Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

QUEEN OF THE NIGHT, Diamond Horseshoe at Paramount Hotel, 235 West 46th Street (between Broadway and Eighth Avenue), Midtown WestI started this website really to combine my two passions: food and performance. And I continue to have success (and lots of fun) doing that with my comedic food videos. But I recently went to a dinner that fully combined those ideas into one unique, exhilirating night.

It’s called Queen of the Night and comes from some exciting theatrical producers who also had a hand in the immersive shows Sleep No More and The Donkey Show (two of my favorite experiences). What’s even more exciting with this show is that it includes dinner.

In the gorgeously restored basement of the Paramount Hotel (the Diamond Horsehose Club was built in the 1930’s and feels like it), Queen of the Night re-invents and invigorates the idea of dinner theater. It begins as a cocktail hour with mingling performers who might flirt with you, perform acrobatics, or even steal you away to a private room for a one-on-one encounter.

This all happens as the Queen oversees the proceedings and a romantic plot (based on The Magic Flute) timidly begins to unfold with dancing, music, magic, comedy, and circus acts. Not to mention dinner is served.

Each table gets one of three entrées – all presented much showier than anything at Le Bernadin. We were served the whole short ribs (bone marrow and all) and if we wanted something else (suckling pig or lobster), we had to barter with the other tables. I was also given the stressful task of slicing the ribs and portioning them out to my communal table of strangers. I’m terrible at carving the turkey at Thanksgiving and that’s for my forgiving family and friends!!

Whole Short Ribs at QUEEN OF THE NIGHT

The food at most dinner theater (or even a cocktail party for that matter) is usually an afterthought, rather pedestrian and bland. Not so here. The food was just as much a part of the show as the lifts and tumbles. And the short ribs were so good with a smoky and salty crust giving way to tender, pink meat that we decided to sit still and not barter anything. And since I was in charge of portioning it out, I could have as much of the gigantic ribs as I desired. 

At the grand finale, dessert (chocolate hazelnut dacquoise) was rolled out and spoonfed to us by the seductive performers. The entire experience was unique, exciting, and delicious. And it’s the kind of food and performance mash-up that I strive to create. I just need to practice my juggling and sommersaults.

QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
Diamond Horseshoe at Paramount Hotel,
235 West 46th Street (between Broadway and Eighth Avenue),
Midtown West
queenofthenightnyc.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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