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Broadway East’s Split Personality

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Is there room for both you and Bill Murray at "Broadway East?"  Last night we stopped by to give this place another try, after being disappointed when it first opened. Since that time, "Broadway East's" subterranean lounge has become a big hit with the hipsters and celebrities. A few months ago, "The New York Post" gushed that Murray, Mike Myers and Tatum O'Neal (not that she had far to walk) had been spotted there. On their web site, however, "Broadway East" calls itself an affordable "neighborhood favorite."  It seems no restaurant these days can survive on Saturday night boozers alone.

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When we arrived at 7:30, the dining room was about half full, in spite of a $30 tasting menu offered until 8pm. It's a good deal. Appetizer, entree and dessert are included. Mussels with roasted tomatoes and fennel were plump and flavorful. The panzanella salad (roasted tomato, ciabatta, goat cheese) was very fresh. Pan seared blue cod was crispy on the outside, tender inside. Wild mushroom tagliatelle and the roast chicken were nicely executed. All of the desserts, unfortunately, were unmemorable. The service was attentive and friendly but the $2 coat check charge is a turnoff (not very neighborly)!

By the time we left, the bar area was packed and the crowd in the dining room had become younger and trendier.  "Broadway East" was morphing from adult restaurant to nightlife hot spot. It's not easy being Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Last night, at least, we thought they pulled it off.

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