Fifteen or so years ago my wife and I went into the City for the first time together. We had only been married for a few months and weren't going on our honeymoon until our first anniversary (I decided long ago that I wanted to make sure the marriage "took" before I spent gobs of bucks on a honeymoon. Practical of me, don't you think? She didn't.)
We had tickets to see Miss Saigon at the Broadway Theatre. I hadn't seen a Broadway show in such a long time, but I really wanted to see this particular show. I was part of the 60s-70s Vietnam era so to me a show about that war was appealing. Well, as appealing as a musical about a war that cost over 50,000 American lives could be. Nonetheless we enjoyed the show immensely.
As we exited the theatre that Saturday night at 10:30 it was raining. Not too hard, just hard enough to make it uncomfortable. The gentleman that I am, I gave my wife my sport jacket so she could stay dry. Gentle or not, the man that I am has never let her forget my chivalry that evening (and every time I remind her of it she calls me a cheapskate for not simply buying an umbrella.)
We walked a couple of blocks downtown as the rain continued, finally taking shelter under a canopied entrance to what looked like a bar, on 47th Street just off Broadway in Times Square. By now I was dripping wet, miserable, hungry and not much fun to be around. "Let's just go in here, have a drink and decide what we want to do." "Fine," she said. "You're buying."
And that was that. We had found a home.
We were in Langan's Bar & Restaurant. Had dinner. I had veal, or a steak, or something from a cow. My wife had, uh, something too. I don't remember the details, but I do remember what a wonderful experience it was. Past the crowded bar was a quiet, white-tablecloth dining area. The service was excellent. People were friendly. Food was great.
We stayed long enough for me to dry off. Long enough, too, to have enough glasses of wine to turn a planned 10-block walk back to our hotel into a cab ride, even though the rain had stopped.
We never fail to stop in at Langan's every trip into the City. It might just be for lunch, or for a nightcap, or just to say hi to owner Des O'Brien or manager Katherine. Regardless of what's going on in the City, or in the world, or in our lives, Langan's has that warm, friendly atmosphere that forces us to just relax. And eat well.
Take my suggestion. Try Langan's on your next visit to NYC. You can even pre-purchase a prix-fixe dinner (tax and gratuity included) here!