The Bottom Line: Sardi's is an awesome place to dine. Just be sure to make reservations!
Everyone knows that I am an actress. And, if you didn't know that, you know it now. Many people I encounter seem to ask me the same question: Do you know any famous people? Or, they ask the variation: Have you ever met any famous people? Invariably, I end up listing off my resume and perhaps signing an autograph. (I feel like an idiot, though.... I've been on a lot of TV shows and movies, but no major roles to write home about - except in an indy or two - but I realize that this is exciting to your "average" person.)
I met this person whom, without going into any grand details, somehow understands that I enjoy the finer things in life-- especially when it comes to theatre. As a belated birthday celebration, this person took me to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, followed by a late supper at Sardi's. I was FLOORED that this person was able to nail EXACTLY what I love to do in one guess.
I will write a review about Phantom of the Opera at a later date. I promise. This review is about Sardi's, the famed restaurant where actors and actresses would go after performing in their shows. Open for business 82 years ago, the high-class crowd during the "Golden Age of Theatre" would go to mix and mingle with the actors and actresses. There have been movies made about it (The Angel of Sardi's), and it has been mentioned in various films and theatrical productions.
Sardi's is located in the heart of New York's theatre district, right across the street from the Majestic (where Phantom is playing) and the Shubert (where Gypsy is playing) on 44th street. It's within walking distance to all of the other well-known theatres.
Sardi's has a doorman who greets you upon arrival. He then opens the door to the restaurant for you, inviting you inside. As soon as you walk in, there is a coat check area to your right, should you want to check your coat. (There was a line, so I decided not to and just drape it over my chair.) The waiting area isn't very large: it's a thin hallway that fits about 2 people across. There are some small benches to sit on, should you have to wait for your table. The maitre-d is at a podium as soon as you walk into the restaurant.
I recommend making reservations. Reservations had been made for the party I was with, and we were seated immediately. The tables and chairs are all wooden, covered by elegant white tablecloths. The carpet is a deep, lush red. The walls are wooden as well, with charicatures of actors and actresses (some signed, some not) all framed and hanging on the walls. There are literally hundreds of them, many of which are autographed. They are a lot of fun to look at. We sat right nearby one of Sharon Stone.
The service was impeccable. As we were seated, we were handed the menu. The server came right to our table and took our drink order. As we perused the menu, we were given water glasses, filled will ice water and lemon. Soon, our server returned with our beverages, and we placed our order. A couple of minutes after our server left, another server came around with a basket of an assortment of fresh bread and rolls. After we selected our bread, yet another server appeared with some freshly whipped butter. Talk about feeling like royalty!
Maybe 10 minutes later, our appetizer of homemade mozzarella (my favorite) and beefsteak tomatoes in balsamic vinegar was brought to our table. At the same time, we were given two separate plates with the appetizer. I absolutely HATE when something is ordered to share, and you have to eat off the same plate. I served the appetizer, as the server had left already. (I didnt mind at all, though. It was a cozy table for two and the server knew not to interrupt our conversation.) The mozzarella was fantastic, and the tomatoes were perfect. The person I was with ordered this on a recommendation from someone else. Believe me, they were right on the money!
As soon as we were finished with our appetizer, a server swooped in, took the empty plates, and cleaned off the table. I was stunned at how rapidly and efficiently everything was taken care of. Shortly thereafter, our dinner was brought to our table. I ordered the portabello mushroom ravioli in a chicken broth sauce, and my dining partner had the filet mignon. My ravioli was divine, and the filet was delectable. Best of all, everything was served piping hot.
Once we were through with our main course, two servers swooped in, cleared the dishes, cleaned the table and left a dessert menu. We decided to have the vanilla profiteroles (cream puffs filled with ice cream rather than custard) and the warm chocolate cake with a hot fudge center and chocolate ice cream. It was absolutely wonderful.
I dont know what the final price was because I didnt pay for the bill. However, my friend said that he was surprised at the priceIt wasnt as expensive as he was warned it would be. Regardless, we both thought that it was worth it.
There is both an upstairs and a downstairs to Sardis. The bathrooms are located upstairs. There are charicatures all over the restaurant, so pardon yourself to go upstairs. Oh, and the bathroom has an attendant. You dont have to pay to use the bathroom, of course You dont even have to leave a tip if you dont want to! The payphones are located right near the bathrooms, in case you need to use them.
You will also find a Sardis gift shop on the first floor. I didnt get tot go in there, but I know that they sell shirts, mugs, and other memorabilia of Sardis. Maybe Ill take a look in there the next time I go.
I am definitely going to go to Sardis again. As a matter of fact, Im taking my grandmother there before we see GYPSY on January 7. Its recommended that you make reservations in advance, which I did, online at www.sardis.com. Or, you can give them a call at (212) 221-8440. They allow prepaid dining, which is helpful when you dont want your dining partner to see the bill. All you have to do is call the number and get the form faxed to you. (This is what I did for when I take my grandma there.)
I highly recommend Sardis to anyone and everyoneexcept those families that have kids. Its really not a place to have your children running around, and the menu doesnt exactly cater to a childs palette. If youre going to the theatre, round out your night (or start off your afternoon) by dining at Sardis. You will not be disappointed.
Kid Friendliness: No Vegetarian Friendly: Yes Notes, Tips or Menu Recommendations Appetizer: Homemade Mozzarella and Tomato Salad Entree: Portabello Mushroom Ravioli Dessert: Chocolate Cake with Warm Chocolate Center and Chocolate ice cream Best Suited For: Romantic Evening