Finally, a decent, convenient place to grab a bite at Lincoln Center. Any Columbia student who has experienced the toil of trying to find a reasonably priced, quick restaurant before going to a show or performance can avoid the less-than-desirable sandwiches in the theater with this new spot: American Table Café and Bar.
Located in Alice Tully Hall, a block away from the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, and New York Philharmonic, Marcus Samuelsson has expanded his New York dining options to three: Ginny’s Supper Club and Red Rooster in Harlem, and now American Table on the Upper West Side.
One of the best parts of the restaurant experience is the space itself. American Table is situated in an open, clear room with a high slanted ceiling, hardwood floors, and three of the four walls made of windows with the fourth wall of red wood. The furniture is modern and stylish, and pleasant lounge music plays in the background, giving the place a relaxed vibe.
The service is friendly and quick. You order at the counter and then the waitstaff brings the food to your table.
The food is nicely presented and tastes as good as it looks, while the white ceramic dishes give the food presentation a clean finish.
The portions are not huge, which is perfect for the theatergoer who cannot carry leftovers for the entire night. I ordered the Turkey Meatball Sandwich with Cranberry Sauce and Mushroom Gravy—it served as the perfect fall-flavored dish as we slowly transition out of this Indian Summer. The bread had a chewy texture which balanced out the soft contents of the inside. The cranberry sauce was just the right amount of sweet, complementing the savory meatballs instead of overshadowing them, as cranberry sauce tends to do. The turkey meatballs had the tiniest shreds of carrots, which made me feel accomplished for incorporating vegetables into my diet. More substantially, the cooked purple cabbage added another dimension of sweetness and a hint of crunch to the sandwich. The mushroom gravy is served on the side, but the sandwich is flavorful enough on its own. I appreciated the gravy on the side, because all too often, sandwiches are drowned in gravy.
American Table has a full bar and a decent wine list if you desire a cocktail before a show. The space is also good for having a coffee in the middle of the day, as the atmosphere is refreshing and relaxed.
The prices are on the more expensive side, but are still reasonable considering its location and the quality of food. Dishes range from about $10-$20.
If you want to go for a pleasant, filling, and quick meal, Marcus Samuelsson’s American Table Café and Bar is a safe bet.