Just How Good is Marcus Samuelson’s American Table at Lincoln Center?

Answer–very good, very convenient and pretty reasonable, especially compared with the other restaurants in the complex.

Let me first start with the other options in Lincoln Center. You could go to the enormously expensive newish restaurant under the sloping lawn on West 65th Street–Lincoln Ristorante. Image (Source: nytimes.com)

This handsome spot–lots of glass–gets good reviews for food and it is right there. You will pay the price, however, with dinners averaging $81 according to Zagat. And, if you’re going to pay this much, do you really want to have to worry about show times?

Then there is the lovely Grand Tier within the Metropolitan Opera. The ambiance is wonderful, the food is good and they always get you out in time for the curtain or the next act.


(Source: nytimes.com)

Again, it is pricey, and when Rory and I celebrated an anniversary there prior to the opera, we both fell asleep at what was probably a really good performance of Rosenkavalier. Perhaps this place is best kept for occasions NOT having to do with a performance.

Image (Source: luxist.com)

Avery Fisher has two restaurants–Arpeggio for fine dining and the little cafe for snacks. We have eaten at Arpeggio and once more, I have to say that while the prices are medium high, the food does not equal them.

So, what about American Table?

Image (Source: nycrobbreport.com)

It’s in the stunning new glass atrium in Alice Tully Hall and if you happen to be going to a concert in the Starr Theatre, you can meander the 20 steps there in good time and not break the bank. We remember Marcus Samuelson from the glory days at Aquavit although at that time I did have a little trouble with his pioneering goat cheese desserts, now, of course, quite commonplace.

Image (Source: lincolncenter.tumblr.com)

At American Table, you find a table–which could be your standard two-person square or a little round between two armchairs–then order your food at the bar. A server brings it to you with your drinks and there you are. I had a great plate of pot roast with potato salad and sauerkraut for $15–more than anyone could possible eat and amazingly tender. Rory had a nifty meat loaf dipping sandwich also $15 and equally good. Or, if you want something really light, try the bowl of herbed tomato soup for $6 with a melted brie sandwich for another $6.

Image (Source: yumology.blogspot.com)

This is fare you can eat before a concert and still stay awake or have a drink afterward in a lively spot. Get there early, however, as it fills up fast. One caveat–a small, very small, bottle of Pellegrino was quite expensive so if you’re thirsty, stick with New York Tap.

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