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• The Olive Garden Italian Restaurant--Two Times Square (47th St. btwn. B'way & 7th Ave.). Our delicious, fresh Italian food is now being served with a special N.Y. flair. Cafe opens 8 am and Rest. opens 11:30 am, daily. 333-3254.

• Villa Mosconi--69 MacDougal St. We have re-created a new and exciting Village landmark. Outstanding homemade pastas and Northern Italian specialties. Four Season Garden, ideal for weddings & parties. L, D. CI. Sun. 673-0390, 473-9804.


• Kodama--301 W. 45 (cor. 8th Ave.). Only a step to B'way theatres. We guarantee your satisfaction with an authentic Tokyo-style sushi bar & other original Japanese cuisine. Op. 7 days Mon.-Sat. 12-3. D 5-12, Sun. 4-11. 582-8065.


• Iridium--44 W. 63rd St. Directly across fr. Lin. Center. A symphony of taste, sight & sound! For pre or post-theatre, we feature New Amer. cuisine. Open 7 days. L, D. Dining til 12:30 am & Sun. Jazz Br. AT Live jazz nightly. 582-2121.


• Viva Pancho--156 W. 44 St. (B'way & 6th). Offering the best in Mex. food & drink. Home of the Sizzling Fajitas. L spec. $6.50 incl. margarita. Mon. Nite "All You Can Eat" $7.95. Happy Hr. 4-7, Mon.-Fri. Op. 7 Dys. CC. 944-9747.


• Danny's Grand Sea Palace--346 W. 46th St. (Rest. Row). Seafood continental & Thai cuisine, Live lobster tank, Alaska King Crab, duck, steaks. PT, AT Menu. Mod. price. Live piano nitely, Charles DeForest. 7 days. CC. 265-8130-8133.

• The Famous Oyster Bar--842 7th Ave. (54th St.) Fresh Seafood established 1959 on B'way. Clams, oysters, shrimps, lobsters--Wines & C--7 days 11:30 am-12:30 am. PT & AT spec. Fresh lobster D $16.95. 586-6525.


• Cafe Espanol--The original. 172 Bleeker St. (cor. Sillivan St.). Best paella and lobster in town. "Snug & engaging adobe setting, efficient staff, pleasant Spanish/Mexican"--NY Times. L, D, C, PT & AT weekends till 1 am. Reduced parking Sun.-Thurs. 505-0657.

• Costa Del Sol--367-369 W. 50th St. At 9th Ave. One block to all theatres. Warm Spanish atmosphere. Regional specialities at moderate prices. L, D, Tapas bar. Live entert. Fri., Sat., Sun. Open 7 days. Free Parking. 5pm - 1 am. 541-8382.

• El Quijote--226 W. 23rd. "We are the Lobster King." Our 36th year. 1 1/4 lb. lobster $12.95. Daily Double 2 1 1/4 lb. lobsters for one $19.95. Natural veal & chops. D Sun.-Thur. till 12 am, Fri. & Sat. till 1 am. Priv. Party Rm. CC. 929-1855.

• Rincon De Espana--226 Thompson St. in Greenwich Village. *** New York Times "One of the best Spanish kitchens in NYC." We serve the classic cuisine from Spain. Guitarist nightly. CC. Open 7 days. 475-9891, 260-4950.

• Sevilla--62 Charles St. (West 4th St.). A Village landmark famed for its Paella A La Valenciana. Recommended by Cue, New York Times & Gourmet. L, D, Cocktail Lounge. Parties. 7 days. CC. 929-3189.


• Victor's Cafe 52--236 W. 52nd St. The regional cuisines of Cuba and Carib. Black bean soup, stone crabs, paella, prime steak. Piano music in tropical skylight rms., Tapas at bar. 7 days, L, D, AT. CC. 586-7714.


• Bangkok Cuisine--885 8th Ave. (bet. 52 & 53 Sts.). New York's first Thai restaurant serving authentic Thai cooking to your taste. Open 7 days till 11:30. CC. 581-6370, 664-8488.

• Pongsri Thai--244 W. 48th St. (8 & B'way) In theatre district. Owner/chef Pongsri prepares Thai dishes, noodles, beef, seafood, pork. L, D, AT, 7 dys. 11:30 am-11:30 pm. 582-3392. Also 106 Bayard St. cor. Baxter St. (Chinatown) ** N.Y. Times. 349-3132.

