Dinner and a Movie NYC Guide: Lincoln Plaza Cinema

Entrance of Lincoln Plaza Cinemas with the sign for shows and show times.

Because we love nothing more than the classic dinner-and-a-movie night on the town, here is part three of Glenwood’s Dinner-and-a-Movie Guide, each installment featuring a movie theater we frequent and an array of personally recommended, close-by dining options, from quick-bite places to more serious dining spots. This week: Lincoln Plaza Cinema (photo by bonez007), in the Lincoln’s Square neighborhood and, it should be noted, right near Glenwood’s luxury Upper West Side rental apartments, The Grand Tier and The Regent.

Sign with showtimes for Lincoln Plaza Cinema in Manhattan.

Seeing a movie at Lincoln Plaza Cinema NYC (photo by shanestroud) 

Located on Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets. Opened 1981. Six screens. 

Getting there: A, B, C, D trains to 59th Street Columbus Circle; 1 train to 59th or 66th. 

Pros: First-rate selection of independent movies, documentaries, foreign films. Up until recently Lincoln Plaza was the only place uptown to show such things, and so could get away with treating their customers poorly (see below), but their monopoly’s been busted by the recent opening of the comfortable, well-designed Elinor Bunin Monroe theater over at Lincoln Center. Watch your back, Lincoln Plaza Cinema!

Cons: Not sure if Lincoln Plaza Cinema has been renovated since its opening more than thirty years ago. Small screens; hard, rickety seats; surly, unhelpful ticket-takers (who, as more than one wag has put it, look like they been there since day one); and poor sight lines all combine to make a trip to Lincoln Plaza Cinema a somewhat depressing theatrical experience. Good movies are the only things that save this place.

Dinner After Lincoln Plaza Cinema

The Upper West Side has traditionally been something of a culinary wasteland, but things have improved considerably over the last few years. Here are a few suggestions for dining on the Upper West Side.

Sausage at Manhattan's Epicerie Boulud restaurant on Broadway.

Francesco’s Pizza 

This part of town’s lousy with mediocre slice joints. The exception: Francesco’s Pizza which doesn’t look like much, but their classic NYC folds are pretty much perfect: crunchy, chewy, cheesy delights. There’s always a few people at Francesco’s eating something pizza-place-odd like lentil soup, so we guess the regular menu’s ok, too, but we always get slices. Like, at least a few times a month. On Columbus between 68th and 69th Streets.

Epicerie Boulud

The great Daniel Boulud’s great casual spot. The sausages, the salads, the sandwiches, the sweets, the soups: all top notch at Epicerie Boulud, and (relatively) reasonably priced. On Broadway and 64th.

Indie Food and Wine 

Indie Food and Wine is a cool-looking spot from the ‘ino crew, just off the lobby of the Elinor Bunin Monroe theater (so, a little weird if you’re not seeing a movie there?). We’ve eaten here a couple of times–fancy-ish sandwiches and served-(too)-cold “plates”–and been mostly satisfied, if not entirely convinced. On 65th Street, west of Broadway.

Sandwich at Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery and Cafe in NYC's Lincoln Center.

Bouchon Bakery 

Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery and Cafe, on the third floor of the Time Warner Center, is a bit mall-ish feeling, of course, and the menu a tad overpriced, but the sandwiches, soups, and salads are all pretty good, and the view down 59th Street just plain pretty. Or skip the savory and head straight for bakery-only counter, where everything (especially the cookies and macarons) is stellar.

The BackYard at 160 

Over near the river–and, so, a bit of a hike for a pre-movie meal–there’s the surprisingly worth-the-trip The BackYard at 160 (nee, The Yard), a “rustic Italian” neighborhood spot with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Here you’ll find a nice variety of well-executed pizzas and pastas, as well as the possibility for some excellent after-dinner, summertime strolling in the nearby Hudson River Park. On Freedom Place (a block west of West End) between 67th and 68th Streets.

Note: this has long been the most desperately needed sort of restaurant in the area–reasonably-priced, interesting dishes, prepared with skill and love–but when The Smith opens in the fall, on Broadway and 63rd, that will become your instant first choice in this category. 

Spanish food at Gastroarte restaurant on 69th Street in Manhattan.

Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud 

Daniel Boulud’s one-two punch: the terrific, meat-centric Bar Boulud (the charcuterie tasting board remains one of our all-time favorite bar treats); and the terrific, Mediterranean-centric Boulud Sud, with its lovely setting and deceptively explosively-flavored food. Bar Boulud is on Broadway, between 64th and 63rd; Balud Sud is on 64th Street, just east of the avenue.   For even more Daniel Boulud, check out the Landmark Sunshine Theater edition of the Glenwood Dinner-and-a-Movie Guide.


Chef Jesus Nunez plates some beautiful-looking dishes at this fun/serious Spanish restaurant, formerly known as Graffit, now known as Gastroarte and a great place to get some tapas and a drink, or an  expansive, avant-garde-ish dinner. On 69th Street, just east of Broadway.

Ice cream at L'Arte Del Gelato kiosk at Lincoln Center Plaza, NYC.

L’Arte Del Gelato kiosk at Lincoln Center Plaza

One of our Top 5 ice cream places in New York City sets up shop on Lincoln Center’s main plaza (in years past, on the northeast corner), and scoops out their freshly-made, big-flavored, deliriously-delicious gelato with abandon. Is there a more romantically New York City place to be on the Upper West Side than sitting on Lincoln Center’s fountain, or the Illumination Lawn, or among the back grove of trees, eating ice cream with a loved one, on a breezy summer’s night? No, there is not.

People enjoying gelato at Lincoln Center's Illumination Lawn.

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