Recently, I had the same conundrum, looking for a night out and not sure what to do or where to go.
Luckily, I found a NEW and really good spot RIGHT ACROSS from the cineplex with really good food. Now, there is a part of me that I almost hesitates to share...
I worry that I may not be able to get in when I want to if I let you all know about it - but in all fairness, that is why I write this blog and do what I do. So I'm a little conflicted!
Ok, I'll share. ;-)
Hill and Bay.
It's located across from Kips Bay Theater. They have all the latest films and, to also, to my knowledge, this particular IMAX/AMC Lowes mulitplex is also, get this: Bed-Bug Free. (and P.S. - Let's keep it that way.)
The dining space at Hill and Bay is modestly trendy - to the point that I felt I was in the West Village. The exterior is a bit deceiving from the street because it seems like it is much bigger inside. It's not. However, on the night we went in, the place was not too crowded and we were comfortably seated. I'd still get a reservation ahead of time, especially if you're planning a movie on your schedule. Of course, please let your server know that you plan on a quick service. It helps everybody with pacing of your meal. As the night went on, the place filled up rather fast.
|Black River Fondue|
Another great item to share is the Chef Board - which you can select the cured meat and cheeses that you'd prefer from the list. I'd highly recommend the Lazy Lady cheese to go along with the Prosciutto.
And to raise an eyebrow, another menu item listed was "LGBT Clams". Now what the heck are those? Nothing out of the ordinary, actually: Lemon Garlic Butter Thyme - see? LGBT! Great conversation starter, though, folks!
Other items that have ordinary names but I can solidly recommend: Arctic Char - skin was crispy as expected and meat tasty. My date had the Free Range Organic Chicken, exclaiming it superbly prepared - Chef told us she uses a honey lemon brine. I think that was the key to its flavor but the chopped, fresh herbs along with the kale, also gave it an additional zing.
|Bicuits! Better than Grandma's...|
When I go out to restaurants, I also look at other diners' dishes - and at Hill and Bay, I can honestly say that the courses are sizable. Most were locals in that night, but a couple sitting next to us were from Texas and had very high compliments for the burgers and fries that they had. I think that speaks a lot - coming from the Lone Star State and giving a New York establishment kudos? About burgers? (Doesn't happen too much around these parts, that's for sure.)
I overheard heard two other tables rave about the fries, and I had them too - and as suspected, yes, they are also NYCFG approved.
The dessert ice creams were also exceptional.
Ok. There you have it. I've given you a good date night location - and even first date approved, too. Or it's a good family night out. I saw a few tables with well-mannered kids and the noise level is decent so you don't get annoyed with a baby cry. You probably wouldn't really hear it unless they are seated right next to you. And we had our 2 year old with us who was unusually cantankerous that evening - but he wasn't being loud, so once he had some fries he snapped out of it.
I would also recommend getting a reservation via OpenTable or go on the restaurant's website info page. Be sure to also check out the AMC Kips Bay Theater listings here and make a night of it. While I can't recommend a film for you (I mean could, but I don't need the hate mail if it sucks), but I would be happy to tell you that Hill and Bay is a great place to start a nice evening. Location, reasonable prices and a solid menu - what else do you want?!