I have spent the past six New Year's Eves in Times Square, four of them working and two observing. The years I worked, I only left the office to drink at Jimmy's Corner, which meant a lot of take-out lunches, dinners, mid-day snacks and dinner number two's (we worked long hours). The past two years, however, I've been able to explore what Times Square has to offer. I know. You're thinking it only offers over-priced tourist traps, and yes there are many of those. But you can find some gems, even if they are massive chains. Here are my favs...
Connolley's. Irish pub and restaurant, enough said. The food is pretty good, but they pour a mean Guinness and what's more important than that? I also love the vibe... good for a crowd but cozy, tons of TV's, dark, have I mentioned the beer yet?
Junior's. Known for their cheesecake, but I go for the huge cups of coffee and the tasty bagels. Great breakfast spot, if you can get in. Fluffy eggs, grits, complimentary bite-size pastries... but don't ask for too many napkins because they're weird about that.
John's Pizzeria. A New York pizza worth the PRAISE. Pun intended, because the restaurant lives in an old church...
Check out that ceiling! The entire restaurant is beautiful but has an expansive, casual feel. Strong drinks, great salads, pizza ovens, sides of garlic, and really great pizzas. Get Italian Sausage on yours and you won't be sorry.
Bond 45. A steak and seafood joint, Italian kitchen, relatively new. Homemade Burrata cheese and salty meat platters. TO DIE FOR. Huge formal dining room that has an antique feel to it, you sort of feel like you're eating on the Titanic. If you go before the Broadway shows start, you're screwed, but if you wait until play-time, you're solid!
That was it for this trip, but I'm also a big fan of Joe Allen. Intimate spot with a great bar and great meatloaf.