Hot Table

Stage presence

There's a sad irony that plays out nightly in Manhattan's theater district. The neighborhood that hosts the city's highest examples of the performing arts is overrun with restaurants offering the lowest of the culinary kind. A very welcome newcomer is Bond 45, serving excellent Italian fare, such as homemade mozzarella, pantondo (pizzalike bread filled with a tart cheese), and a flawless lemon sole. The huge space has a period look: antiqued mirrors, tile floors, leather banquettes, bronze chandeliers. It's New York in the forties—or is it the twenties? No matter. As in the theater, half the fun is suspending disbelief. Dinner, $85. At 154 W. 45th St.; 212-869-4545.