• Siam Inn & Siam Inn Too--Our two locations in the theatre district. Thai restaurants recom. by New York Times. Siam Inn--916 8th Ave. (54th & 55th Sts.) 489-5237, Siam Inn Too 854 8th Ave. (51st & 52nd Sts.) 757-4006.


• Seeda II--309 W. 50th St. Open 7 days. 11:30-11:30 Mon.-Fri., Sat. & Sun. from 4-11:30. Authentic Thai & Vietnamese cuisine. Skylight dining. CC & IGT 586-4040.


• Zen Palate--663 9 Ave. (46th St.). The only authentic vegetarian cuisine in midtown. The palace for healthful & satisfying dining experience. "Tea Art" "Tatami Rms.," Delivering & Catering. Op. 7 days. 12-11 CC. 582-1669. Also 34 Union Sq. E. @ 16th St.


Alan Campbell
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(Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard at the Minskoff Theatre) chooses OAK ROOM AND BAR AT THE PLAZA, 59 St. at Fifth Ave.

The grand and imposing Oak Room and Bar at the Plaza has been gently re-burnished, making it more friendly and accessible to contemporary tastes while retaining its grandeur.

This landmark dining room is gaining a lustrous new reputation as a glorious steakhouse! A brilliant collaboration of Assad M. Farag, its innovative food and beverage director, and Florimand Smoor, the Oak Room's gifted chef, this restaurant has already drawn the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Lily Tomlin and Gregory Hines to its cuisine, which features a remarkable pre-theatre dinner at $39.

We dined luxuriously on Blue Point oysters and the Oak Room's treasured Caesar salad; after which we opted for tastings of grilled Porterhouse steak, roast prime rib au jus, roast rack of lamb and grilled swordfish. Desserts left us with an ethereal Plaza glow.

Oak Room and Bar at the Plaza Hotel is open seven days a week 11:30 am-3 pm, 5:30 pm-midnight. Dinner entrees $18-$32. Daily specials. Exc. wine list. Fine cocktails, special menu in adj. Oak Bar. Jackets sug. Maj. cred. cards. Res. sug. 546-5330.

Werner Klemperer
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(Alexander in Uncle Vanya at the Circle In The Square Uptown) chooses LE MADELEINE, 403 W. 43rd St., bet. 9th & 10th Aves.

Over at Le Madeleine, proprietor Toney Edwards and chef Suphab have been experimenting with lighter bistro dishes by removing butter and oil from recipes, using sea salt, creating new sauces and grilling over cherry, mesquite and other aromatic woods while maintaining classic cuisine principles. Incorporation of fresh herbs and market-available ingredients and keeping it all simple is key. Judging on the basis of three recent dinner visits, the results have been felicitous.

Nathan Lane, Lauren Bacall, Olympia Dukakis and singer Eric Gilett have all responded to Le Madeleine's concept.

The menu choices change seasonally. Dining in the romantic Covered Garden, our group enjoyed such starters as garlic sausage in pastry crust and salad Niçoise. Next, sauteéd grouper, roasted duck à l'orange, grilled pork medallions and grilled Maine salmon proved admirable choices. Le Madeleine's desserts are delightful. 

Le Madeleine is open seven days a week. Mon.-Thurs. noon-11 pm. Fri., Sat. noon-11:30 pm. Sun. noon-10 pm. A la carte entrees $14-$21. Daily specials. Sun. à la carte brunch. Fine wine list. Priv. parties. Cas. dress. Maj. cred. cds. Res. sug. 246-2993.


Iridium After Sunset Boulevard we alighted at Ellen Hart Sturm's smashing Iridium for late supper and live jazz in the town's newest draw, the Iridium Room. Chef Rhys Rosenblum's menus are delectable, from sandwiches or a snack to a true meal. Perfect cocktails were followed by corn-dusted fried oysters, smoked pizza and orgasmic desserts. The tab is tender, and the food and jazz a neat topping. Open late every eve. 44 W. 63rd St. 582-2121. 

China Evian Boniface William Tse knows what nineties food fanciers want-- healthy, remarkably light fare that doesn't leave them with that overly full feeling. His fine Szechuan and Cantonese food satisfies all criteria, as it's pleasing to both palate and purse. And whether you just munch or dine fully, don't forget the emerald green (pistachio, of course) ice cream! Open every night. 144 W. 46th St. 869-9183.


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