In celebration of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” running at the Fox Theatre now through Sunday, March 18, I thought I would share a few of my favorite pre-theater eats with you. Sometimes I like to go fancy, and sometimes not so much. But, I’m a big believer in having a total night out!
Before we begin, though, let me tell you about the musical! IT’S SO GOOD. It won four Tony’s in 2014 (including best musical), but I didn’t know much about it. I’m glad I went in blind because it was such a delightful surprise. I won’t spoil anything for you, but Lawrenceville native, James Taylor Odom, plays eight (!) different members of the D’ysquith family and they all get murdered. It’s no mystery whodunnit, and you’ll find yourself cheering on the killer, Monty Navarro (played by Blake Price), a distant heir to a family fortune trying to get to his family’s inheritance. It’s dark, yes, but hilarious. The two main ladies, Sibella (Colleen McLaughlin) and Phoebe (Erin McIntyre), are both sopranos with voices that make for an audible feast. I would see it a second time just to hear them sing again, really.
I don’t want to go on too much more, you really need to see it for yourself. If you want to laugh and be delighted, buy tickets here. Watch the Broadway cast’s performance of “I decided to Marry You” from the 2014 Tony Awards to get a preview of this funny faux-operetta.
Here are my Top Three Pre-Theater Eats
If you want to keep your pre-theater dining experience quick and affordable, go to Gusto. It’s fast-casual with light fare, so overall pretty guilt free. Sort of like Chipotle, you choose a base (rice, greens, or both), a protein, and then a “gusto” aka a combination of toppings. Favorite “gustos” include the “apple curry peanut” with curry peanut sauce, granny smith apples, carrot salad, and peanuts; and the “buffalo buttermilk blue” with buffalo sauce, pickled celery, fresh carrot, tomatoes, and blue cheese dressing. Don’t pass on the house-made sweet potato chips! It’s not walking distance from the theater, but it’s only a 5-10 minute drive away and they have ample free parking.
Ecco has all the trappings of date night with its warm lighting, cozy seating arrangments, and of course, pasta.
I like to sit in the bar section before a show to keep things moving along. Once before seeing a show, my friend and I enjoyed splitting a charcuterie board, the famous goat cheese fritters, and a pasta dish. If you don’t want a lead ball of carbs sitting in your stomach during the show it’s a good way to go! It’s only a half-mile walk from Ecco to the Fox, which is enough to walk off dinner without leaving you too sweaty.
Somewhere between Gusto and Ecco on the casual/dressy spectrum, Takorea is a Korean-Mexican fusion spot. Tacos with fillings like Korean fried chicken and soy-marinated steak are tasty, as are the sesame fries with chipotle ketchup. If you’re looking to wet your whistle they make lovely margaritas. It’s only a quarter-mile walk from here to the theater so you’ll only have to park once.
Do you have a favorite pre-theater spot? I’d love to hear where!