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Zagat: Cultural Institutions Go Culinary

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Cultural institutions around New York City are introducing exciting new culinary offering, and this week, Zagat Editor James Mulcahy visited the Public Theater and Lincoln Center to get a look at the new edible showstoppers.

Lincoln Center recently added American Table, a colorful new restaurant in Alice Tully Hall. The menu features globally influenced bites by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.

"I think he wanted to make more American comfort food, but food that's also inspired by other cultures," says Reggie LaRose, the director of hospitality at American Table.

You don't need a ticket to drop by for a meal. Much like the artistic options on the campus, the new eatery seeks to serve a wide variety of community members.

"You have the theatergoer, you have the neighborhood, you have the tourist," says LaRose. "We have students that go to Juilliard, they can come and eat, study. We have such an array of guests who come through our doors."

Downtown, the Public Theater also has a come-one-come-all policy at The Library, a new restaurant with cuisine by chef Andrew Carmellini and a strong cocktail program by beverage director Tiffany Short.

"The whole idea behind it, when Joe Papp started it, was to have theater accessible to the public," says Short. "So you don't have to have a ticket to the theater in order to come in to The Library. We really welcome everyone to come in, those that are enjoying the theater that night or just people that want to come on and have a drink."

These restaurants take inspiration from the great art surrounding them. They provide a place for food and theater lovers to gather, and manage to do so without upstaging the cultural focus of the institutions.

"There's a ton of creativity in this room, but we wouldn't be here if it weren't for the Theater and all of the passion and creativity that is happening down there," says Short. "I see it as a happy partnership more than any kind of outshining."

For more information about these and other new restaurants, visit blog.zagat.com

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