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[[image of Beth Fowler headshot]]
(Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast at the Palace Theatre) chooses
226 W. 23rd St.,
bet. 7th & 8th Aves.
A periodic drop-in to El Quijote reinforced our perception that all's right with the restaurant world of conviviality, prodigious portions and quality foodstuffs. Manny Ramirez's famed bastion of earthy Iberian food (with the accent on lusciously fresh lobsters) left us sated and eagerly anticipating our next visit to this fabled restaurant.
This sprawling Chelsea Hotel draw, rejuvenated with a jaunty wait staff garbed in spiffy new uniforms, has played host to world-class guests, including stars of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Master Class, who buzz downtown right after the curtain falls.
Tapas to flan-it's all terrific. We relished hearty garlic soup, classic shrimp ajillo, mixed seafood paella with lobster, stuffed scallops, chicken in almond sauce, and lusty veal extremena.
A pitcher of sangria completed our meal-and the colorful El Quijote picture.

EL QUIJOTE is open seven days. Mon.-Thurs. noon-midnight. Fri., Sat. noon-1am. Sun. noon-midnight. A la carte entrees $11.95-$29.95. Daily specials. Wine list. Banquets, priv. parties. Cas. dress. CC. Res. sug. for four or more. 929-1855

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[[image of Elaine Paige headshot]]
(Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard at the Minskoff Theatre) chooses
150 W. 47th St., bet. 6th & 7th Aves.
You'll dote on Langan's, just as the theatre community does, thanks to the tasty American cuisine, highlighting a three-course, pre-theatre menu at a mere $22.95.
Langan's exudes a bit of a split personality; the dining room's on the polite, structured side, while the bar is casual with a charming touch of blarney. (Where else can you find a Riverdance martini, with Jamison Irish whiskey!)
Des O'Brien, the innovative general manager, tells me that Jean Stapleton, Jeff McCarthy (that beast of Beauty and the Beast) and Joyce Randolph are fans, and with chef Gary Adler's generous fare it's easy to see why. Our waiter, Ben, brought first-tier black Angus steak; sauteéd strips of veal with shrimp, shitake mushrooms and tomato in a lovely white wine sauce; and neat crab cakes. Add delicate, homemade desserts, and you'll see what gives Langan's its Broadway lure.

LANGAN'S is open Mon.-Fri. Lunch 11:300 am-4pm; Sat. & Sun. brunch 11:30 am-4pm. Dinner seven days 4pm-midnight. Entrees $13.95-$25.95. Daily specials. Lenny Metcalf plays show tunes at the piano bar. Wine list. Neat cas. dress. Disc. dinner parking (5pm-mid.). CC. Res. sug. 869-5482.

[[heading]] AFTER THEATRE

The hideaway bar at this legendary steak place (a wayback speakeasy) is a secret celeb haunt. Equally secretive: Bobby the bartender's recipe for his sensational martinis, which he steadfastly refuses to part with. (We even tried plying him with martinis and a great steak dinner, but he still kept mum!) Kitchen open till 11:300 P.M. (Cl. Sun.) 269 W. 45th St. 997-9494.

[right column] BICE
This delightful restaurant, exciting and chic with a casual tone, offers Valentine's Day romance all year round. It's one of New York's best spots for people watching, and the Milanese menu's as excellent as food gets. After-theatregoers adore Bice, and we can't think of a finer place for that special nightcap with that special someone. Mon.-Sat. till midnight. Sun 11 P.M. 7 E. 54th St. (off 5th) 688-1999.

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