Ask the Critics: Where Can I Eat After the Alexander McQueen Exhibit at the Met?


Laura M. Asks: I’m going to the Alexander McQueen show at the Met this week and I am looking for some restaurant recommendations nearby. Nothing too fancy, but other than that I’m pretty open.

Dear Laura: Having seen the Alexander McQueen exhibit, “Savage Beauty,” just last week, I can tell you that you’re in for a treat. Hopefully you have a membership, though, so you can avoid the three-hour-long line! As for eating after the show, the Upper East Side isn’t exactly known as a dining destination, but here are some nearby spots to continue the fun.

If you’re looking for new restaurants, I’d definitely suggest Hospoda, which I reviewed this week. It has an arty vibe that would be conducive for discussing the genius who was McQueen. Get any of the “green market” plates, plus maybe the flatiron steak or the pork belly. Then wash it down with Pilsner Urquell, poured in four distinct styles, ranging from all foam to no head whatsoever.

However, Hospoda is on 73rd Street, so if you’re looking for something slightly closer to the Met, I’d suggest Café d’Alsace, which serves good French and Alsatian cuisine. It’s not as innovative, but should you be looking for a classic steak frites or grilled sausages, it’s a good bet.

Café Sabarsky is also another favorite, located even closer to the museum, in the Neue Galerie. It’s classic Austrian all the way, so it might be a bit heavy for summer, but you can never go wrong with the Sacher torte for dessert.

On the more casual end, Cascabel Taqueria offers a good selection of tacos and guacamole. Its newest offshoot, Cantina by Cascabel, might also be worth a visit, though I haven’t yet been there, so I can’t definitively offer that up.

Finally, you can never really go wrong with Luke’s Lobster. After all, summer just isn’t summer without a lobster roll or two! There’s an outpost at 242 East 81st Street, so just a few steps away from the exhibit.

But before you go and eat, do try and grab a drink on the roof garden café and martini bar at the Met. It’s one of my favorite places for summer drinking, and you have a lovely view of the park. Note, though, that it’s only open until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and until 4:30 on other days. Plan accordingly!