A Good Time (Really!) In Times Square

Oh, Midtown Manhattan. Tourists are drawn to its sparkle, but any New Yorker worth his or her salt knows to avoid Times Square. Well, until now, that is.

Where do you—the insider—go for dinner before the Graydon Carter-produced I’ll Eat You Last; A Chat with Sue Mengers? Or for drinks with your boyfriend or girlfriend who works at Morgan Stanley? Not Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. or the Olive Garden, of course! Here, we let you in on two top-notch, Quest-approved hotspots for making Midtown Manhattan feel as intimate as Beatrice Inn or Gramercy Tavern:

Paramount Bar & Grill

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235 West 46th Street (at the Paramount—a Times Square Hotel); 212.827.4116

The Paramount Bar & Grill is a tribute the history of its hotel—constructed in 1928, when the area was being established as the destination for entertainment. Chef Jason Kallert knows what it is for food to “be” New York, given his experience at the Le Cirque and Tavern on the Green, so the restaurant offers classic American comfort with a modern twist. Think chicken potpie and prime dip (prime beef and horseradish cream on a baguette)—and don’t forget a side of warm potato salad or Brussels sprouts with garlic confit and macadamia nuts! Careful: don’t luxuriate in your pre-theater meal for too long, or you could miss your show!

Bobby Van’s

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135 West 50th Street (between Sixth and Seventh avenues); 212.957.5050

Established in 1969, Bobby Van’s staying power in Times Square has outlived that of Cat’s—an accomplishment if there ever was one. The 75-foot bar is perfect for happy hour, but the tables with white tablecloths for wining and dining are better. Maybe you’re in the mood to share a medium-rare porterhouse steak with two (or three, or four…), or maybe you’re eying the seafood “bouquet” with lobster, crab, and shrimp? Surf or turf, Bobby Van’s is the place to be. But if you don’t believe us, ask Emmy Rossum or Mark Sanchez, who are among the crème-de-la-crème clientele. New Yorkers know their steak, and Quest—magazine about town—knows to go to Bobby Van’s.