Dinner and a Show: Where to Eat Before ‘Aladdin’
A taste of the Middle East, literally and musically
You’re going to see Aladdin at the New Amsterdam Theater and you need to know where to eat dinner beforehand? No problem! We’ve got just the right pre-theater restaurant for those going to see one of Broadway’s most charming musicals.
The Show: The musical based on Disney’s 1992 animated film about a street urchin whose picaresque adventures involves a magic lamp, a wish-granting genie, a flying carpet and the pursuit of the lovely Princess Jasmine opened on Broadway in March 2014. The score not only features all of the favorites from the film, such as “A Whole New World,” but also a host of new songs by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman (the hit-making team behind Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast); Tim Rice (Evita); and Chad Beguelin (Elf). The performance is full of laughs along with adventure — not to mention the dazzling, bling-y costumes and the spectacle of that flying carpet.
The Restaurant: Conveniently located about three blocks from the New Amsterdam Theater, L’Ybane offers a sexy, modern, candlelit vibe along with Mediterranean cuisine. Though it’s a spin-off from the stylish original in Nice, France, the NYC menu features plenty of authentic dishes from the Middle East — certainly enough to conjure the mindset of an Arabian night and Aladdin’s fictional kingdom of Agrabah.
What to Eat: If Agrabah were an actual place, you might expect to enjoy a spread of mezze, Arabic small plates such as tabouleh and hummus (which will be punned at length during the evening’s show), falafel, merguez sausage, and stuffed grape leaves ($6.75 each), great for sharing. The theme continues with olive-oil marinated chicken kebabs ($19) and Mediterranean platters ($19.95), which combine kebabs, rice and mezze. Those with global palates will enjoy more than a half-dozen pastas such as seafood spaghetti ($18), and entrees such as moules frites ($18) and lamb cutlets ($26).
What Else to Know: If you’re lucky, a jazz trio will be in house, offering a show before the show. Dress is casual, but stylish duds are sure to match the vibe. Reservations are recommended.