Lincoln Center: Food for the Soul and Music for the Ears

Welcome to Lincoln Center.  Welcome to the Metropolitan Opera House

Welcome to Lincoln Center. Welcome to the Metropolitan Opera House

The stars are out.  The curtain is about to draw.  The orchestra has fine-tuned their instruments.  The mincing and fopping is about to commence up in the box seats.  It’s showtime at Lincoln Center in New York City.  There is nothing more exquisite or, dare I say, romantic, than a night at the Metropolitan Opera House.  Remember that scene in Moonstruck where Cher waits for Nicolas Cage at the fountain outside the Met?  Well, I can’t guarantee that you will be meet your romantic Prince Charming outside the walls of the opera (or have hair as gigantic as hers in the movie), but I can tell you how to really enjoy the best the Met has to offer.  Not to mention where to go for the best pre-show and post-show grub in Lincoln Center.

THE SMITH

Brunch at The Smith

Brunch at The Smith

The name of this restaurant might seem ordinary, but the food on this menu is anything but.  Located across the street from Lincoln Center, this upscale bistro offers up a cornucopia of edible creations that run the gamut from your basic soup and salad, to decadent appetizers, to sumptuous steaks, to the richest desserts this side of candy land!   You might say that this restaurant does comfort food on a grand scale.  I would recommend this spot as a pre-opera spot since they offer a pretty good brunch menu with some unique items.  If you love the classics, it is hard to beat their skillet hash and eggs which is corned beef hash (made with thick cut corned beef!) buried under a mound of three fluffy jumbo eggs, cooked to your liking (I prefer scrambled).  Or, if you wanna great creative, their breakfast pot pie takes a melange of sausage and gravy with breakfast potatoes, buries it under a blanket of baked dough, and it is topped with three sunny-side eggs.  You may need some help devouring this mammoth pie!

Of course, if you prefer, The Smith features a great selection for a post-show meal.  A fair warning: bring your appetite!  For starters, I recommend their house-made chips that comes with a liberal amount of warm blue cheese sauce that is generously drizzled across almost every chip.  An appetizer that definitely deserves to be shared.  Speaking of shared, do try their pork and veal meatballs; you’re gonna wanna grab a spoon to finish off the sauce as well.  The steaks and seafood are served in massive amounts.  I would recommend their pasta bolognese if you are in the mood for some comfort food.  For dessert, the cakes border somewhere between bakery delights and something that was cooked up by a candy bar maker.

The Smith...for dinner!  Hot chips with blue cheese, meatballs, pasta bolognese, and chocolate cake.

The Smith…for dinner! Hot chips with blue cheese, meatballs, pasta bolognese, and chocolate cake.

FIORELLO’S

For some reason, a night at the opera always puts me in the mood for Italian.  Luckily, Fiorello’s offers up the perfect mix of Italian cuisine and ambiance.  When you step inside this Italian bistro, there is only one dish you must try: PIZZA!  This pizza isn’t your ordinary pie with sauce and cheese.  It is thin.  No, really, it is RAZOR thin!  Also, it isn’t always a perfect circle, but it adds to the authenticity.  Also, it is a reasonable size that can be enjoyed by one or split with two.  The best way to enjoy it is rolled up like a burrito; now this a real pizza roll!  Make sure you ask for pepperoni, burrata, and their signature hot pepper relish.  For dessert (and make sure you save room for dessert!) dine on their decadent profiteroles, which are Italian cream puffs that are instead filled with ice cream.  If that sounds good enough, wait just a sec, because it gets even better!  They’re topped with a dark chocolate sauce that turns this dessert from delicious to forbidden!

Fiorello's Cafe: In the mood for Italian?!  Front entrance, pizza, prime rib, and profiteroles.

Fiorello’s Caf!e: In the mood for Italian?! Front entrance, pizza, prime rib, and profiteroles.

THE METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

Ever since I was a little kid, my father had raised my sister and I on the classics.  Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, you name it.  Well, actually, binge watching The Rabbit of Seville with Bugs Bunny and The Cat Concerto with Tom and Jerry doesn’t hurt either.  Thanks to both those works of art, I cannot hear the opening overture from The Barber of Seville or Hungarian Rhapsody by Franz Lizst without breaking out in laughter.  Since those days, I have been quite fond of the opera.  Not as much as Weird Al and INXS, but still fond enough to know the sounds of symphony.  It had been years since our family enjoyed an outing at the Met and everytime we go, it brings me back to my childhood.  Our most recent matinee was Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.  This performance came with a twist: it was entirely in English.  It was a bit stunning to be honest, but I much preferred the one staring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

Inside the Met...

Inside the Met…

My most memorable time at the Met was when my father took our whole family out to see a production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, which I loved!  There was a moment where I dragged my father out of our box so I could use the bathroom.  On our way back to our seats, we discovered that the ushers would not allow us to return to our original seats.  Instead, they redirected us to a new seat.  But not just any seat: the President’s box!  There was also an awkward moment where the lead performer playing Prince Tamino began counting out loud in German and someone began reciting the next set of numbers.  That nosy know-it-all was me!  My father taught me how to count in German and I couldn’t help but show off my international bonafides.  Definitely NOT the appropriate place for such an outburst, but I was eight years old at the time!

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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2 Responses to Lincoln Center: Food for the Soul and Music for the Ears

  1. Alisoun Brewster says:

    Wonderful memories Jared!! Loved reading this!!!

  2. You’re making me hungry! (For food, opera AND my childhood cartoons) Great article Jared!!

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