Chowder Loves: Dinner Theater. (Really.)

1225730946While I’ve always considered a good meal to be a fine form of entertainment, I’ve never been a big fan of food-with-entertainment. (See: dinner cruises.) That said, last week I was pleasantly—nay, wildly—entertained by a Tuesday night show at the Beehive.

NYC’s Pinchbottom Burlesque brought a Halloween-themed act to town, and the night was a far cry from any dinner theater I’d ever seen. (OK, so my only experience to date had been a 1987 showing of Oklahoma! with a side of rubbery Chicken Cordon Bleu. But still.)

A bit goofy and a lot raunchy, the show was the first I’d seen at Beehive; I’d only been in for cocktails and brunch. And I’ll definitely head back for music and eats, minus the sometimes-awkward striptease; while chef Rebecca Newell’s dishes weren’t groundbreaking, the comfort-food-y nosh was a fine accompaniment to the on-stage antics. (Anyone had the poutine? That’s next on my must-try list.)

Sadly, there aren’t a whole lot of places like this—spots where diners can really sit back and enjoy a show or concert during dinner. Bob the Chef’s is no more, replaced by Circle Plates & Lounge; beyond that, I’m drawing a blank. I’ve caught live flamenco dancers at Tasca in Brighton and at Estragon’s opening party, as well as belly dancing at Tangierino, but that’s about it.

The more common form of dine-in entertainment these days is more cooking demo than variety show; with chef’s tables, open kitchens, and handcrafted cocktails becoming the norm, food prep is our amusement du jour. (My favorite spots to see some action: dinner at the bar at B&G; cocktails at Eastern Standard; any sushi bar.)

Which makes me wonder: When you want to be fed and entertained, where do you go? And what do you look for: Great music? Dancing? Good people-watching? Food prepared at your table? Leave comments below.