Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Theatre Dining Review: The Catwalk Cafe at Arena Stage

As part of the multi-milion dollar renovation of Arena Stage in Washington, DC a wonderful dining area was created.   Located on the rooftop of the Kreeger Theatre, the Catwalk Cafe provides cafeteria-style service with menus inspired by the current shows.   New to the menu this season is a prix fixe three course meal which can be a bargain compared to the a la carte offerings.

The prix fixe menu is available pre-ordered and pre-paid for $19.  The regular price is $29.  For this price you get soup or side salad as a starter, entree, entree salad or panini as a main course and dessert.   If you are ordering the main entrees they alone cost $18.  So for an additional $1 you get the salad/soup course and dessert.

For the current productions of My Fair Lady and Pullman Porter Blues your choices include:

Cockney salads -  Country English Salad, Asian Salad or Classic Caesar Salad.  The English and Caesar salads can have chicken or shrimp added for an additional cost.

Soups - Chicken Noodle or Minestrone.

Pullman's Panini"s - Three Cheese Grilled Cheese, Roasted Portobello, Blackened Chicken & Fresh Mozzarella or a Kids Grilled Cheese.

Loverly Entrees come with a choice of three sides - Chicken Marsala or Hearty Beef Stew, the later served in a bread bowl.

Sides - Braised Red Cabbage with Apples, Honey Glazed Carrots, Parsley Boiled New Potatoes, Buttered Egg Noodles or a Dinner Roll.

Locomotive Desserts - Arena Stage Poster Cookies, Individual Sticky Toffee Pudding, Red Velvet Cupcake or Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Children's meals are available and include Kids Grilled Cheese or Bowl of Soup, one side and a choice of the cupcake or chocolate chip cookie for dessert.

The only downsides are that the entrees come with possibly too much food, particularly the beef stew in the bread bowl, which really doesn't need additional starchy sides.   It would be nice if there was a steamed vegetable available as a side dish for those who do not want a glaze or a sauce.

If you order the panini it does not come with any additional sides.   So you must either purchase an additional side or bag of chips.

Drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic are extra, although cups for complimentary ice water are available.

It is essential to make reservations to guarantee seating.  The Cafe is available for dining two hours before curtain time.   To save money, definitely reserve the three course prix fixe menu in advance.  A list of those patrons who have pre-paid is kept at the cashier's where you pay for your meal.

For additional information and to reserve the Catwalk Cafe please visit

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