Los Angeles Times

Where to eat near Lincoln Center

You've just come from a performance, and you need something to eat. Here are some of our favorite places.

Café Fiorello. What stared out, half a generation ago, as a pastry-and-coffee place has morphed into a full-service restaurant with a plenty of tasty pastas, pizzas, and more substantial main courses. The place is pretty and the service is courteous and professional. House-made pastas, steaks, and great pizza are all on the menu. (1900 Broadway)

SQC. The menu changes seasonally, but one item is a perennial: the hot chocolate. They're open for breakfast, l;unch, and dinner, and many a neighborhhod regular shows up for "breakfast" long after lunch. At dinnertime, look for grilled duck breast and roast chicken. And leave room for that hot chocolate. (270 Columbus Avenue)

Café Luxembourg.It feels like it's been here forever, but this celeb hangout actually hasn't. There are great sandwiches and omelettes. Or you can go for the more substantial mains, like steak or a "spring roll" of salmon. (200 West 70th Street)

Café des Artistes. So, you know all about the naked nymphs painted on the walls. This is a place for romantic nights out (if we had a quarter for all the couples who got engaged here…), and the food is classic, too: Dishes like Wiener schnitzel, roast duck, and rack of lamb (1 West 65th Street)

Josephina. Friendly and unpretentious, this place just across from Lincoln Center gets crowded before or after a performance. The food is tasty, but stick with the simple stuff: roast chicken is a real winner. As is the angel hair pasta with meatballs. (1900 Broadway)

Picholine. Start with a silky panna cotta made with sea urchin or a foie gras terrine. Move on to a main course like duck risotto , a combination plate of short ribs and filet, or roasted fish. For dessert – forget dessert, and instead choose from the cart, with its extraordinary selection of artisanal cheeses. Expect to spend, though. Dinner runs somewhere around $70 per person. (35 West 64th Street)

Trattoria dell'Arte. This is a busy, noisy place just across from Carnegie Hall, and you don't even have to practice to get there. The thing to do is order from the antipasti bar (orders come in three sizes: small, big, and huge). Other good bets: pizzas and pastas. (900 Seventh Avenue)

Brooklyn Diner. If you're looking for all-American favorites, this is your place. Huge portions of classic dishes like pastas, salads, burgers with fries, meat loaf. Desserts are enormous. And do order an egg cream, made with Fox's U-Bet. (212 West 57th Street)

Les Routiers. The name means 'truck driver' in French, and this Gallic outpost on Amsterdam Avenue specializes in hearty, down-to-earth food. There's lots of fish (try the salmon with olives), steak, and lamb. And the service is cheerful and the regulars are friendly. (568 Amsterdam Avenue)

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