Written by Hulda Lawrence
Rosie O'Grady's, 800 Seventh Avenue at 52nd Street, (212) 582-2975. One of the stars of Broadway for many years has been Rosie O'Grady's, open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. It is popular, large and the food is good. With plenty of room between tables and expert service, Rosie O'Grady's is ideal for before theatre, after a show or at any time in between.
The other day we lunched at Rosie O'Grady's, beginning with delicious Fresh Oysters for me and Caesar Salad for my companion. There is a daily special prix fixe luncheon at $21.95, but we wanted to sample some dishes from the regular menu. So for our entrees, we had the prix fixe entree of Tournedos of Filet Mignon with Wild Mushrooms and Bourbon Sauce. My choice was Maryland Crabcakes with Lobster Sauce (from the regular menu) and it was very tasty. The prix fixe luncheon provides a choice of appetizers: soup du jour, Caesar salad, Baby Spinach & Radicchio Salad, followed by your choice of Tournedos of Filet Mignon au Poivre, Stuffed Broiled Filet of Sole, Pan Seared Chicken Carciofe, or Wild Mushroom Ravioli. Desserts are Cheesecake, Chocolate Raspberry Cake or Carrot Cake.
With our entrees we had glasses of Sherwood Estate Sauvignon Blanc Canterbury, New Zealand for my companion and Rupert & Rothschild Classique, a red, for me. The wine list is extensive with a number of wines available by the glass. There were wines by the bottle from South Africa, Chile, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and a goodly number from America. Prices for bottles range from $19 for Orvieto from Italy to $85 for Veuve Clicquot, but there are a number of medium priced wines, too.
Regular menu diners have a choice of such specials lunch items as Mediterranean Seafood Salad, Rosie's Burger, traditional Fish & Chips, Shepherds Pie, Club Sandwich, Sliced Steak Sandwich, Roast Beef Sandwich, Hot Open-faced Swordfish Sandwich or Corned Beef Sandwich. These specials are from $10.95 for the burger to $16.95 for the Mediterranean Seafood Salad.
Main courses at lunch include Sauteed Veal Scaloppini, Lobster Ravioli, Penne Pasta with Rock Shrimp, Grilled Chicken Fettuccine.
Desserts deserve a special note. We shared the Chef's Cheesecake which was extremely light, and we delighted in an Irish Sherry Trifle. We concluded our fine lunch with Irish Coffee, $7.50. Desserts are $6.95 each
At dinner, many of the same entrees are available at slightly higher prices but Rosie O'Grady's Irish Beef Stew, Roast Long Island duckling, Grilled Pork Chops, T-Bone Steak and Rib Steak are served at dinner only. Prices are $17.95 to $33.75 for T-Bone Steak and for a large number of hearty main courses.
Incidentally, Rosie's has a wide selection of beer in bottles, and on draught there is Guinness, Sam Adams, Killians, Coor's Light, Carlsberg, Bass Ale, Harp, Bud Light and Budweiser.
Rosie O'Grady's has a number of party rooms. The main dining salon seats 148 diners and the Broadway room can handle 150 people.
There is another private room, the Manhattan Club, for up to 250. In addition Rosie O'Grady's has a second venue at Times Square, located at 149 West 46th Street between Sixth Avenue and Broadway, just east of Broadway. (212) 869-0600.
Hours: 11:30 a.m. daily
Dervish, 146 West 47th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, (212) 997-0070, is an intimate restaurant with many an exotic delight on its menu. Although the only Dervish we spied in the dining area was a huge wall picture, the food is authentically Turkish and very tasty. There is a large bar just inside the doorway seating forty and then a bit further back is a cozy dining room for fifty. A mezzanine takes care of fifty more. For private parties, an upper floor has a private bar and facilities which can be enjoyed by 100.
As we settled into our seats we were greeted by Hassan, who not only was our waiter, but advised us on all the foods and made suggestions as to what we should order. Although there is a daily lunch special for $13.95, we decided to try as many of the appetizers as possible. On the luncheon there is a choice among soups, Borek (filo stuffed with feta cheese), Humus (mashed chick peas and tahini), Eggplant Salad (wood-smoked Holland baby eggplant puree), mixed green salad or Chopped Turkish Salad. As lunch entrees there is a choice among String Beans with Lamb Shoulder, Chicken Shish Kebab, Stuffed Baby Eggplant, Sultan's Chicken Delight, Okra and Lamb, Vegetable Casserole, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, Lamb and Beans, Sauteed Spinach, or Char-grilled Norwegian Sardines.
With the help of Hassan we requested small portions of Yalanci Dolma (stuffed grape leaves with rice, raisins, toasted pine nuts flavored with dill), Pastirmali Mantarli Muska Boregi (stuffed triangular file dough with caramelized onions, peppers snow mushrooms and air dried beef), Icli Kofte (steamed stuffed wheat balls with walnuts, chopped meat, shallots, parsley), Zeytinyali Kereviz (sautéed celery root with vegetables) and a wonderful Arnavut Cigeri (sautéed diced calf's liver). These are a la carte appetizers and each was delicious. The eggplant puree which was an accompaniment on several dishes marvelous, as was the pita bread done with rosemary was delicious and the glasses of red and white Turkish wines.
This is an authentic Turkish restaurant - all of the personnel are from Turkey and all speak English. Although the printed menu presents the Turkish names of dishes, their English equivalents also are described.
At night there is a three course pre-theatre dinner for 20 with the same appetizers and entrees which appear at luncheon. At dinner, however, tea or coffee and desserts are included.
A la carte entrees in the evening include Baby Lamb Chops, Grilled Filet Mignon, Char-Grilled Chicken Chops, Musakka, Lamb Shank, Shrimp Shish Kebab, Shrimp Casserole, Octopus Casserole, Char-Grilled Striped Bass, Brick-Stone Baked Brook Trout, Char-Grilled Norwegian Salmon and Char-Grilled Swordfish Kebab. These entrees are $14.50 for chicken dishes to $17.50 for Filet Mignon. All entrees have appropriate vegetables. The al la carte appetizers start at $4.50 for soup of the day to $8.50 for Grilled Octopus.
Desserts are the traditional Turkish delights of Baklava and other honeyed sweets.
For a different dining experience and an introduction to the cuisine of Turkey, visit Dervish on your way to the theatre. It is well worth a detour even when you are not-playgoing!
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily
The dollar sign indicates the approximate cost of dining for two persons, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity.