Terry and I had dinner at Bryant Park Grill before the theater last Thursday night, and I wasn't particularly impressed, but it was fine for a weeknight meal.

The first annoyance was the crowd at the door, there was a party going on on the roof, and everyone off the street was trying to get up there since it just looked like the bar was open, but the hostesses kept saying the roof was closed (which it clearly was not, they should've just said it was a private party). They could've posted a sign on the door so it wouldn't be so crowded around the hostess stand.

The second annoyance was that they wouldn't seat me outdoors until Terry arrived, but by then there was a twenty minute wait. But that's New York, lots of places won't seat you until everyone is arrived.

The third annoyance was that I booked a reservation through Open Table, and got a confirmation, but the hostess couldn't find the reservation when I arrived. Either the girls were incompetent or Open Table doesn't work. Regardless, we were dining early so we got a nice table by the window anyway.

The dining room was open which gave a nice ambiance when we first arrived, but then it started getting crowded and noisy and then the din prevented us from continuing our conversation. The saving grace there was that we were seated near a window (there are plenty of window tables since the entire front wall is pretty much a continuous window) which was a prime location for people-watching, so at least we weren't bored to tears during the time we would've had to shout to talk.

I had the tuna & salmon tartar; it was garnished with cucumber slices and roe. That was delicious, I'd order it again in a heartbeat. I had the steak frites, but the fries were a little soggy and the steak was average. The dressing on the greens was very good--in retrospect I should've paid more attention to that to discern what ingredients they used. But I was distracted by the bitterness of the greens--they were fresh and attractive, I'm just not a great fan of the fancy greens as salad, I prefer them mixed in with milder lettuce.

The service was average, once the place got busy the visits from our waitress were few and far between. Fortunately, they had a runner to bring out food and pour water, so at least we didn't go hungry due to her inattention. But we didn't have time for dessert or coffee since she took too long to see us after we finished our entrees, and we waited on the check for a while. On a brighter note, at least the two different wines I ordered by the glass were both good.

Although I guess this seems like a bad review, it's not like I wouldn't go back there again. The theater district is something of a wasteland for good restaurants (relative to other neighborhoods in Manhattan) and the several others I would have preferred over Bryant Park Grill had no availability pre-theater. That's what I get for waiting until that morning to make a dinner reservation. . .

Anyway, compared to a lot of other choices, it wasn't bad. Although if you don't have to be anywhere after dinner and the weather is nice, I'd recommend getting on the list for a patio table, it would be quieter.