clarke’s
44 West 63rd Street

This traditional pub, now in its second location on the West Side, is busy and loud, with a menu that will please all kids. The cheeseburger sliders are great for smaller appetites. Older kids will love the regular hamburgers and waffle fries, a staple in Manhattan for generations. There’s also a nice selection of sandwiches, all at wallet-friendly prices.

Brooklyn Diner
212 West 57th Street

It’s closer to Carnegie Hall than Lincoln Center, but that’s OK, too, because you might find yourself needing somewhere to stop in that area. This is a fun, pseudo-classic New York City diner, albeit with a Brooklyn sense of humor. The hot dogs are enormous – there’s a reason they’re called 15 Bite Hot Dogs. Sandwiches, eggs, chicken wings – your kids will be happy as a “pig in a blanket.”

Ollie’s Noodle Shop
1991 Broadway, near 68th Street

They’ll teach your kids how to use chopsticks here with kiddie versions clipped together with rubber bands. The menu is enormous and you’ll find everything Chinatown here, going well beyond the restaurant’s noodle name. Ollie’s is far less expensive than Shun Lee and is better for younger kids as well.

Nanoosh Hummus Bar
2012 Broadway between 68th and 69th Streets

If eating organic is your thing, this cute sliver of a restaurant is for you. You’ll find an extensive menu of hummus dishes, plus salads, soups and organic beverages. The restaurant is casual and sleek and perfect for a quick bite.