The Grand Tier
A night at the opera is one of those quintessentially New York experiences, and if you’re pulling out all the stops, that includes dinner at The Grand Tier, an upscale New American restaurant. It is, after all, nestled under the stunning Swarovski crystal chandeliers that dominate the Met’s interior, offering a sweeping view of the famous space. It’s also inside of the opera house, so you won’t have to worry about missing your show—allegedly.
There’s exactly one reason to recommend making a reservation at The Grand Tier—if your main goal is to take awesome photos in a mostly-empty opera house, this will be enough. Book a table between 5-6:30 PM and you’ll be able to wander around the space without having to battle crowds to get that perfect shot of yourself leaning gracefully against the balcony in your best formalwear. The empty staircase, under the twinkling lights of the chandeliers, is an excellent backdrop for special occasion photos. It almost makes the incredibly bland dinner you’ll have afterwards feel worth it.
The food isn't good. It exists in the same space as most wedding food: bland and unimaginative. You’re not going to write home about your salmon or steak entree, but you’ll eat it. For the $98 per person cost before drinks and add-ons, though, it feels like a rip-off.
This restaurant is part of the Patina Group, a name you might recognize if you frequent one of Disney’s North American theme parks. The best thing about eating at The Grand Tier is, like many Patina Group spots, the location. In theory, you should be able to have an elegant, leisurely dinner and still have time to brave the bathroom line before the first curtain, but that likely won't be the case.
The first seating starts at 5:30 PM, and nearly two hours should be plenty of time for a standard three-course dinner, especially given the army of suit-clad servers walking the floor. But this army lacks strategy and direction. They wander the dining room, ignoring some tables and fawning over others. If you’re not ordering exorbitantly-priced bottles of wine to accompany your meal, expect to be ignored. A better move is to go to David Geffen Hall next door and eat at the excellent Tatiana before your show.
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Treviso & Endive Salad
Have you ever had a decent composed salad with a nice vinaigrette at a gala, wedding, awards ceremony, etc? This is that.
There are lots of words in the menu description of this dish, like “late harvest moscato aspic,” that make this sound extravagant and fancy. In fact, it’s just a brick of under seasoned animal off-cuts. Skip this.
This is a decent enough piece of salmon. It’s cooked well, and has encountered salt somewhere along its journey from the kitchen. The vegetables do in fact seem to be in season, and they have been roasted. It’s one of the better things we ate here
The menu says that this comes with herbed hasselback potatoes, but they were just regular potatoes. The meat is cooked okay, but has approximately no flavor. It feels like a dish someone’s grandma might order.
Grainy custard, and only partially-brûléed sugar. A miss.
Baba Strawberries Romanoff
Even Prue Leith would say this has too much booze. It’s practically a cocktail served in a cake.